If you go
'Les Miserables' will continue its production run at Lancaster's Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre through June 13. The show runs most days with matinee and dinner performances.
Where: Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, 510 Centerville Road, Lancaster
When and price: Sunday through Thursday evenings, dinner at 6 p.m. followed by show at 7 p.m. for $53; Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. for $56; Matinees, with 11:45 a.m. lunch and 1:15 p.m. show, are $49; Students age 13 through 18, $25; Children from 3 to 12, $21; Show only is $34 adults and $19 for children.
Website: Tickets can be purchased at DutchApple.com or by calling 717-898-1900.
If you're looking for something a little more than dinner and a movie, you might want to check out the performance of "Les Miserables," which continues through June 13 at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster.
The show, based on the classic Victor Hugo novel, traces 19 years in the life of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict who redevoted his life to doing good, and other downtrodden characters in 19th century France. Valjean is offset by antagonist Javert, a police officer who sees justice in black and white and refuses to believe a man can change his ways and wants to see Valjean return to penal life at the galleys.
More than 62 million people in 42 countries have seen a performance of the musical, according to a news release. But now audiences can take in the show over dinner options that include baked mahi mahi, sweet barbecue brisket or panko and herb provence encrusted chicken.
The show has never been performed at the theater before, but musical director J.P. Meyer said it's one he has been looking forward to doing since he first fell in love with it at 12 or 13 years old.
"It's just the emotions of it. The music is very powerful," he said. "Emotionally you're able to get very invested in it."
The fast rehearsal time — only two weeks, Meyer said — was made easier by the fact that the leads have all done the show before.
With the challenges presented by the "sheer quantity of the music" over its three-hour runtime, he said the show is a musical endurance test made easier by the "great production team and spectacular cast."
The director, Brian Enzman, had previously directed the show at Dutch Apple's sister theater, the Broadway Palm, in Fort Myers, Fla. Much of the set from that production was also able to be reused at the Dutch Apple because the two theaters are similar in size, Meyer said.
Both Jacob Brian Waid, as Valjean, and Adam Clough, as Javert, each have passion for their roles.
Clough said the hardest aspect of the role is to bring yourself into the mind frame of a man "whose core belief system has been utterly shattered and following the logic of his mind to throw himself from a bridge is a draining experience."
"Les Mis is a classic for a reason," Clough said. "The beauty found in life, despite its hardship, makes for a tremendously hopeful message. The music is stunning and I know every patron will be moved by the talent and spirit of this cast and company."
Waid, who at different theaters has played Valjean once before and Javert twice, agreed with that assessment and called the show "a marvelously written bundle of emotions."
Traveling between those emotions in a musical, though, can be quite the vocal workout. The role calls for a high baritone, he said, but the notes range from a bass to an "extreme High C."
"It is difficult," he said, "but worth it to sing this beautiful music."
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