Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

Les Misérables

Les Misérables has returned to Washington and DC audiences are all the better for it. This musical version of the classic Victor Hugo novel is currently playing at National Theatre through January 4th.

Les Misérables follows the dramatic tale of Jean Valjean. Jailed for stealing bread to feed his sister's starving child, Valjean is released from prison to start a new life. At first his road is hard but soon his journey takes him from being a parolee to a respected public official and finally an adoptive father. All the while the determined Javert is hunting him.

Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg have taken Hugo's work and created a timeless piece that is enthralling to both listen to and to watch. The music by Schönberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer are simply gorgeous.

This production as a whole is performed skillfully by a fine cast. Randal Keith displays a powerful voice and a wonderful presence as Jean Valjean. This role fits him like a glove, and he is especially strong during his performance of "Bring Him Home."

As Valjean's nemesis, Javert, Stephen Tewksbury is quite impressive. Cast mate Jessica-Snow Wilson has created an appealing Eponine. She brings a sympathetic childlike quality to the character and it works well. Additionally, Jayne Paterson delivers a lovely portrayal of the doomed Fantine.

If there is a weak link in this production, it would be Michael Hayward-Jones, who portrays Thénardier, the devious innkeeper. Mr. Hayward-Jones has a fine voice but he is terribly miscast in this role. He is a bit too smooth and sings too prettily for this character. Unfortunately, he never manages to capture the darker undertones of the comical Thénardier and is often upstaged by Madame Thénardier as played by Jodi Capeless.

That one small weakness aside, Les Misérables does not disappoint. It is a stunning piece of work that has made its mark in theater history. The National Theatre
Les Misérables
November 27th - January 4th
By Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Directed and Adapted by John Caird and Trevor Nunn
1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Ticket Information: 1-800-722-4990 or

Cast List (in alphabetical order)

Young Cosette/Young Eponine (12/25-12/29): Christiana Anbri
Enjolras: Dallyn Vail Bayles
Bamatabois/Grantaire: Trent Blanton
Babet: Daniel Bogart
Madame Thénardier: Jodi Capeless
Feuilly: John-Andrew Clark
Claquesous: Stephen Colella
Jean Prouvaire: Jerry Jay Cranford
Brujon: David Michael Felty
Courfeyrac: Steve Gannon
Young Cosette/Young Eponine (11/27-12/22): Skylar Harden
Thénardier: Michael Hayward-Jones
Young Cosette/Young Eponine: Kassandra Marie Hazard
Cosette: Amanda Huddleston
Joly: Scott Hunt
Jean Valjean: Randal Keith
Montparnasse: Alex Lubliner
Fantine: Jayne Paterson
Marius: Stephen Brian Patterson
Combeferre: Graham Rowat
Lesgles: Michael St. John
Gavroche: Justen Steinagle
Javert: Stephen Tewksbury
Gavroche: Erik Tolman Ward
Eponine: Jessica-Snow Wilson
Ensemble: Anne Buelteman, Leslie Henstock (12/10-1/4), Linda Pierson Huff, Ashley Jarrett, Melina Marie Kalomas, Stella Lee, Melissa Lyons, Cathy Newman (11/27-12/8), Jill Paice (11/27-12/8), Victoria Oscar (12/10-1/4)

-- Tracy Lyon

Also see the Current Theatre Season Calendar for D.C.

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