The costuming, hair and prop people also outdid themselves. The cast is decked out in vests and bustiers, colorful cravats and gorgeous gowns, top hats and frock coats. Props such as silver tankards at the students’ tavern, muskets at the barricade and wine bottles galore all add to the 19th century ambiance.
While many of the performers wore wigs, others – such as the hirsute Wilson – simply had their own hair touched up. Valjean’s coif grows noticeably greyer as Act 2 progresses. Josh Taylor’s spiky red hair and mutton chops give Thenardier a distinctly devilish demeanor.
Several singers rose to this occasion. Eastman School of Music alumna Danan Tsan impressed as the ill-fated Fantine. While Tsan’s soaring voice is her strength, she can act too: her consumptive cough was quite convincing. As Inspector Javert, Jason Bean mixed vocal passion and potency to suggest authoritarian strength. Similarly, Liam Fitzpatrick sang a strong Marius as he vacillated between two love interests.
Michaela Oney made her presence felt as Thenardier’s brassy wife, fifth-grader Julianna Bellso portrayed a charming Little Cosette, the sure-voiced soprano Jennifer Pearson rocked the house as Cosette and, as the love-struck Eponine, Ceara Windhausen sang up a storm before turning in a heart-wrenching death scene.
Eleven-year-old Sera Bullis nearly stole the show as Gavroche, the top-hatted street urchin who exhorts the students to rebel.
And Abel Searor’s 12-piece pit band complemented the singers throughout, careful to keep the vocals way out front.
A show this spectacular rarely plays in the suburbs! Baldwinsville will long remember this “Les Mis.”
“Les Misérables,” directed by Korrie Taylor, continues at the First Presbyterian Education Center, 64 Oswego St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2; 7:30 P.M. Feb. 6, 7 and 8. Tickets cost $25, $20 for students, and $20 for seniors at the Feb. 2 matinee only; 877-8465; baldwinsvilletheatreguild.org.