One Day More by the cast of "Les Misérables"

One Day More by the cast of “Les Misérables”

I must confess, I was until yesterday most unfamiliar with the music, libretto and force of the show, “Les Misérables”. Somehow, I was a theatre enthusiast with only the slightest knowledge of this immense work by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg. I certainly had heard of it – knew it was based on the Victor Hugo classic of the same name, had seen pictures from the many productions that had been raised since the show’s NYC premiere in 1987 (though it’s original debut came in 1980 in Paris) and had even seen a portion of it on PBS’ celebratory program featuring a concert version of the show. But I had never seen a production of it, not even the recent film version. So it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to attending the B&B offering of this Tony Award winner.

Beef and Boards’ production proved worth the expectancy. Directed by Eddie Curry, staged and choreographed by Ron Morgan, the resulting presentation is at once striking, powerful, beautiful, beckoning, enriching, awe-inspiring and moving. The lovely music, provided by a fine small orchestra lead by Terry Woods; the amazing costumes, richly rendered by Jill Kelly; the set, lights and sound, precisely designed by Michael Layton, Ryan Koharchik and Daniel Hesselbrock – all are dressing for the sumptuous offerings of the unbelievably talented cast.

Gregg Goodbrod (Valjean) faces off with Joe Torkarz (Inspector Javert) in "Les Misérables" at Beef and Boards

Gregg Goodbrod (Valjean) faces off with Joe Torkarz (Inspector Javert) in “Les Misérables” at Beef and Boards


Gregg Goodbrod, as the rehabilitating Jean Valjean, has perfected every nuance in every lyric of each of his character’s many songs. His impressive tenor is expressive in every degree of the emotion, plight and conflict of his Valjean. Likewise, Joe Tokarz as the relentless Inspector Javert emits a vocal power which creates a dynamic characterization to match Goodbrod’s. The third male lead, the student/fighter/lover Marius Pontmercy is done with remarkable range by Dominic Sheahan-Stahl, who fills his role with both forcefulness and a soothing tenderness.
Les Miz collage

Sarah Hund’s tragic Fantine is performed with a remarkable and fetching painfulness. Ms. Hund’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” is a highlight of the show for me as she catches hold of the pitiful circumstance Fantine faces, projecting both her hope and her failed fate. Stephanie Torns’ Eponine is dark, beautiful and distressed. Her powerful singing in Eponine’s moving solo after delivering Marius’ letter to Cosette is nothing short of stunning. Whitney Meyer offers a sweet portrayal of Cosette. Ms. Meyer’s lovely soprano voice lent itself perfectly to the cultured and protected young woman.

Doug Stark and Annie Edgerton (M. & Mme. Thenardier) search for opportunity in "Les Misérables" at Beef and Boards

Doug Stark and Annie Edgerton (M. & Mme. Thenardier) search for opportunity in “Les Misérables” at Beef and Boards

The main cast is well-supported by an extremely gifted ensemble. Led by Doug Stark and Annie Edgerton, engaging as the comically opportunistic tavern keepers Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, the multiple role-playing supporting cast lends an even array of talented vocalizations and definitive action to this heroic tale. Every voice is strong and each role well-performed, including the young Mr. Isaac Herzog, whose Gavroche is offered with a confidence and ability that is admirable from such a young performer.

As you might see, I am quite taken by my first “Les Miz”. Beef and Boards should be extremely proud of the theatrical experience they have put together for their audiences with this high reaching production. The theatre’s dedication to getting the best possible performers for their shows across the board, results here in a moving, thrilling and extremely satisfying evening. Including the wonderful buffet, the entire package is rarely matched in the Indianapolis area.

There are 54 remaining performances of “Les Misérables” scheduled at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $37.50 to $62.50 and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, and select beverages. Discounts are available for children and groups of 20 or more, and parking is free. For reservations call the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Box Office at 317-872-9664. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For a complete show schedule, scheduled menu items, additional reviews and other information visit http://www.beefandboards.com and go to the “Les Misérables” page.

* Photos by Julie Curry provided by Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

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