'Les Miserables' Opens In Plant City For 9-Show Summer Run

The long-awaited staging of "Les Miserables" on a local community theater stage is now a reality, with 2013 show dates in July and August.

Mallory Quinn and Alex Dyles, as Eponine and Marius, in the 2013 Plant City Entertainment production of "Les Miserables." Photo credit: Linda Chion Kenney
Mallory Quinn and Alex Dyles, as Eponine and Marius, in the 2013 Plant City Entertainment production of "Les Miserables." Photo credit: Linda Chion Kenney
Enthusiasm is high for the summer 2013 production of "Les Miserables," brought locally for the first time to the community theater stage by Plant City Entertainment, under the direction of veteran director and Brandon High School graduate Domin Pazo.

"This has been my biggest challenge so far," Pazo said July 18, in a break from the final night of dress rehearsals at the Plant City Entertainment Theater at 101 North Thomas St. "It's three hours, it's opera and we have live musical accompaniment. The timing has to be perfect."

Pazo said it is not lost on him the draw of Les Miserables, both among his actors and audience members, who have waited a long time for the world's longest-running musical, seen by more than 65 million people in 42 countries, the winner of more than 100 international awards, to make it to the local stage.

"I put pressure on myself [as a director], but especially so for this, one of the most popular shows in the world," Pazo said. "People coming to see it expect certain things."

They come to see, he added, "the power and the passion of Les Mis."

But that passion is not reserved for theatergoers alone. Among cast members the passion is more than apparent, as evident in responses to a Facebook request for their thoughts on being in the show.

"I have always been drawn to the eccentric, over- the-top character roles and playing Madame Thenardier [is] a dream come true," said Lisa Sanches-Westcott. "It has been a privilege and honor to act alongside so many incredibly talented people. The fact that we all have day jobs and do this on a strictly volunteer basis is testament to our passion for the stage. I'm thrilled to make my friend, Domin Pazo's dream of directing Les Mis come to pass."

Kristen Sorensen Holloway has parts in the chorus — as a townsperson, a drunk and an innkeeper's wife — and in the orchestra pit, where she plays the flute and keyboard.

"This is one of my absolute favorite shows, having seen it both on Broadway and on tour five times," she said. "I saw it in Chicago, with my best friend, who I still am close with, on the first national tour, when I was 12, and fell in love with it. Ironically, of the five times I've seen the show, three of them have been with [my best friend]."

Her friend won't have the opportunity to see Holloway in the show, but Holloway's 10-year-old daughter will, with a part on stage herself.

"I'm excited I get to share [this experience] with her," Holloway said.

"It's a challenging show to stage and especially to do with a live 'pit' [but]  nothing is cooler than being in a show with live music," she added. Intricacies aside, "there are moments that just put goosebumps down your arms."

In the role of the elder Eponine is Mallory Quinn, who is charged with singing the iconic song, "On My Own."

"I enjoy the theme of the show, of the beauty of loving another person, and what I find so tragic about Eponine's character is that the love is not returned," Quinn said. "I hope to bring that sadness to my performance."

Like Holloway, Quinn's first experience with Les Miserables was as a youngster.

"I first saw Les Mis when I was six," she said. "I used to watch the 10th anniversary concert all the time growing up and I dreamed of playing Eponine. To get cast as Eponine is a dream come true as Les Mis is the reason I started singing and doing theater [in the first place]."

Now, Quinn joins the first cast and crew to perform the show on the community theater stage in Eastern Hillsborough County, with the rights to the show just recently released.

"It's amazing how much time, effort, and love everyone has put into this massive production," Quinn said. "I am grateful to be a part of it and to work with such a talented cast and crew."


About Les Miserables

  • Synopsis — "Discover a nation in the grip of revolution, where convict Jean Valjean is on the run. Hunted relentlessly by the policeman Javert for breaking his parole, he must leave his past behind and keep his vow to raise the young orphaned Cosette. But with revolution in the air and Javert closing in, Jean Valjean has no choice but to fight for his life and sacrifice everything to protect the people he loves."  
  • Featuring the songs “I Dreamed A Dream”, “Bring Him Home”, “One Day More” and “On My Own."
  • Cameron Mackintosh’s legendary production of Boublil and Schönberg’s "Les Misérables" is a global stage sensation, seen by more than 65 million people in 42 countries and in 22 languages around the globe. It is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year.

