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Do you hear the people sing?

By Staff | Mar 28, 2014

The cast of Les Misérables os preparing for next week’s performances, which will be held at the Iowa Lakes Community College gymnasium in Estherville. Photo by Michael Tidemann

Local talent is getting excited for the performance of the musical Les Misrables 7:30 p.m. April 3-5 at the Iowa Lakes Community College gymnasium.

Serena Lynch of Estherville plays Eponine, in love with Marius played by Tayler Smith. But Marius’ love is for Cosette (Courtney Cook, Ruthven). Marius tries to convince Eponine to help him find Cosette.

Courtney Cook of Ruthven plays the grown Cosette. A counselor at Graettinger-Terril, Cook said she enjoyed working with college students and different age groups.

The leaders of France, the fathers and grandfathers of the young revolutionaries, find the young people revolting against him. Marius finds himself torn between his love or the cause.

Jon Martin of Lake Park plays Jean Valjean, the main character.

“It’s a good part,” said Martin, who has already done a number of plays and musicals.

“It’s just bigger,” said Martin. “The music’s a little more complicated. You have to learn pitch, and songs and rhythm.”

The cast of 60 includes both college and community members.

Written by the musical team of Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, the story follows convict Jean Valjean (Jon Martin, Lake Park) who is on the run after breaking his parole. Hunted relentlessly by the policeman, Javert (Doug Stueven, Spirit Lake), he must leave his past behind but finds he is an outcast. Only the Bishop (Steve Steele, Spencer) treats him kindly and encourages him to start a new life.

Years later, Jean Valjean is a factory owner and mayor of the town. One of his workers, Fantine (Anne Sexe, Estherville) has a secret child, Cosette, (Kyla Hansen, Estherville) who lives at an inn operated by the comical Monsieur and Madame Thenardier (Dr. Rick Erbes and Trish Morfitt, both of Estherville) and their daughter, Eponine (Isabel Nichols, Estherville). When the other factory women (Barb Nissen and Michelle Lyster, Estherville; Maxine Butler, Spirit Lake; Annie Blom, Alaina Helmstetter, Rachel Hesebeck, Elisabeth Niebuhr and Gabby Kerr, Iowa Lakes students) discover this, they demand the foreman (David Swanson, Spirit Lake) fire her.

Desperate for money to pay for the care of her daughter, Fantine joins the “Lovely Ladies” (Diane Benjamin, Superior; Micki Bradburn, Maddy Burns, Mari Burns, Amy Condon, Darci Farnum, Taylor Greig, Sarah Morphew, Madison Rimmer, Scarlett Rose and Paige Stolicker from Estherville; Cierra Friedl and Maggie Ostrum, Iowa Lakes students) selling themselves on the street. Their employer (Alex Waltz, Iowa Lakes student), and potential client the evil Bamatabois, (Rich Keilholtz, Estherville) have a run-in with Fantine and she is rescued by Jean Valjean, who takes her to the hospital and promises to raise her child as his own.

Nine years later, a revolution led by Enjolras (Nick Steinle, Spirit Lake) and his fellow students (Martin Christensen, Roman Fahnlander, Shawn Harmon, Daniel Moore, Elias Niebuhr, Connor Obermeier, Kolton Ray and Jonathan Hansen, all Iowa Lakes students; James Harmon, Lake Park; Ethan Marth and Tristan Waterman of Estherville) build a barricade and attempt to fight for freedom. Another student revolutionary, Marius (Tayler Smith, Iowa Lakes) has fallen in love with the grown Cosette (Courtney Cook, Ruthven) and his friends, the grown Eponine (Serena Lynch, Estherville) and young Gavroche (Adrian Martin, Lake Park) help him in battle.

But with the revolution in the air and policeman Javert closing in, Jean Valjean has no choice but to fight for his life and sacrifice everything to protect the people he loves.

Other townspeople in the cast include Savannah Dare, Tori Hampson, Madeline Keilholtz, Reagan Keilholtz, Ruth Marth, Lance Reed, all of Estherville; and Anna Fuelberth, Spirit Lake.

Accompanying the musical is a complete pit orchestra comprised of Iowa Lakes Community College students and community members.

Les Misrables is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).