The longest running musical in history will open in Palm Beach County next week when the Maltz Jupiter Theater launches a 4-week run of “Les Miserables” from March 10 – April 5.
The pitiful title “Les Misérables,” from the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, is loosely translated “The Wretched.” It belies the reality of this musical about which “Carbonell Award winner director and choreographer Mark Martino said, “This epic musical has a wonderful story, unforgettable characters and a soaring score that compels us to feel in our bones the fervor of rebellion, the sweetness of love, the sorrow of loss and the final joy and peace of salvation.””
The musical is set against the backdrop of a France still roiling from the effects of the French Revolution, where escaped convict Jean Valjean (Gregg Goodbrod) spends decades on the run from relentless policeman Javert (Aloysius Gigl).
The cast of 26 local and national actors is supported by a 13-piece orchestra under the direction of Eric Alsford
On the music front, audiences will recognize favorites: I Dreamed a Dream;” “One Day More;” and “On My Own.”
The show opened in London in 1985 and since then has been translated into 21 languages; seen by more than 70 million people in over 42 countries. It has garnered over 76 awards globally including eight Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards.
I had the opportunity to speak to the two leads Gigl and Goodbrod who are both excited to participate in their roles at the Maltz. Each has been cast in different roles in the musical but neither of them has seen the play since shortly after it opened on Broadway in the late ‘80s so they will be defining the roles anew under Martino’s direction.
“Mark is in tune with his actors,” Gigl said. “He lets us search for the way we can best portray our roles.”
“That’s important with this production,” Goodbro saidd. “”Les Mis” is not a spectacle. It’s very much story driven and character driven.”
Both expressed excitement about working together and working at the Maltz. The men have known each other socially and professionally in New York but have never been cast together before.
As to the Maltz, Goodbrod said, “Regional theater lets you create your characters from the bottom up. In New York it’s more of a commodity situation. South Florida is lucky to have the Maltz. It’s a viable escape from the isolation of all the social media.”
Information and tickets are available at JupiterTheatre.org or by calling the box office at 561-575-2223.