Local production of 'Les Miserables' opens

Reported by: James Eppler
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Updated: 11/21/2013 11:14 am

Sometimes the stars line up just right. A Lubbock production of "Les Miserables" is being produced in the perfect window of time between the end of the national tour and the revival on Broadway next year. And considering the talent involved with this show, it can probably rival the others.

Broadway veteran David Gaschen is a Lubbock native and Texas Tech graduate who played the title role in "Phantom of the Opera" for years. Now he has come home to star as Jean Valjean, the prisoner and thief who finds redemption.

 "Ive been singing about six months every day trying to learn it," Gaschen said. "It's a great role, it's a wonderful role about grace, forgiveness and how a man turns his life around once he's forgiven."

And he has been impressed with the cast.

"It's great," he said. "There's something in the water here. Everyone can sing so well and act so well. I'm just glad to be a part of it."
Moonlight Musicals General Director Gerald Dolter uses his beautifully booming voice as Inspector Javert, and he recruited Rebecca Saathoff Davis to come home from New York to play Cosette. She last starred in the Moonlight production of "The Sound of Music." And she's made a connection with the new role.

"I think that's what makes "Les Mis" so great," Davis said. "There are so many individual characters with interesting stories to tell about love, loss, triumph. It's just a wonderful and powerful story."

In fact, Gaschen and Davis just got into town last week, so director Bill Gelber has been building this production for many weeks without them, using talented understudies. And he doesn't let other versions of the musical, including the movie, influence him.

"I would rather not have other people's ideas," he said, "because I don't have that cast or those resources. I'd rather go in with the people I have, see what we come up with, and try to tell the story as clearly as I can."

It takes many moving parts to do that. In the pit, there's music from members of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Hollins. Backstage, costume designers and make-up artists work to fine-tune every detail.

It's all so this dream they dreamed can become a reality.

Show Info:
"Les Miserables"
7:30p.m. Thursday-Saturday
2p.m. Sunday
Civic Center Theater
Click here for tickets

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