The Payson High School Theatre Company will present “Les Miserables,” a play (not the musical) adapted for schools by Tim Kelly and from the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24; 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25; and 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 in the high school auditorium. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for both senior citizens and students. The play is a Tom Walling production.
I had the wonderful opportunity this past week to sit down with Payson High School senior Leah Brahm to talk with her about this year’s “Les Miserables” production. Leah has been a Payson student-thespian for the past seven years, three years in middle school as part of the Junior Troop and now for four years as a member of the Longhorn Theatre Company.
Leah has held a number of different acting roles in high school plays over the years and has now grown into the position as this year’s production’s stage manager. Her enthusiasm during our chat about this year’s play was delightful, contagious and had me wanting to buy tickets on the spot.
“Our production of ‘Les Miserables’ will include a cast of 30 to 35 high school students and another 10 or so who will be assisting with lighting and other stage management,” beamed Leah. “We’ve been working on this play since the beginning of the school year. And what I’m really excited about is the nine different scene sets that we will be using, each having been constructed in their entirety by the high school students in the theatre company.”
In a nutshell, the play tells the story of Jean Valjean (played by Cody Rislund), an ex-convict who eventually becomes mayor of a town in France and owner of a factory in that town. He is always alert to the risk of being captured again by police inspector Javert (played by Ryan Ayers), who is ruthless in hunting down law-breakers.
One of Valjean’s factory workers, Fantine (played by Sarah Sprinkle), becomes ill and when she dies, Valjean agrees to take care of her daughter, Cosette (played by Hannah Welker), though he must first escape Javert. Later, when Cosette is grown, they become swept up in the political turmoil in France, which culminates in the June Rebellion of France.
And the rest of the story will be left for you to enjoy at next week’s “Les Miserables” play.
This week’s question
Can you name the only French artist and his song to ever have a No. 1 song on America’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart?
Was that song and artist A) “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” (Volare) by Domenico Modugno; B) “Wonderland by Night” by Bert Kaempert; C) “Dominique” by The Singing Nun; or D) “Love is Blue” by Paul Mauriat?
If you are the sixth caller and have the right answer this week, you’ll win a CD of your favorite singer or genre of music.
Last week’s question
Last week’s question asked if you could name the Australian-born, adult contemporary female singer who recorded the hit “I Am Woman,” which earned her the Grammy Pop Vocal of the Year award in 1972. The choices were Helen Reddy, Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell.
The correct answer was Helen Reddy, who placed hits onto the Billboard charts from 1971-81.
Carole King, one of the most successful songwriters of the rock era, had 18 songs over 20 years (1962-82) reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including her 1971 mega hit “It’s Too Late.”
Pop singer/songwriter Carly Simon charted 22 hits from 1971-1989, including her signature song and No. 1 hit, “You’re So Vain,” about a self-absorbed lover, whose identity has long been a matter of speculation.
Canadian born and raised pop-folk singer/songwriter/guitarist Joni Mitchell scored 10 hits on the charts from 1970-1986, including her Top 10 and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hit “Help Me.”
Congratulations to last week’s first-time music trivia winner, Vera Locker, who won a CD of 20 classic country music hits of the 1960s.
Vera was born in Rochdale, England. When she was 2 years old, her family moved to Phoenix, where Vera later graduated from North High School in 1970. Soon thereafter, Vera entered the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, a job she would enjoy for most of her career. She has worked at Payson Care Center and now works part-time as a private-duty C.N.A.
Sadly this past January, Vera lost Sam, her husband of 35 years. She now enjoys outdoor activities and volunteering at the Southern Baptist Church. Her favorite music is classic country, with Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette and Don Williams atop of her favorite artist list.
A final note
Last weekend’s Rim Country Quilt Roundup was an “I am woman — hear me roar” success. The weather was perfect, the crowd was enthusiastic and the display quilts were stunning beyond belief. Many people that I’ve talked with since the show say it was the best one yet. On my Web site you can see a few pictures from this year’s fun, annual event.
Have a great Rim Country week and enjoy the spectacular fall weather we’re being treated to.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482
Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com