In March 2020, PTG’s first attempt at producing Les Misérables was sadly shut down due to the pandemic. After one year of various virtual productions, PTG was eager to produce the show in the fall of 2021. However, after the unexpected discovery of mold in the Pioneer theaters, PTG once again had to disrupt the production of Les Mis and postpone it to the spring of 2022. Lovingly referred to as “Les Mis 3.0,” nothing is stopping us now! PTG is eager to present this iconic, international award-winning musical.
Les Misérables is the world’s longest running musical, also called a sung-through pop opera. A true modern classic based on Victor Hugo’s novel and featuring one of the most memorable scores of all time. Epic, grand and uplifting, Les Misérables packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world since its premiere in London in 1985.
In nineteenth century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a lifelong struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe that Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean’s adopted daughter.
Senior Matthew Neal shares his thoughts about playing Jean Valjean: “Playing Jean Valjean is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Getting to embody this character in all his complexities and truly human qualities is an actor’s dream. After being with the character for almost a year now, I can safely say that I have come to understand his moral philosophies and internal dilemmas that drive his actions. I think it would be foolish to characterize Valjean as a completely benevolent and perfect hero. He is simply human. He makes mistakes. But after the confrontation with his own warped and twisted soul in the beginning of the show, he promises to strip himself of bitterness and live his life with humility and grace. He hopes to live a life worthy of the redemption he received. And that’s what the character and show is all about to me. Redemption. Change. Growth. We are not set as people, and we see what happens in the show when a character clings to one belief with fervent faith and comes to realize that it was all founded on false ideals (Javert’s eventual downfall). We must change and redeem ourselves as people, and the kindness of others and the way we interact with them can set off a chain of growth that can change the way humanity lives one small step at a time. That’s why this character and this show itself is so relevant to me. And I think it will remain that way for the foreseeable future.”
Senior Cali Hill, who plays Fantine, shares her thoughts about being a part of the same show for the third time: “When it comes to this show, [I’ve learned] to be patient. Despite the many reasons there were to just easily give up and quit, I learned how to literally just trust the process and eventually it began to work out. I’ve been a part of this show for so long to the point where I feel like I’ve kind of grown up with it as well as the people I’m surrounded by. It would have been a huge waste to give up.”
Seniors Rachel Lewis and Addy Lyons are Co Paint Crew Heads and share what it is like to work behind the scenes on such an important and creative team: “PTG paint crew is a space where everyone has the chance to feel comfortable, competent and supported. It’s an environment of enthusiastic and voluntary education where we can learn valuable artistic skills. In my four years with PTG, I’ve also gained much more self-assuredness in leadership roles and experience with large scale artistic collaboration. This program provides the very necessary and often rare opportunity for young artists, craftspeople and performers to grow their skills and build the confidence needed for any future pursuits, theatre related or otherwise.” Rachel adds: “I have had an amazing experience doing paint crew for PTG. I think that the best part of being involved is being a part of a community of talented and artistic people. It’s a really unique experience to get to spend time with people from different grades, or people I wouldn’t have necessarily been friends with, and create art together. Having the opportunity to paint on such a large scale has taught me a lot about art and theater productions and it’s definitely a unique opportunity. It’s fun to learn about different styles of painting or creating art, and to use those techniques to help bring the shows to life.”
Don’t miss Pioneer Theatre Guild’s very special production of Les Misérables!
Tickets: $10 (Students, 65+ Seniors, PHS Staff); $15 (Adults).
Reserved Seating Tickets on sale Friday, April 22nd https://www.showtix4u.com/events/ptg
Box office will open at the door one hour prior to performances.
Masks are required to be worn at all times in the audience.
Due to construction at Pioneer High School, all performances are at Skyline High School (2552 N Maple Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103) in the Skyline Auditorium.
- Friday, May 13, 7:30pm
- Saturday, May 14, 2:00pm (matinee)
- Saturday, May 14, 7:30pm
- Sunday, May 15, 2:00pm (matinee)
This activity is supported by the MICHIGAN ARTS AND CULTURE COUNCIL.
MAIN PHOTO: Director Sevon Askew works with Matthew Neal and Little Cosette, Inés Wilson.