‘Les Miserables’ Opens This Weekend

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Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

Theater director Lissa Jensen says the local production of Les Miserables, which is debuting this weekend, will be her last major production for awhile. Jensen says she needs to take a break. It’s easy to understand why when she talks about how many people it takes to put on a show like Les Mis.

(Les Mis 1 :17 "Depends on the show… than there are on stage.")

Jensen says there are more than a hundred people who have worked on this show, with just fewer than 50 of them onstage.

Pam Foreman works as the lighting director. She says that despite Kodiak being a small town, Les Mis is not a small production.

(Les Mis 2 :24 "From a perspective of props… costume changes that are going on.")

The production has been adapted and edited to appeal to a wider audience. It’s been cut down to two hours and some of the more risqué scenes have been left out, as the production is collaboration between the Kodiak theater community and high school students. Jensen says the connection that some of the community actors and the students make is interesting.

(Les Mis 3 :30 "It’s a wonderful thing… allowing us to do a lot of different things.")

The main theme in the play is redemption. Wes Hanna plays the lead of Jean Valjean (zhjon-val-zhjon) who after nearly 20 years in prison gets a second chance at life. Hanna feels a connection to his character because just over a year ago he had been very ill and near death. Hanna was given his second chance when his sister donated a kidney to him. He says he cherishes being able to perform.

(Les Mis 4 :21 "When you’re on dialysis… was kind of special for me.")

The play opens this Saturday at the Gerald C. Wilson auditorium.

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