Les Miserables in rehearsal / courtesy The Theatre Lab
We stepped into the large theater at Calvary Baptist Church on 8th Street and made our way to a seat. Deb Gottesman was instructing a varied chorus of old and young on the rehearsal process and what to expect from the night. My husband – a seasoned actor himself – turned to me and asked, “Is this a class?”
Yes and no. It’s Theatre Lab – an independent, nonprofit school for the dramatic arts. It’s also home to a new production of Les Misérables – hence my husband’s confusion. This was a rehearsal, a class, and a performance all in one.
(Photo: Deen van Meer)
There’s nothing that gives me chills like the opening melodies of One Day More. It’s one of my favorite ensemble numbers and it will always stop me in my tracks whether it’s in a feature film trailer or if it’s being done by an Asian YouTuber who sings all nine parts. It is only one of many memorable numbers in the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables. After over 25 years in production (the longest running musical in the world) the show continues to be a hit. Now on its fourth U.S. tour the show has grossed as much as a $1 million a week. Arriving at the National Theatre for its 10th time in The District since 1986, the all new production features new staging and sets inspired by the paintings of Hugo. However all the songs you’ve come to know and love are the same. I Dreamed A Dream, On My Own, Do You Hear the People Sing?, and the previously mentioned One Day More can be found in a powerful and vibrant show that continues to wow audiences after a quarter century on the stage.