Louis Hobson stars as Jean Valjean in Balagan Theatre's new production of Boublil and Schönberg's LES MISERABLES, September 6-28, 2013. Photo Credit: Jeff CarpenterBoublil & Schönberg’s Les Misérables was one of the most popular Broadway shows in history. It also gained additional anticipations with the well-liked 2012 film version, starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.

Louis Hobson stars as Jean Valjean in Balagan Theatre's new production of Boublil and Schönberg's LES MISERABLES, September 6-28, 2013. Photo Credit: Jeff CarpenterBoublil & Schönberg’s Les Misérables was one of the most popular Broadway shows in history. It also gained additional anticipations with the well-liked 2012 film version, starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.

Balagan Theatre is very ambitious, taking on challenging stage productions one after another. After its successful run of the Tony Award’s Triple Crown Off-Broadway show, Avenue Q, this local company aims to wow to the Seattle crowd once again with its charming iteration of Les Misérables.

Based on the timeless novel of Victor Hugo, the musical revolves around the fugitive Jean Valjean who seeks for redemption in post-Revolutionary France, while avoiding the law-obsessed Inspector Javert and raising Cosette after the girl’s mother dies at the same time. The plot is heavy, but is one of those audience enjoys a lot.

No doubt Les Misérables is a large and challenging stage production that can rarely to be presented in full, especially for local companies. It requires a huge set, a well-orchestrated cast, and a great deal of rehearsing time. In order words, it is an extravagantly expensive show. But once they are given the rights to, they would pour their hearts all out to produce it.

Although the musical suffers from minor problems with direction and technical limitations — super fast pacing during the first few numbers, sounds and lighting hiccups in general — Balagan Theatre completes the show with a well-sung cast and a functional yet creatively designed set. The story is clear and the ensemble members are excellent both in voice and acting.

Balagan’s new artistic director and experienced actor Louis Hobson plays Jean Valjean, with Michael Dunlap as his nemesis, Inspector Javert.

Hobson brings weight and skill with his great voice while Dunlap takes well control of his character. Danielle Barnum (who plays Eponine), Brian Giebler (who plays Marius), and the young Cosette, played by Anna Imehana Lilinoe Ostrem, are very impressive, giving some very best voice performances.

This musical is lengthy, spanning almost three hours. However, the team never fail to deliver the heart and soul of this wonderful heart-wrenching classic. Balagan Theatre has once again lifted the bar higher.

http://www.balagantheatre.org/lesmis.html

Side Note: Balagan Theatre’s ‘Les Miz’ is currently sold out, but a wait list will open one hour before every performance.

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