Les Misérables to hit Duluth; largest art collaboration in history

By KBJR News 1

June 12, 2014 Updated Jun 12, 2014 at 10:34 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Les Misérables is the longest running and arguably one of the most popular musicals in the world.

Preparation to bring the production to the Northland is underway, marking one of Duluth's largest arts collaboration in history.

Les Misérables cast and crew has been rehearsing each night for the past three weeks to turn a 1200 page novel into a 2 1/2 hour production.

“There are so many set changes, maybe 30 set changes, 30 locations, Dorothy Danner, Stage Director said. “[We are working to] fit that when we aren't working in the actual space of the theater."

A big challenge for the crew will be the transition from the smaller UMD Theater to the stage at the DECC.

But two brothers from out of state, playing two leading characters aren't concerned.
They're focused on mastering their roles.

"Associating certain words with certain objects usually helps me a lot when I'm kind of memorizing things,” Pascal Pastrana, playing Enjorlas said. “And just writing it down too."

Across town at the Duluth Playhouse, garments are being distressed and transformed to fit 19th century France, when revolution was in the air.

"I get some of the charcoal from the bottom of the grill, and rub them all over, just destruct them as much as I can and try and get a lot of stuff in there so it's not just ripped fabric and one color," Tedy Barbar, a Costume Volunteer said.

Racks upon racks of costumes have already been created.

“This will be worn by “begger” type character," Jean Olson, Costumer Design Director said.

Another group is busy sewing and piecing together other fabrics, creating wear and tear consistent with the characters.

"I've been working on this on and off for three days," Lisa Horton, a Costume Volunteer said.

Les Misérables will mark the first time The Playhouse, The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Ballet will share the stage for the first time.

Tickets are now available.

The musical will be performed at the DECC, July 16-19 at 7:30 p.m.