Fall’s arrival means the debut of musicals and plays in high schools all around Montgomery County. A particularly exciting production this year is “Les Misérables,” put together by Richard Montgomery’s Black Maskers.
In past years, there has been high anticipation to perform Les Mis, and this year RM students are ready to finally take on the challenge. Opening night was on Friday, November 13, and additional showings were on November 14, 20, and 21. The second showing on November 14, was dedicated to the victims of the recent attacks in Paris and their families. A stand for the French Red Cross was positioned near the entrance door for audience donations.
“Les Misérables” is a musical known for its challenging musical numbers, filled with fervor and emotion. Senior Judah Canizares, who plays the protagonist Jean Valjean, said of the musical, ““It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, because we had to put everything together: the acting, the singing, the rhythmic timing with the orchestra conducted by Dr. Perry. It was trying but rewarding.”
It was exciting to see RM students display their talents, both on and off the stage. The hard work that the cast, crew, and pit orchestra put into the production clearly shined through. At around 7 p.m. in the auditorium, lights dimmed as the pit orchestra took their place below the stage. The first scene introduced Jean Valjean, played by Canizares, suffering under the brutality of chains and chanting the renowned lines, “Look down, look down….” The show progressed from there, dramatically unfolding Jean Valjean’s story as a criminal turned factory owner, who is constantly being hunted by his enemy, Javert, played brilliantly by junior Noah Montemarano, after breaking parole.
Act Two opened with the building of the barricade, which filled the stage with much fighting, smoke, and sound effects courtesy of the sound crew. As the musical wrapped up and the entire cast stood together to take their final bow, the applause in the audience was thunderous. It was needless to say that the performance ended on a sweet note. The students’ hard work definitely paid off through this musical. The Black Maskers’ performance proved to be a huge success.
Sophomore and pit orchestra member Ami Wong said, “Les Misérables is one of my favorite musicals, so being able to play the music was really surreal.”
The students’ hard work, talent, and musicality did not disappoint. As Canizares said, “This has honestly been one of the best experiences, and it’s really rewarding to see a big audience out there to celebrate all our hard work.”
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Cindy Song of Richard Montgomery High School