By Julia Rogan, Patrick Henry High School
Patrick Henry Players’ production of Les Misérables, with showings March 15, 16, 22 and 23, was exceptional.
It outshines the musicals from the previous years at the school. The cast was excellent; their voices blended and it was amazing.
The play takes place in 19th century France and tells not one story, but five. Jean Valjean, played by junior Isaac Anderson, is a poor man sent to prison for stealing bread for his starving sister and her child.
Fantine, played by senior Taylor Zadell, had a child out of wedlock. She has to work and pay for her child that lives with an innkeeper and his wife in a different town. Fantine’s daughter Cosette, played by junior Mikayla Gunn, was mistreated and was used as a slave for the innkeeper and his wife and their daughter Eponine, played by senior Alexa Vasquez.
Javert, played by senior Raekwon Moore, wants to bring Jean Valjean to justice for violating his parole. has been chasing Jean Valjean forever, before Javert commits suicide. There is also a story about some college kids trying to start a revolution to change France and help the poor people. They eventually lose and all of the students save for one die.
The costumes were pretty well decided. However, in the beginning where they introduce Javert and Jean Valjean in prison, I thought the costumes could have looked a little more wretched and threadbare.
The play was very well cast, and I felt the strong emotion during most of the play.
While I understand why fake guns may not be allowed in lieu of the recent shootings, it was a bit confusing when students used their hands to create invisible guns. If you didn’t play close attention, you would have not noticed they were holding invisible guns in their hands.
Also there were no guns, but they used swords.What I found interesting, was that even though fake guns were not used, fake swords were used, along with a cannon and the sounds that a canon makes. I believe swords and cannons are classified as weapons.
The play kept me enthralled. It was a wonderful, sad (hence the name) and inspiring story.
The innkeeper and his wife provided comic relief to lighten the tragic plot.
It didn’t seem like this would be a play for young children to attend, due to its sexual references, prostitution during the song “Lovely Ladies,” and mild cussing.
While watching the revolutionaries I felt inspired. Though their cause seemed lost and like they would lose before they started fighting, they didn’t give up and still fought until they all fell at the barricade. “Enjolras,” the leader, played by junior Charles Sellers, was very charismatic and Grantaire, a revolutionary, played by junior William Merten, was his polar opposite. He served as comic relief during dire situations.
Overall it was a great play. The cast and crew deserve a five-star rating and a Tony Award. It was above and beyond my expectations.