Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

‘Les Miserables’ comes to the Quad Cities

Javert and Jean Valjean,meet for the last time during Valjean’s imprisonment. Photo provided by Brett Hitchcock.

Javert and Jean Valjean,meet for the last time during Valjean’s imprisonment.   Photo provided by Brett Hitchcock.
Javert and Jean Valjean,meet for the last time during Valjean’s imprisonment.
Photo provided by Brett Hitchcock.

After the film reached the top of the box office in 2012, more theaters have been producing the classic play. Now, “Les Miserables” is in to the Quad Cities.
Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse is performing “Les Miserables” at their theater in Rock Island through March 21. Circa ‘21 is a dinner theatre that allows audience members to eat a meal before watching a theatre performance.
“Les Miserables” is a tragic production of life, love and loss. Set in the 19th century, the play follows the story of Jean Veljean, a French peasant, who is in search of redemption after spending 19 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread.
Jean Valjean is played by Don Denton.
“All of the casting was done via email,” said producer Dennis Hitchcock.
Denton was one of the first actors to be casted in this production, but he was worried when they mentioned what part he would be playing.
“I had always seen older men play Jean Valjean,” Denton said. “I didn’t think I was old enough to play the part.”
Denton has been acting in school performances since the sixth grade. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with his BFA in acting, and has lived successfully off of his income from acting since 2008.
When asked what he prepared for Jean Valjean, Denton said it was most important to him that he knew the music inside and out. He wanted to make sure he knew the notes as they were written in the actual published show.
“I was off book when I made it to rehearsals, except for four measures that I had missed within the music,” Denton said.
Denton had only eight short days of rehearsal before performing in front of an audience.
“I wanted people to see that Jean Valjean is a very angry soul,” Denton said. “He is very mean because of what he went through, and I want to keep that animalistic quality with him throughout the whole show.”
Denton also worked on the physicality of Jean Valjean.
“Valjean is strong at the beginning of the show, but grows weak as he gets older,” Denton said. “I wanted to show that in his physical structure.”
Les Miserables is an emotional show that constructs the struggles of life through song, and allows audiences the message to never give up.
“ I want audiences to know that you can live a good life in a bad world,” Denton said. “As bad as life beats you, you can always get back up.”
Circa 21 offers a show-only cost of $30, and a dinner and show cost of $50.16. You can make reservations with the Circa ‘21 ticket office.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    cmmyattJan 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Now, “Les Miserables” is in to the Quad Cities.
    This story is inaccurate. This is not the Quad Cities premier of Les Miserables. The show has been produced three times before this in the Quad Cities: Countryside Community Theatre did it in July of 2013, The Center For Living Arts did the school edition in the summer of 2013, and Quad City Music Guild produced the show in June of 2014.

    • M

      Madison RodgersJan 30, 2015 at 10:16 am

      This story doesn’t state that this was the premier of ‘Les Miserables’ in the Quad Cities. It simply says that the production is currently being shown in the Quad Cities. I apologize for making that unclear, and appreciate your comment.

Activate Search
‘Les Miserables’ comes to the Quad Cities