More About The Story and What to Expect

More about Barter Theatre’s Les Misérables

This truly is a once in a lifetime event, and one of Barter’s biggest, most ambitious productions. Unlike a movie, once this production closes, it will be gone forever, and you’ll miss your chance to see it.

What is the story about?
It’s a story of love and forgiveness, set during a time of great injustice in France. Jean Valjean is convicted of stealing a loaf of bread, and essentially given a life sentence. He escapes, and tries to spend the rest of his life atoning for his crime, but he’s always being hunted by a merciless policeman named Javert. He takes in an orphan girl, Cosette, whose mother died because she was put out on the streets and refused to become a prostitute. These characters get caught up in a great rebellion in Paris, as the young students try to protest the unfair treatment of the poor. At the end of the play, there is hope for a brighter day and a better world in the future.

Why do a production so soon after the movie?
Barter’s production is a chance to see the musical as it was meant to be—live and up close. The successful 2012 film has brought a new generation of fans to this music and story, and now they have a chance to see some of the most talented performers in our region and around the country take on these roles.

Is it live music or pre-recorded?
It’s live! We have a 6-piece ensemble performing live, including keyboard, brass section, and percussion. Barter is building a special orchestra pit for this performance, so the musicians will be visible to the audience, and truly part of the performance. Lee Harris is Barter’s Resident Musical Director and Musical Director of Les Mis.

Is there a turntable like in New York?
No, this is Barter’s own production – we are not copying the designs of any other theatre or tour. Barter’s design incorporates very cool sculptural elements and is like no production of Les Mis you’ve ever seen before

Why a Giant Head in the middle of the stage?
Scenic Designer Dale F. Jordan literally scrolled through thousands of images after Director Richard Rose sent him an empty white room for inspiration. When he came across an image of the statue of revolutionary Alphonse Baudin. (see photo in the Behind the Scenes document), he and Rose immediately fell in love with it.

“It’s a disservice to this show not to have some sort of spectacle,” believes Camille Davis, director of production. Motors are installed to enable it to move across the stage and to be moved for “Southern Fried Funeral” when it opens later this month.

In total, the head weighs between 1200 and 1500 pounds and is more than 7 feet tall, 10 feet deep and 16 feet long. The actors also walk and climb on it. It serves as the bridge from which Javert jumps, the barricade and more. 

$10 Tuesdays for all Tuesday performances. Call 276.628.3991 for reservations. Discount not offered online.

Pay What You Can Day June 2 at 3pm. (Reservations cannot be made for Pay What You Can)

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