WEHS play opens Friday

A musical production that has mesmerized audiences around the world is coming to Williston this weekend.
Les Misérables will be performed by a cast of students Feb. 7 and 8 in the Williston-Elko High School Auditorium.
The musical is based on the novel of the same name by French author and poet Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th century France, the play tells the story of several characters but mainly that of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption. It is a tale of poverty, struggle and justice.
Linda Alsept, drama teacher at WEHS, said she has the perfect cast this year to perform the musical - one she has never done before.
"I knew if I didn't do it this year, I wouldn't be able to do it again," she said about losing some senior cast members to graduation.
Over 50 students are involved in the musical, Alsept said, including about 25 soloists.
The version of the play that will be performed is a "school edition," and is shorter than the full-length version that lasts about three hours. The student play is expected to run between two and two-and-a-half hours and will include all the major songs, Alsept said.
Alsept called the storyline "beautiful" and called her cast "super."
"My kids are really good; they're able to do things that a high school of this size shouldn't be able to do," she said.
Alsept said she didn't realize how many biblical connections the play has until she read the script - like the concepts of forgiveness and people putting past mistakes behind them.
The play will be a good chance for underclassmen to get experience on stage, she added.
Tickets are $6 and can be purchased from cast members or by calling Alsept at (803) 266-3110. Tickets for Friday's performance can not be used for Saturday night and vice versa. Alsept said any seats that are empty when the show starts will be sold to people waiting in line, so get there early if you already have a ticket. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Performed entirely by students, the musical is by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.
School Edition specially adapted and licensed by Music Theatre International and Cameron Mackintosh.
Les Misérables School Edition is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI - 421 West 54th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.