In a tribute to the excellence of Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre and its choice of "Les Misérables" to kick off 2015, tickets for the popular musical are selling so fast that a Thursday night performance has been added, on Jan. 22.
"Les Misérables," based on the classic by French novelist Victor Hugo, is the world's longest-running musical and has been seen by more than 65 million people in 42 countries.
"This epic tale of passion and sacrifice will be a phenomenal way to share live theater with the family in the new year," noted a press release from Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre.
It will be at the Bankhead Theater from Jan. 17-31, produced by Kathleen Breedveld, directed by Kendall Tieck, with musical direction by Mark Aubel, choreography by Christopher Olson, and vocal direction by Sierra Dee.
Set in early 19th-century France, "Les Mis" is the story of Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption after serving 19 years in jail, five for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister's starving family and the rest for trying to escape. When he gets out on parole, a kindly bishop inspires him with an act of mercy, and Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew.
But a police inspector named Javert relentlessly pursues Valjean so, although he becomes successful, he must keep moving on to avoid arrest. Along the way, he promises a dying woman he fails to protect in the factory he owns that he will care for her young daughter, Cosette.
As the story continues, Valjean and a cast of compelling characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists makes its last stand at a street barricade. And all of this action is accompanied in this "sung-through musical" by sometimes haunting and often lively melodious numbers, many memorable pieces now heard in other venues.
The cast includes Mischa Stephens playing Jean Valjean; Matthew Liebowitz, Javert; Robert Sholty, the bishop; Kristen Vellinger, Cosette; Katherine DelaCruz, Eponine; DC Scarpelli, Thenardier; Jennifer Stark, Madame Thenardier; Morgan Breedveld, Fantine; and Nikita Burshteyn, Marius, as well as Greg Zema, Ron Houk, Peter Budinger, Sam Leeper, Lucas deAyora, Dominic Dagdagan, Mike Freeman, Scott DiLorenzo, JD Cerruti, Emily Joy Kessel, Juliana Morrow, Matt Busbee, Steve Kirch, Charlie Gay and Kurt Hornbacker.
Ensemble members are Pam Ballin, Annika Bergman, Rebecca Davis, Max DeSantis, Kaylyn Dowd, Aimee Hennessy, Leslie Lawrence, Alexandria Lish, Dennis Logsdon, Carrie Menefee, Anne Milbourne, Abby Peterson, Aimee Roylance, Lisa Saaz, Taylor Sundstrom, Carly Tilson-Lumetta and Susan Tonkin.
Regular tickets are $39; call 373-6800, go to www.trivalleyrep.org, or visit the Bankhead Theater box office at 2400 First St. in Livermore.