Brian Eads conducts a stellar ensemble in an electrifying Les Miserables

Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
The international classic musical Les Miserables returns to the Academy of Music until November 13. It is one of the finest musicals to appear in Philadelphia this year, and you must see it. 
 
This brand new touring company with exciting new performers will surely make its cast members into stars. The phenomenal Nick Cartell shines with vocal splendor as Jean Valjean, the hero of Victor Hugo’s drama who was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing bread. The obsessed lawman Inspector Javert was played with startling brio by Preston Truman Boyd. All the other men in the cast shone brightly. Kudos to Devin Archer as Enjolras, Gregory Lee Rodriguez as Marius, and Matt Crowle as the repulsive, despicable Thenardier. No less spectacular were the women. Haley Dortch was an incandescent Fantine, Addie Morales, Cossette, Christine Heesun Hwang, Eponine (in her bio, she stated she is proudly queer!), and the repulsive Madame Thenardier was Christina Rose Hall. 
 
The sets, costumes, and lighting all appeared to be fresh, new, and exciting. The acting and timing, flawless. 
Conducting a crack orchestra with crackling energy was the young Brian Eads. He is as talented as he is handsome. Even if you saw the previous touring company here a few years ago, you will be surprised by the conviction, strength, and sheer majesty on stage and in the orchestra pit. Laurence Connor and James Powell directed surely and excellently.
 
The one cavill that can be offered is the fact that this excellent company had no page of thumbnail headshots as other productions do. They deserve it.
 
Don’t miss this spellbinding, exciting Les Miserables.
 
Les Miserables is now onstage at the historic Academy of Music in Philadelphia, a part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus and its Broadway Philadelphia program of musicals will also include Moulin Rouge! The Musical, The Lion King, and a host of others. For information:
 

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