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Les Misérables runs March 8 through May 3 at the Cumberland County Playhouse

CROSSVILLE, TN -- The Cumberland County Playhouse presents the Tennessee professional premiere production of the triumphant musical, Les Misérables, starring Nathaniel Hackmann as Jean Valjean, direct from the current national tour of the great, multi-award winning show.

les miserablesThe production marks the Playhouse return of Nathaniel after a National tour as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, in addition to his performances as Jean Valjean in the recent Les Mis touring company.

Playhouse audiences have cheered Hackmann's stunning vocals in South Pacific, Camelot, Oklahoma and My Fair Lady.

"His national tour experience has further enriched and matured his magnificent sound," notes director Jim Crabtree. "His Les Mis performance and vocals, which show off Nate's full range, are absolutely thrilling in the intimate Playhouse mainstage."

Les Misérables is based on Victor Hugo's classic novel about ex-convict Jean Valjean and his attempts to start a new life as he is pursued relentlessly by policeman Javert for years through the difficulties of revolutionary France.

This blockbuster musical also showcases a Tony Award-winning score including the songs "I Dreamed a Dream," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "One Day More," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "A Little Fall of Rain," "Master of the House," and "On My Own."

Joining Nathaniel in his fourth Playhouse season is his wife Nicole Bégue Hackmann (pictured above), in her eighth CCP season, in the major role of Fantine, singing the great ballad "I Dreamed a Dream."

Other leading roles will be played by long-time company veterans Britt Hancock and Jason Ross, who will take on the exciting challenge of alternating in the roles of dramatic villain Javert, and comic villain Thenardier.

Four-season rep veterans Greg and Lindy Pendzick (as Marius and Cosette), and exciting artists John Dobbratz (Enjolras) and Anna Baker (Eponine) are returning to the company after debut seasons in 2012.

Musical Director Ron Murphy (in his 10th season) leads the orchestra and singers, with his wife Lauren Marshall Murphy (6th season) as Madame Thenardier, which she alternates with 25-year CCP volunteer, and teacher of French and theater, Angela Robbins.

Choreographer and musical staging director Leila Nelson also shares the role of Eponine with Anna Baker, with students in CCP's Performance Education Program alternating in the youth roles of Young Cosette, Young Eponine, and Parisian street-kid Gavroche. The young actors are pivotal to the piece, as the show depicts the effect of these hard times on the smallest members of the community

Other CCP favorites in the cast include Weslie Webster, Patty Payne, Austin Price, Carol Irvin, Michael Ruff, Daniel Black, and Chaz Sanders.

Hancock, Webster and Nelson are assisting director Jim Crabtree in staging the giant production, for which the Playhouse is adding new platforms and balconies to its side stages, creating a panorama effect for the many locations depicted and major production numbers.

Scenic Designer John Fionte collaborates with media designers Sandra "Sam" Hahn and Chicago's Dunaway Designs, plus Atlanta and Knoxville lighting designer Josh Hamrick, to create the production's ever-changing looks and atmosphere. The 200+ costumes are by Rebel Mickelson, assisted by Renee Luttrell, Terry Schwab, Sandy Black, and crew members.

The CCP professional company is joined by professional interns from Tullahoma, Knoxville, and Murfreesboro, plus many experienced volunteers as "the people of France," for a total company of ninety.

Tickets are available online, or by calling 931-484-5000.

Published March 8, 2013

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