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By Diane Scharper and Diane Scharper,Special to the Sun | June 3, 2007
The Temptation of the Impossible Victor Hugo and "Les Miserables" By Mario Vargas Llosa Princeton University Press / 232 pages / $24.95 Known to Americans primarily as the author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables, Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is considered France's greatest poet and one of its greatest prose writers. Hugo's stature, according to The Temptation of the Impossible by Mario Vargas Llosa, is due mainly to the impact of Les Miserables. Why did the novel exert such a profound influence on Hugo's literary status?
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NEWS
By Janene Holzberg, For the Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2014
Tom Sankey has had an ace up his sleeve for over a year, and he's about to play it. On Wednesday, the 40th season of Howard County Summer Theatre will commence, and the longtime director and his all-volunteer cast and crew will present the first of eight performances of "Les Miserables. " Sankey, who is also a math teacher at Mount Hebron High School, was one of the first in the country to obtain the licensing rights for a live performance of the full-length stage version of Victor Hugo's classic tale of redemption, which were granted to the summer theater troupe in February 2013.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | April 10, 1992
When "Les Miserables" came to the Mechanic Theatre two years ago, it looked and sounded better than any show ever had there. Now it's back, and although a few of the performances don't shine as brightly, the overall effect is as splendid as ever.No matter how often you see "Les Mis" -- and some fans have reportedly become addicted to it -- it's still breathtaking to behold the manner in which Victor Hugo's classic 19th century novel has been transformed into a modern musical classic.Credit for this belongs not only to French songwriters Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and co-directors John Caird and Trevor Nunn, but also to set designer John Napier, who employs a giant turntable to propel one of the most relentless and resonant chase scenes in literary history -- a chase in which the mightiness of the law pursues the righteousness of the just.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
Students at Broadneck High School assemble each year for a theater production, but this year's offering, "Les Miserables," carried a special meaning and mission. Director Emily Cory decided to use the performance as an opportunity to talk about and raise awareness of the subject of suicide, and to give students a chance to share their feelings and views on the subject. "Les Miserables" suited this intention, as one of the main characters commits suicide. Students staged performances at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park on Thursday, with proceeds benefiting the Youth Suicide Awareness Action Team, a group launched by the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families in 2008.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | April 10, 1992
When "Les Miserables" came to the Mechanic Theatre two years ago, it looked and sounded better than any show ever had there. Now it's back, and although a few of the performances don't shine as brightly, the overall effect is as splendid as ever.No matter how often you see "Les Mis" -- and some fans have reportedly become addicted to it -- it's still breathtaking to behold the manner in which Victor Hugo's classic 19th century novel has been transformed into a modern musical classic.Credit for this belongs not only to French songwriters Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and co-directors John Caird and Trevor Nunn, but also to set designer John Napier, who employs a giant turntable to propel one of the most relentless and resonant chase scenes in literary history -- a chase in which the mightiness of the law pursues the righteousness of the just.
NEWS
By Carol L. Bowers and Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer | December 2, 1990
Angie Blocher, the 8-year-old Abingdon girl who made her singing debut as "Little Cosette" in the Baltimore run of "Les Miserables" last winter, will reprise her solo in the Detroit production of the musical for one week before Christmas."
NEWS
By Lisa Respers and Lisa Respers,Contributing Writer | March 24, 1994
The drama club at Westminster High School has undertaken a serious challenge.The students will present Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" at 7:30 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday in the school auditorium. The play is a drama set in France after its Revolution."The most difficult part is the French words," said Alice Tromble, an 18-year-old senior who plays Madame Thenardier, an innkeeper's wife. "All of us are having trouble with it.""I like the play a lot because it's a little bit like the musical but it's different," she said.
NEWS
By Lisa Respers and Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF | July 28, 2000
The scene was like something out of a movie. A beautiful young girl dons her waitress uniform and is about to step out the door to go to work when a phone rings. The voice on the other end wants to make her a star. For Stephanie Waters, real life is better than any script: The 19-year-old Columbia resident has been plucked to play the coveted role of Cosette in the national touring production of "Les Miserables." The big break couldn't have been more surprising for Waters, who had been schlepping plates at the Macaroni Grill in Columbia in anticipation of starting her sophomore year at New York University.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 21, 1997
Broadway's biggest new hit, "Chicago"; last year's surprise hit, "Rent"; and a revised version of last year's surprise flop, "Big," will be part of the 1997-1998 Morris A. Mechanic Theatre subscription season.Steve Martin's off-Broadway comedy, "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," and a Broadway-bound revival of "Dreamgirls" have also been announced.The season will feature several changes. Most notably, three of the five announced shows will play engagements of only one week, instead of the two- or three-week runs in the current season.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | October 17, 1997
Paying its fourth visit to the Mechanic Theatre in seven years, "Les Miserables" continues to attract near sellout crowds, allowing it to command the Mechanic's top ticket price ever. And, thanks to the theatrical ingenuity with which it transforms Victor Hugo's epic 19th-century novel into a musical with nonstop singing and action, the show continues to give theatergoers value for the dollar.Repeat audiences will find a couple of differences in this production, which was touched up this year, when the musical celebrated its 10th year on Broadway.
