There are few things that make my jaw drop. A 30 oz bag of Sour Gummy Worms will do that to me, for example. One other thing caught me off guard–Les Miserables at the Aurora Theatre.

If you want to see what a magnificent production looks like, just take a seat in the cozy house of the Aurora Theatre. Les Miserables has always been a favorite of mine, but in book form. I read it in tenth grade AP Literature and didn’t react like the other kids. You know how it goes: “GAH…this book sucks. I have so much teenage angst. I need to play Snake on my flip phone!” Yeah, unlike them, I was mesmerized. I wanted to know every detail of Jean Valjean and why Javert was so obsessed with finding him. It was a turning point for me.

The Aurora’s production was another turning point as well. The beauty and pride of the performers and theatrical staff oozed out on stage. It truly reminded me what it means to entertain. These people were not simply performing to an audience on opening night, but truly living in that particular moment in history. Their sincerity to the lives they were portraying and the stories told were magnified by their connection with the audience. We were in the 1800’s. We were citizens. We felt the pain and the agony. I haven’t heard that many sniffles next to me since my family had the flu. Bad image, sorry.

Let’s talk about the set design. It gave a sense of destruction, of course. But in the midst of the destruction, the people still stand. You see a tattered French flag hoisted in the background upstage. I thought that was one of the most powerful pieces on stage, truly. They utilized every space on that stage, and I loved it. That’s what I always look for when I see live productions–space usage. If the actors are huddled center stage or stage left, I can’t deal. It seems boring to me. But, despite being almost three hours, I never got bored of this production.

And, want to know something else that’s incredibly amazing? Of course you do. Can we talk about live music?! In most theatres you don’t find this any longer. It’s saddening really. But, the Aurora Theatre (Gwinnett’s only professional theatre, by the way) has it! And they do it under the direction of Ann-Carol Pence (Co-Founder/Associate Producer). This woman is amazing, and I hope she knows it. She is an artistic visionary!

I could go on and on, but I won’t. You see how much I loved this production, and you will too. It runs now through March 1st.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Don’t go One Day More without seeing this amazing show. See what I did there? I’m punny.

Wendell Scott

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