Aurora Theatre’s Brand Signature Series Begins with the Broadway Classic Les Misérables

Les Misérables at Aurora Theatre

Bryant Smith and Natasha Drena. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

Beginning its 18th season, Aurora Theatre opens the Brand Signature Series with the epic Broadway classic Les Misérables running July 25 to September 8, 2013. Now an Academy Award-winning motion picture, Les Misérables has delighted over 65 million people in 42 countries and received both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical when it debuted in America in 1987.

For the first time in its 28-year history, the creators made the rights available for regional productions. Aurora Theatre will be the first local professional theatre company to produce this worldwide sensation. Based on the timeless Victor Hugo novel, Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a newly released prisoner, who is hunted relentlessly by police inspector Javert for breaking parole. Valjean leaves his past behind and makes a vow to raise the young, orphaned Cosette. But with revolution in the air, Valjean has no choice but to sacrifice everything to protect those he loves. Experience this epic musical like never before, in the intimacy of Aurora Theatre where audiences will feel like they are part of the revolution. The unforgettable score includes: “Bring Him Home”, “Stars”, “Master of the House”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own” and “One Day More”, to name a few.

About the Aurora Theatre Production

Les Misérables is the largest, most ambitious production in Aurora Theatre history. The multi-talented diverse cast along with the scope of the production values is awe inspiring. Playing the rugged protagonist Jean Valjean is Suzi Award-winner Bryant Smith who returns to Aurora Theatre after delighting audiences in Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale. In his Aurora debut, the commanding Kevin Harry takes on the role of determined inspector Javert. In a role that won Anne Hathaway an Oscar, Fantine will be played by Natasha Drena, who took home a Suzi Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Annie Get Your Gun at Aurora Theatre. The fiendishly hilarious Monsieur and Madame Thernardier will be played by Aurora’s “Master of the House” Anthony P. Rodriguez and Marcie Millard who are reunited again after Camelot, the inaugural production in Aurora’s magnificent new theatre in 2007. They will be joined by top musical theatre talent like: Michael Stiggers as Marius, Lowrey Brown as Enjolras, Kelly Chapin Schmidt as Cosette and Leslie Bellair as Eponine. The cast also includes six talented youngsters who will alternate playing the three children’s roles in Les Misérables, many of whom have studied at Aurora Theatre Academy. Atlanta’s busiest director Justin Anderson heads the talented creative team of Phil Male (set) Alan Yeong (costumes) Mike Post (lights) Scott Sargent (props) and Daniel Terry (sound) Aurora’s Assistant Technical Director. Accompanying Anderson on the stellar creative team are Aurora Theatre Associate Producer and Resident Music Director Ann-Carol Pence and choreographer Sarah Turner Sechelski.

Producer Quote

Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez talks about Les Misérables, “I have waited 30 years to do this show. My father bought me the cast recording, on vinyl no less, not knowing how this music would shape the person I have become. This season, Aurora is starting an ARTS Revolution, a yearlong campaign that uses art as a catalyst to make our world a better place. I can’t think of a better way to inspire an audience into an ARTS Revolution than with Les Misérables. Like the song says, ‘Who will join in our crusade, who will be strong and stand with me?’ I am lucky enough to live in a community where there is the resounding sound of a lot of individuals saying, ‘I WILL.’”

About Aurora Theatre

Now in their 18th Season and with over 300 events annually, Aurora Theatre produces the widest variety of live entertainment. Aurora Theatre’s Brand Signature Series is comprised of Broadway’s best plays and musicals alongside exciting works of contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, club comedy events, children’s programs, metro Atlanta’s top haunted attraction, Lawrenceville Ghost Tours as well as Atlanta’s only professional Spanish language theatre, Teatro Del Sol. Aurora Theatre Academy offers arts education for all ages and recently awarded $15,000 in scholarships for students to attend summer camp. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performance venues. It is nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, with free attached covered parking and is surrounded by restaurants and shops.

Aurora Theatre has garnered numerous accolades highlighted by recent achievements that include the 2009 Pinnacle Award from the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Creative Loafing’s 2010 Best Theatre Company and GA Trend Magazines 2011 Best Places to Work in Georgia. In 2012, Gwinnett’s only professional theatre was awarded a best-ever total of seven Suzi Bass Awards, Atlanta’s equivalent of the Tony Awards and won an Atlanta Business Chronicle Best Places to Work Award.

Programming in Aurora Theatre’s 18th Season Brand Signature Series is possible through generous support from BrandBank and BrandMortgage. Les Misérables is sponsored by Peach State Federal Credit Union with additional support from Garrard and Coles Barton LLP.

Les Misérables
A Musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Based on a Novel by Victor Hugo
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Original French Text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel
Additional Material by James Fenton
Adapted and Originally Directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird
Orchestration by John Cameron

Cast & Crew
Bryant Smith                                           Jean Valjean
Kevin Harry                                            Javert
Michael Stiggers                                       Marius Pontmercy
Lowrey Brown                                           Enjolras
Natasha Drena                                          Fantine
Kelly Chapin Schmidt                                   Cosette
Leslie Bellair                                         Eponine Thernardier
Anthony P. Rodriguez                                   Monsieur Thernardier
Marcie Millard                                         Madame Thernardier
Shane Desmond-Williams                            Bishop of Digne
Chris Lewis                                            Ensemble
Jono Davis                                             Ensemble
Al Stilo                                               Ensemble
Dan Ford                                               Ensemble
Alex West                                              Ensemble
Benjamin Davis                                         Ensemble
Edward McCreary                                        Ensemble
Evan Mclean                                            Ensemble
Stuart Schleuse                                        Ensemble
Jessica DeMaria                                        Ensemble
Margaret Ivey                                          Ensemble
Ally Duncan                                            Ensemble
Shelli Delgado                                         Ensemble
Traci Weisberg                                         Ensemble
Akia Sembly                                            Ensemble
DJ Forbes                                              Young Gavroche – A
Hoke Faser                                             Young Gavroche – B
Christa Beth Campbell                                  Young Cosette – A
Mabel Tyler                                            Young Cosette – B
Stella Smith                                           Young Eponine- A
Alma Kent                                              Young Eponine- B

Anthony P. Rodriguez                                   Producer
Justin Anderson                                        Director
Ann-Carol Pence                                        Music Director
Sarah Turner Sechelski                                 Choreographer
Katie Pelkey                                           Resident Stage Manager
Phil Male                                              Set Designer
Daniel Terry                                           Sound Designer
Mike Post                                              Lighting Designer
Alan Yeong                                             Costume Designer
Scott Sargent                                          Props Design
Monty Schuth                                           Wig Design
Britt Hultgren Ramroop                                 Production Manager
James M. Helms                                         Technical Director
Sarah Thomson                                          Scenic Artist
Katie Chambers                                         Assistant Stage Manager
Catherine C. Councell                                  Directing Assistant

Les Misérables
July 25–September 8, 2013
Wednesday to Saturday at 8 p.m.*
Saturday & Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets $30–$40

Wednesday Discount Matinees
August 14, 21 & 28 at 10 a.m.
Tickets $20

*No Wednesday evening performances on August 14, 21 & 28


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