By SHERIDAN CYR
Anticipation is high for Southington High School’s spring musical, a performance so advanced that director Alyssa Fontana-Bunel took the fall musical off the calendar to give her group of talented students a full school year to master it. On March 9 and 10, SHS will present Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.”
“It’s a huge show. It takes unbelievable talent, hard work and dedication,” said Fontana-Bunel. “We decided to do it this year because we definitely have the talent, so we said, ‘let’s go for it.’”
The plot takes place in 1789 to 1832 in France during the French Revolution. The story is an emotional rollercoaster featuring a plot raveled with good and evil, love and hate, life and death…and everything in between.
The director said the students completely rose to the challenge.
“The French Revolution is not an easy topic to learn, but there is so much going on in our country right now and we can use that as we try to express it,” Fontana-Brunel said.
SHS senior Tanner Sperry plays the role of Javert, a police officer with a close eye on recently released convict Jean Valjean, played by senior Jack Storm. Valjean tries to transform himself into a new and just man as he tries to raise his adopted daughter, Cosette.
This is Sperry’s first performance at SHS.
“I was always a track kid, but I decided to try out this year,” Sperry said. “It’s a really great production and being part of it has been a good confidence boost. It’s a great way to express yourself and share that experience with all these people.”
Storm said the story tells a tale of triumph as Valjean sets out to redeem himself. “No matter how much wrong you do, there’s always a way to come back,” he said. “All people have goodness in them naturally.”
“Les Misérables” is Storm’s fourth production at the high school. “I just love the community we have,” he said. “It’s great to get to know everyone and share a stage with them.”
Sophomore Faith Auletta, playing the part of Eponine, will be performing in her 11th musical. She hopes to eventually perform as a career.
“This is my favorite part of the school year,” said Auletta. “It’s an amazing opportunity to do such an iconic show, a show every theater kid dreams of doing.”
The students have been meeting three times a week after school to practice since November. The actors and actresses, the orchestra, and stage crew will come together and bring the show to life for two days next weekend.
The shows are scheduled to perform in the Southington High School auditorium on Friday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m., with shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students) and can be purchased at the door or in the main office of the school throughout the week of the show.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.