Plant City Entertainment's Staging Of Les Miserables

  • Show dates are July 19-20, 25-27 and Aug. 1-3 at 8 p.m.
  • The matinee show date is July 28 at 2 p.m.
  • The Plant City Entertainment Theater is in Plant City, at 101 North Thomas St.
  • For information, call: 813-752-0728.
  • Tickets cost $14 for general admission; $10 for members and group advance sales; and $12 for senior citizens and students (through high school).

The Cast Of Les Miserables
  • Jean Valjean  — Rick Faurote/Brian Beach
  • Javert — Jason Mann
  • Bishop  — Allen Richardson
  • Fantine  — Maren Fernandez
  • Foreman  — Mitchell Spencer
  • Bamatbois  — Chris Duncan
  • Young Cosette  — Tiffany Vyalkova/Julia Stacy
  • Thenardier —  Vinny Natale
  • Madame Thenardier —  Lisa Westcott
  • Young Eponine —  Hanna Westcott
  • Gavroche —  Ethan Richardson/Kaden Olney
  • Eponine —  Mallory Quinn
  • Marius —  Alex Dyles
  • Enjolras —  Todd DuPriest
  • Cosette —  Ashley Allen
 Thenardier's Gang
  • Montparnasse —  Jeff Crum
  • Babet —  Tom Mitchell
  • Brujon —  Miguel Pinedo
  • Claquessous —  David Salinero
  • Beggar —  Paula Spangler Klein
  • Beggar — Jenise Freeland
ABC Students
  • Combeferre —  Joshua A. Wright
  • Feuilly —  Sam Reed
  • Courfeyrac — Logan Simmons
  • Joly — Joshua Moody
  • Grantaire — 
  • Lesgles — Dominic Botto
  • Jean Prouvaire —  Andrew Reading
  • Farmer —  Dan Provost
  • Factory Worker — Kat Coates
  • Factory Worker — Katie Rains
  • Factory Worker — Melody Brown
  • Girl Student - Mel Moranville
  • Girl Student — Amy Persaud
  • Girl Student — Charizma Dunphy
  • Girl Student — Rachel Rodriguez
  • Girl Student — Sydney Reading
  • Girl Student — Mikaela DuPriest
  • Kathryn Peters Brown
  • Feliciano Malary
  • Olivia Mitchell
  • Kelly Coultas
  • Taylyn Olney
  • Kaitlyn Holloway
  • Kassidy Gauagan
  • Lovely Ladies — Sharyn Beach
  • Lovely Ladies — Debbie Scourtes
  • Lovely Ladies — Chelsea Scourtes
  • Lovely Ladies — Nicole DuPriest
  • Innkeeper — Lionel Wood
  • Innkeeper's Wife — Kristen Holloway
  • Policeman 1 — Jonathan Hogsett
  • Policeman 2 — Vince Evangelista

Kay Secord July 21, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Thank you for getting the information out to the community about this terrific show. I saw the show on Friday and Saturday, and it made me both laugh and cry. The cast and orchestra are professional quality and many new fans of Les Miserables and Plant City Entertainment are being generated through the run of this fabulous show. Don't miss it!
Shirley Dunaway Outen July 22, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Wonderful article. Having seen Les Miserables at P.C.E., Inc. this past weekend, I can truthfully say it is one of the most brilliantly staged productions I have ever seen. The talent in this show is phenomenal and goes above and beyond what anyone would expect from community theater.
Violette Monet July 23, 2013 at 12:27 AM
I was there for Saturday's performance and it was a mess. There were some good singers there, but many of the roles were woefully miscast and the lack of harmonies in some of the most powerful songs in the show (where there should have been harmonies) was extremely disappointing. Much of the chorus was wooden and unemotional, making the whole thing unbelievable. The theater was way too small for this show and the sets were very pared down, uninspired, and uninteresting. There were some standout moments, definitely. "On My Own" was one of them, and one of the few parts that was cast well with an actor who could actually sing the role. The Thenardiers were also stand-outs in an otherwise lackluster ensemble. The cast seemed unprepared and the show looked like it was thrown together at the last minute. I think they could have used another month or so of rehearsals. Honestly, I have seen high school performances that were much more professional and entertaining than this. Les Miserables is one of my favorite shows and this version left me very disappointed and feeling like they should give me my money back for my ticket. I go see a lot of shows at this theater and this was the worst show I've seen there in at least the past 10 years. They usually put on great shows here and I had hoped they would do better on this one. The acting, the casting, the directing, and the sets just did not do this show justice. I could see many in the cast were trying their best but it was bland and could have been a lot better. I hope they continue to improve in the rest of their performances, but the show was such a mess, I don't know if they have enough time to significantly improve it before closing night.


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