As hard as it may be to imagine a Les Misérables without song, those ceaselessly imaginative artisans at Theatre Smith-Gilmour once again prove to be scenic revolutionaries by taking a run at Victor Hugo’s beloved classic.
In doing so, the company bypasses all the barricades of getting snagged by an intricate plot that requires impressive endurance due to its sheer length.
How hopeless the road is for Jean Valjean (Dean Gilmour) fresh out of prison after 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread and several failed escapes. And he has bigger problems than just breaking parole, Inspector Javert (Mac Fyfe) is hot on his trail and it seems impossible to avoid life behind bars if he’s apprehended.
But as a kindness loyalist, he comes to the aid of Fantine (Nina Gilmour), a single mother turned prostitute who longs to see her daughter again but expires before they can be re-united.
This doesn’t put a stop to Jean Valjean’s mission, however. A visit to her caregivers provides him the financial opportunity to secure rightful custody of Cossette (Nina Gilmour) and back to Paris they go for a life less ordinary.
If you walk away from Les Misérables thinking this is was always the story the company was destined to stage, you won’t be alone. By substituting big musical numbers with visually playful scenes and fantastic physicality, the end result is an aesthetically pleasing production that most certainly headed for a Dora Award nomination ballot.
Not every ‘thief, liar and conman’ can work their way into your heart like Dean Gilmour’s relentless colourful characterization of the unstoppable Jean Valjean is able to do in this utterly spectacular presentation.
Join the theatre insurgency while you can. Missing out would be an act of misfortune that no one should have to live with.
LES MISERABLES novel by Victor Hugo adapted by Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour March 16-April 1, 2018 THE THEATRE CENTRE, 1115 Queen Street West, Toronto TICKETS $20.00 – $40.00 www.theatrecentre.org 416-538-0988 CAST Mac Fyfe, Dean Gilmour, Nina Gilmour, Benjamin Muir, Daniel Roberts, Diana Tso DIRECTOR Michele Smith SET & COSTUMES Victoria Wallace LIGHTING Simon Rossiter PROJECTION DESIGN Elissa Gilmour SOUND DESIGNER Johnny Hockin STAGE MANAGER Barry W. Cook