NEWS
December 10, 2013
Columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. offered a great commentary on President Barack Obama's foreign policy mistakes. But he should also have mentioned the failed Libyan intrusion, which led to the as yet unexplained visit by Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens to Benghazi without appropriate security and his resulting demise without any help from the current administration ("Obama's foreign policy failures," Dec. 8). Also, CBS has reported that al-Qaida flags are now flying over some government buildings.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | August 15, 2013
The storming of a barricade is the dramatic highlight of the Broadway musical "Les Miserables. " There's likely to be a storming of the box office at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia, whose exciting production qualifies as one of its best shows in recent years. It's an ambitious musical to stage in any theater, so doing it at an in-the-round dinner theater is a bold move. Co-directors Toby Orenstein and Steven Fleming skillfully handle the complicated traffic management. There are 24 actors negotiating a compact performance space that's also occupied by the moving platforms deployed as prison cells, cafes, living quarters and, of course, the barricade erected in an early 19th-century Paris street.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2013
"Les Miserables" made history long ago. The legendary musical won eight Tony Awards in 1987 - including Best Musical and Best Original Score, with music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. It's the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history, with about 6,680 performances in six years. Now this masterpiece is making local theater history at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia, as owner and artistic director Toby Orenstein takes on her most formidable challenge.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2013
There's something about "Les Miserables" that keeps me coming back. It's not that "Les Miz," running through Sunday at the Hippodrome Theatre , is my favorite musical. Far from it. It's all too easy to point out the technical flaws in Claude-Michel Schonberg's melodies (bombastic) and Herbert Kretzmer's lyrics (unsurprising). The critics have been making these arguments for the past 27 years, and for the past 27 years, audiences have been ignoring the critics. Producer Cameron Mackintosh's much-hyped new staging incorporates brighter costumes and screen projections to simulate such effects as Paris' underground sewers.
ENTERTAINMENT
Chris Kaltenbach and The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2013
An emotional Anne Hathaway, at times struggling to hold back tears, said playing the doomed Fantine, a victim of tragic circumstances if ever there was one, has made her a better person. "I think this film made me more compassionate and more aware," she said backstage, holding her Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The success of the movie, and especially her success in it, has overwhelmed her, she said. "I had a dream," she said, unsuccessfully holding back tears. "and that came true.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 24, 2011
It's time to kindle our Christmas spirits by catching a performance of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" — a classic that first appeared in 1843 and is now a perennial theater favorite each holiday season. Pasadena Theatre Company is renewing its own holiday tradition of presenting "A Christmas Carol" for a total of six performances at Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park. Set in Victorian London, "A Christmas Carol" tells the story of stingy merchant Scrooge, who chases carolers away in the play's opening scene and in another Christmas Eve scene counts the number of coals his beleaguered clerk, Bob Cratchit, burns to take the bitter chill from his office.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 1996
The plight of the characters in Victor Hugo's French classic "Les Miserables" resonates for nearly every country and generation. That may be why Claude Lelouch's film of the same name seems such a natural fit, even though it tells the tale of a man (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who befriends a family fleeing Nazi persecution.Sunday, the film will have its premiere in Baltimore, with a wine reception sponsored by the American Jewish Congress' Maryland Chapter. The guest of honor for this benefit showing will be Tristan A.J.C.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck | April 16, 1991
The two most recent Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers" and August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson," have been announced as part of the 1991-1992 season at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre.The plays join the previously announced world premiere of "Nick & Nora," the $6 million musical adaptation of "The Thin Man," which will open the Mechanic season. The lineup will also include Aaron Sorkin's court-martial drama "A Few Good Men," which recently closed after two years on Broadway.
EXPLORE
July 21, 2011
The Laurel Mill Playhouse presents "Les Miserables" School Edition as its 2011 Summer Youth Production. Young West Laurel thespians Michael Baeder, Tim Baeder, Jeanette Brown and Jocelyn Knazik shine in this well-known musical. The show runs from July 29 through Aug. 21. For information, go to http://www.LaurelMillPlayhouse.org and for reservations, call 301-617-9906 and press 2. This is the last year Caitlin Raynor can compete as a West Laurel Swim Team Wahoo because she has turned 18. Raynor, a former Laurel High School Spartan star swimmer, just finished her first year at Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, S.C. Raynor has developed as a swimmer since she was a wee little Wahoo, and progressively placed in - and won - races for her team while leading with spirit, energy and skill.
NEWS
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2011
With protesters from Wisconsin to Libya raising heated voices and issues, it seems like a particularly apt time for the hit musical "Les Miserables" to be back on the scene. The revolutionary fervor that sparks so much of the plot seems more powerful — and certainly louder — than ever in the new and handsome 25th-anniversary production of the show at the Hippodrome Theatre through Sunday. Based on the Victor Hugo novel, this ambitious pop opera by Claude-Michel Schoenberg and Alain Boublil has maintained a remarkable grip on the public.
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