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Ticket Stubs: Les Miserables – Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

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Les Miserables production at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

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The current production of Oklahoma City’s Lyric Theatre of Les Miserables is as perfect a production as reality will allow.

For such an epic musical, spanning several decades with many characters, all the production pieces must form a perfect match or the overall effect is diminished. Lyric has perfectly blended a unit set (Michael Raiford), stunning lighting (Helena Kuukka), compatible costumes (Jeffrey Meek), clarity of sound (Toby Algya), a superb orchestra (Andrew Bryan), skilful direction (Michael Baron) and choreography (Ashley Wells), to make Les Miserables the summer theatrical event of 2014.

This production is a dream of a show, and no doubt had its nightmare days during its mounting. In addition to a plot weaved over decades, this production features a massive chorus, who act as both scenery and characters, being stationed on multi-levels of the towering unit set of scaffolding. The chorus is never distracting and its powerful addition to climatic musical scenes is empowering, bringing a touch of massive humanity to the story line. The skillfully employed turn table stage helps speed the story along.

The story of this well-known musical is not an easy one to tell. Engaging the audience with all the unfulfilled desires of its characters, many deaths, and soul felt soliloquies, is challenging. Remember, it’s not called the miserables, for nothing. This production has many flawless performances, due to the strong technical training of the actor/singers. Outstanding performances, which have the clarity of direction, diction and subtext of emotion include: Chuck Wagoner, Danny Rothman, Julie Johnson, Dallas Lish, Russel McCook, Adrienne Tang and the genius of young Michael James and Hallie Hunt.

Musical highlights from this production include the heartfelt, “Bring Him Home,” the rousing, “Do You Hear the People Sing,” and the moving “Empty Chairs” which is so poignant when remembering personal losses by illness and military conflicts.

With three filled tiers of balconies and sold out orchestra, the Music Hall audience could not wait to jump up at the shows conclusion to give all 109 performers, orchestra and technical crew a well-deserved ovation. Once again, summer in Oklahoma, is Lyric’s main stage productions at the Civic Center Musical Hall. Be advised that the tale telling is lengthy and the long first act might test your constitution, so make your preparations for an epic production telling an epic tale.

This show is not to be missed and perhaps a few seats may be available for its run through Saturday, June 28th. Tickets at www.lyrictheatreokc.com. Les Miserables is followed by Disneys’ Little Mermaid, Spamalot, and A Little Night Music.

For the lucky audience member who has never seen Les Miserables, what a satisfying introduction. For theatre aficionados, they too will be satisfied. The current production of Oklahoma City’s Lyric Theater of Les Miserables is as perfect a production as reality will allow.

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Terry Zinn is a past Lyric performer with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Theatre.

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