UALR student shines in Rep’s production of ‘Les Miserables’
Senior vocal performance major Micheal Lowe shined brightly during his performance in the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s most recent production of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables.”
The play ran from March 5 to April 6, and I saw the March 14 show. Smite me not, but I have yet to see the 2012 film starring Hugh Jackman. That said, I possess no less appreciation for the Rep’s production of the play than would someone more familiar with the film, and I found the show to be sensational. It was visually stunning, tear-jerking and all too real. The two songs in which I forced myself to choke back sobs were “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.”
Douglas Webster played an intimidating Jean Valjean, torn apart by the ghosts of his past and his demons inside. Years pass as he attempts to reconcile his bad deeds after skipping parole, but he is endlessly pursued by the dogged policeman Javert (Christopher Carl). Javert is oft considered the play’s “antagonist,” but his final actions in the play reveal he only sought to upholding the law.
Our university’s very own Micheal Lowe, senior vocal performance major, did not miss a beat in his performance as a member of the Ensemble. For much of the play, he maintained his role as a revolutionary who is gung-ho about overturning the bourgeoisie. When his friends sat around the inn and drank and sang, Lowe joined the camaraderie and mirth. When the revolutionaries rejoiced over their small victory, Lowe was right there to rejoice too. With a resonant voice and towering stature, Lowe was a powerful character who drove home the mission of the revolutionaries.
In what has come to be my expectation of a Rep production, “Les Mis” was a no-holds-barred visual spectacle with beautiful songs and heartbreaking performances. The colors were vivid, the characters were vivacious and the choreography was vivace to boot.