The Rapidian

Les Miserables continues to draw crowds at Civic Theatre

The broadway musical Les Miserables performed at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre puts on a show of epic proportions.

Les Miserables at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Performances for the show have been extended through March 30.

  • Ticket prices range from $18-$35.
  • Tickets can be purchased at the box office or on their website.

Since the debut of the musical “Les Miserables” on February 28 at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, the community theatre has been putting on shows for packed audiences. The local production is captivating the crowd with Victor Hugo’s story filled with sorrow, laughter and love. 

The Grand Rapids Civic theatre is one of the first community theaters in the country to have received production rights for Les Miserables. The intimate setting of the community theatre only adds to the play, with the pleasure of being able to see the expressions on the performers’ faces and the designs on their costumes from your seat. The production consists of over 40 cast members and they were able to awe the crowd with the way their voices carried throughout the theatre with a capacity of roughly 750 people. 

The musical crunches a span of 17 years into 166 minutes with one intermission, and follows the lives of citizens during France’s gloomy post-Revolution society. 

The story starts off with character Jean Valjean (played by Jeremiah Postma) after serving 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread for his nephew. Postma did a fantastic job portraying the compassionate ex-convict and shined on stage during his solos for “Bring Him Home” and in his duet “One Day More” with rival Javert (played by David Duiven) who plays an officer who holds an obsessive grudge over Valjean after he broke his parole.

The 20 set changes during the play were outstanding, and pulling off the death of one of the main characters was something I wondered how Civic was going to pull off – and to my surprise they pulled it off quite nicely. 

Michael Peneycad, who played the love struck Marius in the show, gave a touching performance. His fine-tuned performance of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was very moving, and his acting for the role exceeded my expectations. His love was directed toward the character Cosette (played by Audrey Filson), who had a charming role to go with her sweet, yet powerful voice.  Their duet “A Heart Full of Love” was beautiful, and both characters gave the musical an optimistic vibe as their romance grew. 

The cast, production staff and Director Scott Mellema did a fantastic job, and credits must also be given to Conductor Charles Hutchins who pulled the play together with his live orchestra.

I give Civic’s performance of Les Miserables 5 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend any avid theatre-goers and even those who don’t usually visit local theatre productions to check out this production of Les Miserables – it is a show that won’t disappoint. 

Dates for the musical’s performances have been extended until March 30. Ticket prices range from $18 to $35. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or on their website

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