Dinner Theatre in Fort Atkinson is known for its quality
musicals. Their recent productions of “Annie Get Your
Gun,” “The Sound of Music” and “Fiddler on the
Roof,” to mention just a few, all attest to its sterling
its present offering, “Les Miserables,” breaks all records
in terms of power and brilliance. Of course the script based
on Victor Hugo’s novel, the music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
and Alain Boubilil, and the lyrics and translation by Herbert
Kretzmer certainly offer the perfect vehicle for success.
all that is needed is great voices, credible acting and
staging that fits a theater-in-the-round setting. Fireside had
it all in spades.
its inception debut in 1987, “Les Miserables” has toured
the world, won over 100 awards, been translated into 22
languages and delighted over 65 million people. Like Dickens,
Hugo was concerned about the economic inequalities in society
and the unfairness inherent in the justice system. He also
stresses the redemptive power of forgiveness. His stories are
heart-wrenching and hopefully provocative enough to cause some
changes in the world.
are so many memorable songs and haunting motifs woven into
Valjean’s journey that one can’t mention them all.
Probably the most popular are “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On
My Own” and “I Can Hear the People Sing,” but there are
many others worth noting, including the rousing “Master of
the House,” the poignant “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables”
sung by the young soldier Marius and the plaintive
“Soliloquy,” the final hopeless reflections of Javert, the
obsessed police inspector. To me the most beautiful of all is
“Bring Him Home,” as sung by Valjean.
many gifted vocalists, none surpassed Andrew Foote as Valjean.
Javert was a close second as Javert. Two other male singers
that deserve mention are Ryan Cupello as Marius and Charlie
Levy as the leader of the revolution. Whenever the whole
chorus of men sang together, it was thrilling.
the female leads, both Sarah Hanlon as Fantine and Halle Morse
as the spunky Eponine were impressive. The adult Cosette,
played by Caitlin Borek, had a lovely voice that soared
effortlessly. The conniving shopkeepers, the Thenardiers, were
played with a sinister vigor by Michael Hawes and Rhonda Rae
Busch. Little Gavroche was well rendered by KyLee Hennes.
There’s a kid without a confidence problem.
loved how they were able to create different scenes of great
variety with creativity (Rick Rasmussen). It takes some
ingenuity to do that. Costumes were well chosen as well. The
only flaw (and it’s miniscule) in the whole production was
Valjean’s wig. Hideous. Musical and overall direction were
masterfully executed by Mary Ehlinger and Ed Flesch.
Mis” runs through Oct. 26.
Call 800-477-9505 or visit www.firesidetheatre.com
The Fireside is located at 1131 Janesville Avenue in
Fort Atkinson right off HWY 26, very accessible from east or