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Behind the Scenes of Les Misérables at the Adrienne Arsht Center

Posted at 8:46 PM, Jun 20, 2024

Going to the theater can be a transformative experience, transporting the audience into another world. But once you've taken your seat and have your Playbill in hand, have you ever thought about what happens before the curtains rise? Inside South Florida takes you behind the scenes of the Adrienne Arsht Center's touring musical, “Les Misérables”.

“Les Misérables” tells a story of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. But what does it take to create this brilliant staging that has taken the world by storm?

Ryan Gardner, the production stage manager, has been on tour with the show since 2022. He knows all too well the logistics involved in moving the entire production from one venue to another.

“We travel the entire show in 11 tractor trailer trucks to get to the next venue. The crew works tirelessly throughout the night. It takes about eight hours to pack everything up, get it into trucks, get it down to Miami, unloading the trucks, setting up the scenery, hanging out the lights, and making sure the sound is all checked out. It's a whole operation that is a well-oiled machine from the orchestra pit all the way up to the flag gallery. It's really a blessing to be able to travel around the country, bringing this story to people," Ryan shared.

Mya Rena Hunter, who plays the role of Éponine, is one of 44 actors traveling with the tour, bringing life to the characters during every performance. "I've been with the tour since August. We're about to hit a year. So far, it's been such a great experience being able to go to different cities every week or every couple of weeks," said Mya.

The show uses approximately 1,200 costumes, taking up one entire tractor-trailer. Over 88 wigs travel with the production, with about 40 used in the show every night.

"When I was ensemble, I believe I had about eight or nine different looks from the top of the show to the end of the show, and then got from the wedding and back into my student costumes at the very end of the show,” Mya noted. “However Éponine only has four so it’s much less costume changes than what I experienced before."

“Les Misérables” has been seen by over 130 million people worldwide in 53 countries, 438 cities, and 22 languages, making it one of the world's most popular musicals. The story is a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.

“Les Misérables” is playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts now through Sunday, June 23. For more information or to buy tickets, visit arshtcenter.org.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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