A Music Director's Epic Tale: Les Miserables

Chapter 7 : Rehearsals

7.2 - Knowing The Show

You do need to become intimately familiar with the score as early as possible. Again, in our case, this was all part of my preparation at least a month before auditions began. While I basically "knew" the show, having seen it on Broadway and having heard many renditions of the more popular songs performed by several different people, I listened constantly to the Complete Symphonic Recordings and studied over the score, making notes on where all the "tricky stuff" was. MTI also provides a "Director's Script" which contains not only important tips and tricks for the director, but some musical information for the MD as well.

One very useful tool is available from MTI - it's a spreadsheet of all characters in all songs. I used this to be able to see at a glance which actors were needed in which song. This is a big help for planning rehearsals. I didn't think it was fair to ask a person who has one solo in a specific song to need to be there for a 3-hour rehearsal when that's all she'd be doing. Instead, I grouped songs as best as possible in the early stages of rehearsals to make the most of the actors' time.