Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roving Pittsburgher Report: Les Miserables Transports Audiences from a Dark Time in History to Enlightened Theatre

Roving Pittsburgher Report:  

Les Misérables Transports Audiences from a Dark Time in History to Enlightened Theatre

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith

When I arrived at the theatre on opening night I had not read Les Misérables in forty years and scarcely remembered the plot but that did not stop me from getting swept away in the songs, the music, the acting and the multi-media scenery.  The scenery alone will become legendary.  Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, LES MISÉRABLES, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.
One Day More (Photo by Deen Van Meer)

Set in the early 1800’s Les Miserables is a sweeping masterpiece that has been a record-breaking success worldwide since its London opening in 1985. Les Miserables has been translated into 21 different languages and been performed in front of more than 60 million people in 43 countries ... Here in Pittsburgh opening night was sold out.  At dinner before the theatre and on the way out the recurrent theme was how many times patrons had seen Les Miserables.  At dinner before the theatre I heard two people who were unrelated, one alone and one with her date talk about seeing the musical, 19 and 11 times respectively.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story it is set in 19thcentury France, during a time when the effects of the French Revolution are being felt on society. Social instability and poverty created the environment that shaped the lives of the characters. Jean Valjean is released from prison and breaks parole to start a new life. He embarks on a lifelong mission to avoid recapture and redeem himself.  This is a story of higher values, of love and self sacrifice and of character like Eponine(Brian Carolson-Goodman) rising above her upbringing to become heroic and to serve love.

The video screen background transported us to another world. The audience was drawn through a sewer tunnel and battle scenes.  This performance was truly a triumph of multimedia so realistic that the audience could hardly contain their amazement. The costuming was horribly realistic in places and absolutely elegant in others.

Master of the House (Photo by Deen Van Meer)
Although the theme was dark, there are comic interludes like Master of the House performed by the character Thernadier (Timothy Golan), his Wife (Shawna Hamic) and Customers of the Inn and of course Beggars at the Feast.  But truthfully it is worth the trip to hear the voice of John Valjean (Peter Lockyer) sing Bring Him Home and Cosette (Lauren Wiley) in Castle on a Cloud. 
One Day More done by the Chorale!  Well the Mendelssohn and Morman Tabernacle choir can barely compete.  Any ensembles done on stage were epic.  The scenery was majestic and the story line compelling.  There is still time with eight performances left to see Les Miserables  or to SEE IT AGAIN.
Fall of Rain/Death of Eponine (Photo by Deen Van Meer)
8 Performances Remain
  • Tuesday, January 22, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, January 23, 7:30pm
  • Thursday, January 24, 7:30pm      
  • Friday, January 25, 8pm
  • Saturday, January 26, 2pm & 8pm
  • Sunday, January 27, 1pm & 6:30pm
Ticket information at:

Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:

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