Les Misérables: What Audiences to Know


This year’s spring musical is Les Misérables. The two performances will take place on Saturday, April 16 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, April 17 at 4:00 pm on the outdoor stage in front of the Innovation Center. Seats are available to reserve online in groups of up to four. The story of Les Misérables can be confusing for audiences unfamiliar with the story, and so a synopsis is provided below (warning: contains plot spoilers).

Les Misérables takes place in the early 1800s in France, and follows the story of Jean Valjean (played by Blake Weinbach), a prisoner who is released after 19 years by Inspector Javert (Merritt Brazell). After he is freed, he breaks his parole, and ten years later, has disguised himself and become the mayor of a town and a factory owner.

One of the workers in his factory, Fantine (Mae Williams), is fired by the foreman after he discovers that she has a child. Fantine becomes a prostitute in order to pay for her daughter, Cosette (Young Cosette played by Elizabeth Anne Trobaugh), who lives with the Thénardiers (Justin Dunn and Georgia Berry), an innkeeper and his wife who run cons. When Javert attempts to arrest Fantine, Jean Valjean steps in and takes her to get help because she is sick.

Javert accuses another man of being Jean Valjean. When the real Valjean discovers this, he rushes to the trial and reveals his true identity to Javert in order to save the innocent man, but escapes before Javert can catch him. He goes to see Fantine, who dies, and Valjean promises to take care of her daughter, Cosette.

Ten years pass, and a group of young students in Paris are planning a revolution, led by Enjolras (Harper Meacham). Eponine (Elizabeth Peters), daughter of the Thénardiers, is in love with one of the revolutionary students, Marius (Andrew English), who is oblivious to her feelings. Marius meets a grown-up Cosette (Sanders Bethea) and they fall in love at first sight. Eponine helps Marius find out where Cosette lives, and Cosette and Marius are reunited in the garden outside her house.

The revolutionary students build a barricade in the streets of Paris. Inspector Javert infiltrates their organization. Meanwhile, Eponine disguises herself as a boy to enter the barricade, but Marius recognizes her and asks her to deliver a letter from him to Cosette.

Eponine delivers the letter to Valjean. On her return to the barricade, she is fatally shot. Valjean goes to the barricade in search of Marius. Javert is identified as a spy, and Valjean is chosen to kill Javert as an act of loyalty. Instead, when they are alone, Valjean lets Javert escape in an act of kindness.

During the final battle, the revolutionaries are killed. Valjean saves a wounded Marius by dragging him through the sewers. Thénardier, who knows Valjean’s real identity, finds Marius and Valjean unconscious in the sewers and steals a ring from Marius.

Javert finds Valjean in the sewers. Valjean begs Javert to let him save Marius before he turns himself in to Javert. Javert allows this, but becomes conflicted once he sees that Valjean is a good person, and commits suicide.

After Marius recovers, he mourns his friends and plans his wedding to Cosette. Before the wedding, Jean Valjean reveals his identity and past as a criminal to Marius and has him promise not to tell Cosette.

At Marius and Cosette’s wedding, the Thénardiers show up and reveals to Marius that it was Valjean who saved him by dragging him through the sewers, which Thénardier proves by showing Marius the ring he stole. Marius and Cosette rush back to Valjean, who is nearing death.

When they get to him, Marius tells Cosette of how Valjean saved his life at the barricade, and Valjean gives Cosette a letter revealing his identity. Valjean dies, and the spirit of Fantine comes to bring him to heaven, where he is joined by the spirits of Eponine, the students from the barricade, and all the people who have died.