Playhouse Merced is opening its 20th season with a lavish production of “Les Misérables,” which opens Friday.
“Les Misérables” is based on Victor Hugo's classic novel about ex-convict Jean Valjean and his attempts to start a new life as he is relentlessly pursued by policeman Javert in early 19th century France.
Playhouse Merced’s production is directed by Rob Hypes and musically directed by Joel Scott Shade. Jean Valjean is played by Jim Kocher and Javert is played by Brad Reed.
“We have been wanting to bring ‘Les Misérables’ to the Playhouse Merced stage for years,” Hypes said. “We are so excited to be able to present this show to Merced and the Central Valley.”
The production features a cast of over 40 actors, singers and dancers from all over the region, including Turlock’s Anna Maich, who is making her debut with Playhouse Merced as a member of the ensemble.
Maich has been performing in musicals and operas for the last eight years and jumped at the chance to perform in “Les Misérables.”
“My first musical was ‘Les Misérables’, so this has been a nostalgic time for me,” Maich said. “When I found out Playhouse was staging it, I knew I had to do it. I knew from the first or second rehearsal that it was going to be an incredible show.”
Maich moved to Turlock four years ago from Redding. She is currently studying vocal performance and music education at Modesto Junior College.
“Les Misérables” debuted on London’s West End in 1985, and then on Broadway in 1987, where it became a smash hit. Winning a host of Tony Awards including Best Musical, it continued to run until 2003, becoming one of the longest running musicals of all time. “Les Misérables” features the songs "I Dreamed a Dream," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "One Day More," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "A Little Fall of Rain," "Master of the House," and "On My Own."
The show opens Friday and will have a three-week run through Sept. 15. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. for Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. for Sunday shows.
Tickets are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors; $12 for students; and $10 for children. The show is meant for those 13 years and older. Tickets can be purchased by calling 725-8587 or visiting the box office at 452 West Main in downtown Merced from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.