Monday, August 12, 2013
HUGE LOCAL CAST IN MUSICAL
Bottle Tree Productions’ presents a new production of Boublil and Schonberg’s Les Miserables at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets in down town Kingston on Saturday, September 28th, 2013. Over one hundred local performers involved in the show.
Les Miserables is licensed by Music Theatre International (MTI) by arrangement with CAMERON MACKINTOSH LTD
This is the first time the full amateur rights have been available in Kingston. The high school version came out several years ago.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased on line at www.bottletreeinc.com or on Facebook or through Event Brite or through the Grand Theatre Box Office at 613-530-2050 or in person at The Grand Theatre at 218 Princess Street or online at www.kingstongrand.ca.
The musical was originally conceived and produced in France, before its English-language adaptation, where the production overcame bad reviews through word of mouth, launching what has turned out to be a world-wide success story.
The recent movie starred Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman winning three coveted Oscars including best-supporting actress for Hathaway.
When asked what was unique about this particular production, director Anne Marie Mortensen (Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver) said
‘This is a very large cast production. Many people auditioned because they love the musical and this is the first time the full rights have been available in Kingston. And this show is all about the music. We have over 100 people in the cast, from children to seniors, and they are all singers. The entire show is sung, and with this many voices, we can expect a lush sound that will do the music justice. It will be staged lightly because of the number of performers and the beauty of the venue at St. Andrew's -- we don't want to diminish the quality of the space or the vocal talent of the cast with too much visual clutter. There will be enough there to tell the story.
Mortensen went on to say that
‘The music is beautiful, and tells a powerful story about overcoming hardship, standing up against oppression -- it is during the French Revolution, so there is a lot of conflict. Our leads are highly talented performers who do the show justice and the chorus are all experienced singers, so it is worth the price of admission to hear 100 people singing the show. It also supports two good causes, St. Andrew's renovation fund, and Bottle Tree Productions' holiday musical, The Sound of Music.’
When asked to mention who stood out in the auditions she said
'I would love to be able to mention all of them - but clearly that would take too long. So I will talk a bit about some of the leads: Danny Young plays Jean Val Jean, and he is a 'tenor's tenor'. Danny is a member of the Armed Forces, and just returned from Italy, where he was sent specifically to sing for enlisted men and dignitaries. He was offered a place in the Canadian Opera Company, but decided to stay in the military.
We are also fortunate to have Shawn Barber, who plays Javert, and has a voice that sends chills up my spine. I saw Shawn in performance at Broadway After Dark at the Time to Laugh Comedy Club and was blown away by his performance.
Jack Francis and Amie Bello play the comic roles of Mr and Mrs Thenardier. Jack is a member of The Kings Town Tenors (along with Danny) and has been on stage in many performances for the Meistersingers over the years. Amie is a wonderful actor, and has a rich voice - she played the role of Mama Rose in last year's 'Gypsy' and was outstanding. Her character work will be a huge hit with the audience in this show.
Also gracing our stage from the cast of Gypsy is Sue Del-Mei, who is a vocal powerhouse and highly talented actor. She played Baby June in Gypsy and has a long list of credits. Sue has done a lot of theatre, musical theatre and dance in Kingston and we are happy to have her on board as Eponine.
Amanda Edwards-Brown plays grown-up Cosette and she has a lovely voice and huge range. Amanda is a graduate of U of T and has a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. She appeared as Helena in our recent production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and was also on stage in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.
Hannah Smith plays Fantine -- Hannah has an extensive body of work in theatre and musical theatre, and pdirected and starred in A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has a beautiful rich alto voice and certainly knows how to sell a song.
Lukas Duchaine is another fabulous young man. He plays the role of Marius and he is another man whose voice is electric. Lukas is a dynamic performer, who people would recognise from musicals at Queens, and as Motel from last year's "Fiddler on the Roof".
Casting was quite difficult because of the number of high quality performers who auditioned. So I am really happy that we have an exceptionally talented ensemble backing up our leads and supporting actors. I feel like we have won the talent lottery.’
For more information contact Anne Marie Mortensen or Charles Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-384-8433. More information about this show, other shows or classes can be found at www.bottletreeinc.com. BottleTree Productions has a facebook page with up to date news from the company.