Must-See: Les Misérables in Concert

I walked into the Granoff Martinos Auditorium amid a clamor of tuning instruments and buzz of conversation over blocking and cues. The orchestra prepared in their cluster at stage right and two students were at the center mic executing and then tweaking a dramatic moment between their characters Eponine and Marius. Marius (Jesse Weil ’16) embraced Eponine (Emily Kassie ’14) from behind but then Emily halted. She moved Jesse’s hand above or below its original placement. They embraced again. Everyone else, all dressed in black and some white, was scattered about the stage anticipating a full design rehearsal before the real performance begins TONIGHT and runs through Thursday. 

Emily Kassie as Eponine and Jesse Weil as Marius

What may seem like a needless intricacy — a hand two inches above the waist and one inch over — is central to “Les Misérables: In Text and Production,” a Group Independent Study Project (GISP) focused on the text and performance of the renowned drama. Les Misérables in Concert is essentially the presentation of the students’ various “findings” from their research.

The singers are diverse, but all so talented, and their performances fuse beautifully with the orchestral music directed by Alex Sogo ’15. The musicians seem to watch the performers and listen to them, as opposed to having the students keep in time with their playing. The students also animate a minimalist set of microphones, chairs, and wires running across the hardwood lecture floor turned stage. With barely any props, and with a couple newsboy caps and a long coat on inspector Javert (Michael Gale ’14/Harrison Chad ’14) as costumes, the students’ emotive expressions and chemistry with one another transform the bare space, all due in large part to Marissa Bergman’s ’14 direction.

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Escape the (finals) cave with Bat Boy

At one moment or another we’ve all told ourselves the following: I’m an outcast.  No one likes me. I feel ugly.  I feel weird.  If you’re looking for a little Schadenfreude this weekend, come check out Bat Boy at PW.  This funny and touching musical, directed by Alex Ostroff ’14, follows the journey of a boy (half bat, half human) as he tries to become an accepted member of society. The show is fast-paced with catchy songs and more costume changes then one person can fathom.


Be warned that what seems like a silly story about a bat boy finding his way in a misguided rancher town on a mountain is actually loaded with serious messages. However, these are easily passed with a tall glass of fake blood with a side of humor and absurdity. When asked what he wants the audience to walk away with, Ostroff said, “There are a lot of ‘morals’ in the show, and we’ve talked about some of them as a cast, but I’d have a hard time choosing one that is most important.”  Set in West Virginia, this show questions Christianity, modern science, and how much freedom you should give children. The black cage-like set, designed by Becca Balton ’14, allows the actors to amazingly transform it: Whether it’s a living room, slaughterhouse, cave, or a forest filled with talking animals, the energy and dedication of the actors fills the space and transports you. Continue Reading

The Lion King comes to Providence!

“When I was a young warthog…”

Disney Presents The Lion King is at the Providence Performing Arts Center from now until a week from Sunday.  Tickets are pricey, but this Tony award winning musical is one of the best theatrical productions out there.