“Miracle at the MEC” is how Hugh McCrindle describes Taree Art Council’s production of the highly acclaimed Les Misérables.
Hugh, 89, is a veteran stage performer who appeared in Taree Arts Council’s first production on the Manning Entertainment Centre stage when it opened in 1988.
So when Hugh is impressed about a production, it carries a lot of weight.
“I’ve never been so enthused about anything before,” he said.
“Since the opening of My Fair Lady at the MEC to its current production, the almost professional Les Misérables, Taree Arts Council has certainly gone from strength to strength.
“Its current production is one of the finest I have ever seen at this excellent venue.
Hugh attended the first matinee with an almost full house and was “blown away by the professionalism of the whole show.
“Congratulations to director Gayle Cameron and music director Don Secomb, the principals and the wonderful ensemble, and all others who help make this one of the most memorable productions on the MEC stage.
“Les Misérables is not an easy show to produce. There are very dark moments, some light moments, a love story and some bawdiness, but it all comes together so completely in this production.
“It is difficult to pinpoint the highlights but for me this will forever remain the outstanding ensemble, and the finale of the first act - I never heard such outstanding singing on the MEC stage – and it was wonderful to see so many young men in the cast.”
Other highlights for Hugh included “Javert (Rod Illidge) with his brilliant interpretation of his well know solo; Eponine (Stacey Evans) with her beautiful solo; Valjean (Tim Gibbs) who was outstanding in everything but particularly Bring Him Home; the very effective Thenardiers’ tavern scene, as bawdy as Paris can get; the dramatic, colourful barricade scene is unbelievably realistic and to the final reprise of The People’s Song at the end.
“This is a show everyone enjoyed and it is hoped the remaining performances will be very well attended as they are not to be missed.
“Congratulations to Taree Arts Council, long may their success continue.
“Residents of the Manning Valley should be proud of this company and give them the greatest support.”