Keeping Les Miz Cool

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The most thrilling non-musical moment in the stage version of Les Misérables is a trick of the set. As the young revolutionaries prepare their uprising against poverty and injustice, the buildings of Paris collapse before our eyes to become the rebels’ barricade. This spectacle is so cool that, so I’m told, the producers of the show’s long-running international productions wanted to keep it for themselves when they released the amateur performance rights last year. So they put a clause in the contract explicitly prohibiting others from duplicating that effect.

Which, of course, only inspires a community theater to come up with a replacement that’s just as cool. And that’s what Ludlow’s Exit 7 Players are cooking up for their staging of the megamusical. While the details are secret, director Jeffrey Flood promises that designer Bill Stroud’s climactic reveal will deliver a satisfyingly “wow” moment. Flood adds that in the ordeals and redemption of ex-convict Jean Valjean, he finds “themes of human suffering and the triumph of the human spirit that are as relevant today as when Victor Hugo published his novel in 1862.”

Sept. 27-Oct. 13, 37 Chestnut St., Ludlow, (413) 583-4301,

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