I have to admit I don’t know too much about the Oxford Youth Singers, but having spent a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon watching their performance of my favorite production, “Les Miserables,” I am now a fan.
I almost didn’t make the performance. After all, I have seen Broadway performances of the play and I thought this performance would be a waste of my time.
How wrong that decision would have been.
These kids performed their hearts out, and you could feel the passion.
I know it’s not manly to say this, but watching “Les Miserables,” brings tears of joy and patriotism to my eyes. The music is guaranteed to touch every spot of the heart and in many different ways.
I don’t believe the lead parts could have been played better, even by professional actors.
Christian Speller’s Jean Valjean was very believable; he displayed the depth of this man’s character very well.
Spenser Kelly’s interpretation of Inspector Javert, a non-sympathetic character, was right on.
Mary Lathem as Fantine was remarkable.
Juliette Lester played a convincing Cosette, while Madison Giddens played a very sympathetic Eponine.
Sam Potts played Marius with just the right amount of passion.
As good as these young folks played their parts and sang their hearts out, the real scene-stealers were Timothy Tukes and Hayley Williams, who played Thenardier and Madame Thenardier. Their vocals were clear and their performances brought a bit of humor to this otherwise serious play. Actually, for the first time, because of their performances, I fully understood the words that were being sung.
This made their characters even more enjoyable to watch.
When “Les Miserables” first appeared on stage 50 years ago, I refused to go, because all they ever showed in the promotions was the waving Red Flag of the Revolution.
This was during the Vietnam era, and I thought this was just another play that was done to demonize our soldiers.
How wrong I was then and how wrong I was in almost not catching this great performance by the Oxford Youth Singers this past Sunday Bravo to all involved.
Pat Cavanaugh is the general manager for The Covington News. He can be reached at email@example.com.