Dream The Dream: The Musical Comedy Guild Takes You Behind The Scenes of Les Misérables

When The Musical Comedy Guild’s production of Les Misérables hits the stage November 27 at the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre it will be a year in the making!  Thomas Brandstetter, Business Manager for The Musical Comedy Guild (MCG) applied for the rights to stage the world renowned musical last November and MCG was one of the first two amateur theatre companies in Canada to obtain the rights for the full stage production.

Directors Loretta Durat and Joseph Lauzon began the process of doing the research directors often do when staging a production in early December.  Agnes McCarthy and Paul Dingle came on board as Vocal Director and Musical Director shortly thereafter.  Over the coming months key members were welcomed to the Production Team including Carolyn Caputo-McCauley (Assistant Producer), Karen Montgomery-Jones and Peggy Cooper (Costumes), Sara Boileau (Stage Manager), Terri-Lynn Maniacco and Betty Currie (Assistant Stage Managers), Katie Irwin (Production Assistant), Rob Rock (Lights), Greg Marshall (Technical Director), George Ravlich (Sound), Kathryn Perry (Make-Up) Sarah Godfrey (Props) and most recently Miranda Wickett (Choreographer).

summer rehearsal

Open auditions were held during the month of May and callbacks took place during the first two weeks of June.  The Production Team was amazed by the talent and heard over 200 auditions from both sides of the border and as far away as Thessalon.  The team settled on a cast of 65 to bring the musical based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel to life.  The cast includes Brian Miller (Jean Valjean), Loyal Beggs (Javert), Lauren Kinney (Fantine), Maggie Andersen (Cosette), Lucas Hernandes (Marius), Calyssa Rimkey (Eponine), Byron Jaaskelainen (Enjolras), Kirk Mauldin (Thénardier), Lesley Walsh-Tibben (Madame Thénardier), Father Hamish Currie (The Bishop of Digne), Andrew Beggs (Gavroche), Emelia Beggs (Young Cosette) and an extremely talented ensemble!

The world’s longest running musical first opened in London in 1985 and has been seen by over 65 million people in 42 countries and in 22 different languages. In 2002 the school edition of Les Misérables was made available and this version was staged here in Sault Ste Marie in 2004.

MCG-Les Mis Poster 100713 lores

Summer music rehearsals (individual and ensemble) took place during the summer months which allowed the cast to learn all 50 songs contained within the musical and gain an appreciation of how complex the music really is.  It was also a great time for both cast and crew to get to know each other and bond.  MCG has often staged their productions in support of different community organizations.  Les Misérables will be done in support of The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie’s Annual Giving Campaign.  We were honoured to be asked by the City of Sault Ste. Marie to sing our National Anthem on Canada Day at the Bondar Pavilion and 30 cast, crew and family members took part in the annual Rotaryfest parade in late July handing out bookmarkers with information about the production, its dedicated website (www.dreamthedream.ca) and The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie.

Les Mis rotary Parade

In September the cast and crew moved in to the old St. Ignatius church on Cathcart Street and began blocking the sung through musical set in early 19th century revolutionary period in France.  With universal themes of social justice, redemption, love and God, the musical is very emotionally charged.  “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Castle on a Cloud”, “On My Own”, “Bring Him Home”, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and the crowd favourite “Master of the House” are just a handful of songs that will have you laughing during one scene and crying during another.

Les Mis rotary Parade2

On September 27 MCG held a fundraiser “Help Us Build the Barricade: Meet the Cast of Les Misérables” at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn.  The cast were introduced and sang songs not contained within the musical giving audience members a chance to hear how extremely talented this cast is.  The evening ended with the full ensemble entering the room and singing “Do You Hear the People Sing?” which was truly magical!

The cast can be heard October 25 and November 9 at The Essar Centre as The Musical Comedy Guild of Sault Ste. Marie and its production of Les Misérables are Soo Greyhound Game Night Sponsors.  Some of the leads will be singing the National Anthem and members of the cast will be involved with providing entertainment during the 1st period intermission. 

Greyhounds

Keep your ears and eyes open for other opportunities to hear and meet the cast of Les Misérables and raise some much needed dollars for The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie’s Annual Giving Campaign.  Join in our crusade and come hear the people sing November 27 – December 1, 2013. 

The Musical Comedy Guild of Sault Ste. Marie is excited to partner with the City Centre Travelodge Inn & Suites and offer guests visiting from out of town a Les Misérables “Stay & Dream” package. Visit the web site at www.tlodgessm.com.

Conveniently located in the heart of the city and close to many local attractions, 1 night packages are $85/person and 2 night packages are $135.50/person.  These rates are based on double occupancy and all taxes are included! 

You will receive:

  • Hotel Accommodations
  • A ticket for 1 performance of Les Misérables
  • Complimentary Hot Breakfast
  • Casino Sault Ste. Marie package
  • Sault Ste. Marie welcome package
  • Hospitality that is 2nd to none

We have reserved a special block of prime tickets for our out of town guests in the Left or Right Centre Orchestra section of the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre.  Book by November 1, 2013 to take advantage of this special offer.

Call 1-866-759-1400 today and come dream the dream! See you at the barricade!

Visit www.saulttourism.com for more information on things to see and do in Sault Ste. Marie!

About Thomas Brandstetter

Thomas, a graduate of the University of Guelph, was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and is active in the local theatre community as a producer and in soccer community as a player and coach.  Thomas is a Supervisor at Shaw and is currently the Business Manager for The Musical Comedy Guild of Sault Ste. Marie. He has been the Vice-President on the Board of Directors of The Sault Symphony Association and Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Lakeshore.  He attended St. Mary's College where he was actively involved with sports, Student Council and Theatre SMC.  He assisted with props in their production of Flowers for Algernon and did lights for West Side Story in the early 90`s.  Most recently, Thomas was Producer for Theatre SMC's Quonta award winning Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in 2008 which went on to win numerous awards at Theatre Ontario.  In 2009 Thomas was Producer for Theatre SMC's The Diviners which won multiple awards at Quonta, was Producer for Theatre SMC's first ever children's play Charlotte's Web (2010), Little Sister (2011), Our Town (2012) and Schoolhouse (2013). He was Producer for the Sault Symphony's production of The Sound of Music in 2009 which also was Thomas' on-stage debut and Producer of White Christmas (2010). In 2011 he joined The Musical Comedy Guild and was Producer for Annie later that year. Thomas was Co-Chair for Theatre Ontario 2012, a festival celebrating the best in community theatre in Sault Ste. Marie.  2014 marks Theatre SMC`s 25th Anniversary and Thomas will chair a committee celebrating the success and accomplishments of the progressive theatre company and its actors since its inception in 1989.

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