A Music Director's Epic Tale: Les Miserables

Chapter 1 : Introduction

In October of 2010, Take-One Theatre Arts, a non-profit youth theater organization in Suffolk County, NY (on Long Island), performed "Les Miserables - School Edition". I had done musical direction at this theater on two prior occasions ("Oliver!" and "Annie") to give their resident musical director a break, and also performed in their pit. When the resident artistic director (Jessica) and the owner (Dennis) approached me early in 2010 and asked if I was interested in being the MD for "Les Mis", I was flattered and excited. Having always wanted to be involved in this show, I told them without a doubt I'd be ready to dive in and help them make it a memorable one. The show went on their official calendar and, around April of 2010, the wheels starting turning on my end to being the long process of bringing the show to life.

I feel the two biggest keys to success when it comes to producing "Les Mis" are teamwork and organization. There is so much to do to put on this amazing show, and the more that gets figured out ahead of time, the better. You can probably say this about any musical, but due to the complexities of the show (for example, from the musical perspective, it is sung through, and many passages are not trivial to sing), there's plenty of work to be done and be coordinated amongst the creative team.

Once you have a plan, assembling the right creative team and putting the plan in motion with key milestones (and backup plans for things that might not go right) helps keep everyone on task.