‘Les Miz’ comes to Brooklyn! • Brooklyn Paper

‘Les Miz’ comes to Brooklyn!

Police and thieves: Joseph Bellino and Bill Andrews face off as the villain Javert and the hero Jean Valjean in the Ridge Chorale’s production of “Les Miserables.”
Photo by Steve Solomonson

They dreamed a dream — and then it came true!

The Ridge Chorale put on the first-ever full-length Brooklyn production of the musical “Les Miserables” on Sept. 20 — fulfilling a longtime aspiration of the 45-year-old production company.

“It’s kind of the Holy Grail of musical theater,” said producer Karen Tadross.

Tadross said that 2013 was the first year that the rights to the Broadway hit — and Oscar-winning film — became available to amateur theater groups.

The Chorale spent the summer creating the lavish, $50,000 production — complete with a 22-piece orchestra, and a Broadway lighting designer.

“It’s such a privilege to perform it, we wanted to do it right,” said Tadross. “We do the splashy things, we do the epic things, we do the legendary ones.”

The team also had to cast gifted vocalists to perform the famed songs. Tadross particularly praised Bill Andrews and Joseph Bellino, who played the hero Jean Valjean and the villain Javert — a thief and a police chief, respectively, who play out an elaborate tale of revolution and redemption in 19th-century France.

The hard work was all worth it, Tadross said, for the audience’s amazed reaction on the opening weekend.

“Everybody has walked out of that theater and said that this was Broadway quality,” said Tadross.

“Les Miserables” at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology [350 67th St. between Third and Fourth avenues in Bay Ridge, (718) 989–9566, www.ridgechorale.com] Sept. 27–28, 8 pm Sept. 29, 3 pm. General seats $22, premium seats $25.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him attwitter.com/WillBredderman.

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