‘Les Miserables’ staging music to couple’s ears

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The West Otago Theatrical Society will stage the musical Les Miserables next year.

Margie Rea will direct the show and her husband, Jeff Rea, will take on the role of musical director.

Margie Rea said she was excited to stage Les Miserables

“It is one that Jeff and I have loved – having the opportunity to do it is very exciting.”

When looking at possible shows to stage they had to find one the fitted the criteria, she said.

“This one ticked all the boxes.”

The criteria included good music, a good storyline and a positive aspect for the audience to take away, she said.

“It has to be community friendly.”

Mrs Rea had a background as a choreographer but had also directed shows in West Otago and Gore, she said.

She had also directed shows for schools.

Her background in choreography helped her when directing the movement in a scene, she said.

“It helps with characterisation. You are matching the movements to the character.”

This would be the third production the couple had staged together since having children, but before that they took part in many shows together, she said.

“We met during a production.”

Mr Rea said he had been musical director for shows including Cats and Beauty and The Beast

He had a lot of experience with music, he said.

“I have been into music my whole life.”

He was excited to take on this new challenge.

“The whole show is sung, so there is a lot of music.”

The couple had loved the show since they first saw it on Broadway in New York in 1998, he said.

He hoped the show would draw people in.

“I hope there will be a great interest from within West Otago and the wider community.

“We hope people will come and be part of the team.”

The couple had a teamwork approach to directing.

“We want to work together.”

They also thought it was important the show was enjoyable, he said.

“It is not just about the show – it is important that people enjoy the show and have a good time.”

They had high expectations but they wanted it to be enjoyable for everyone involved, he said.

“It is a big commitment. We try to be organised and clear.

“It is fun.”

Staging a popular production was a challenge, he said.

“We are competing with what is on people’s phones.”

Back when he and his wife were younger, people had lower expectations, he said.

Now, with videos on the internet, people could see a lot more and expected a lot more, he said.

“Having a small budget can be a challenge.

The society had a reputation “for punching above its weight”.

The West Otago Theatrical Society will stage Les Miserables from June 22 to 30 next year.