‘Les Miserables’ staging on campus April 3-6

Broadway star Terrence Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor in Musical Theatre, works with students as they prepare for "Les Miserables," which stages Thursday, April 3, through Sunday, April 6, at WCU.

Broadway star Terrence Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor in Musical Theatre, works with students on the upcoming production of “Les Miserables,” which stages Thursday, April 3, through Sunday, April 6, at WCU.

The Tony-Award-winning musical “Les Miserables” will be performed under the direction of Broadway star Terrence Mann at Western Carolina University from Thursday, April 3, through Sunday, April 6.

Presented by the WCU School of Stage and Screen’s Musical Theatre Program, the show will stage at 7:30 p.m. nightly April 3 through Saturday, April 5, and at 3 p.m. April 6 in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

“Les Miserables,” based on Victor Hugo’s epic 1862 novel, is a story of love and revolution set in early 19th-century France that features some of the most-loved songs of the last century, including “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own” and “Bring Him Home.” Intertwining on stage will be stories of a redemption-hungry man who breaks his parole, the justice-driven inspector who hunts for him, a mother desperate to support a child born out of wedlock, and her daughter, who has been forced into servitude.

In directing the show, Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre and a three-time Tony nominee, has drawn from his experience playing the role of Inspector Javert in the original Broadway cast of “Les Miserables” in 1987.

He said he hopes all who come to a performance leave with a sense of WCU students’ talent, commitment and storytelling.

“I hope they also get a sense of wonderment about what musical theatre is,” said Mann, who also shared that he has been particularly impressed by the students’ desire, passion and singular focus to be not just good, but great.

“They want to make their dreams come true,” he said.

Preceding the April 4 performance of “Les Miserables” will be a silent auction hosted by the WCU Friends of the Arts to raise money for student scholarships and programs in WCU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Part of the organization’s “Bidding, Broadway, Beverages and Baguettes” fundraiser, the auction will be from 5 to 7:25 p.m. in the lobby of the Bardo Arts Center. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available in the lobby during the auction, to which admission is free and does not require a ticket to “Les Miserables.” Items available will be goods and services including vacation and recreation packages, original artwork, jewelry and tickets and gift certificates for hotels, restaurants, shops and services. Auction items may be viewed prior to the event on the WCU Friends of the Arts Silent Auction website at friendsofthearts.wcu.edu.

The organization also is raffling off a Thanksgiving trip for two to New York City to see the WCU marching band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Raffle tickets are available for $40 each or three tickets for $100 at the Bardo Arts Center box office. The drawing for the winner of the raffle will take place at the April 6 matinee performance of “Les Miserables.” Raffle ticket holders do not have to be present to win.

Admission to “Les Miserables,” the final offering of the 2013-14 School of Stage and Screen Mainstage Season, is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and WCU faculty and staff; and $7 (in advance) and $10 (day of show) for students. For tickets to the show or raffle tickets, visit the Bardo Arts Center box office or call 828-227-2479. Tickets to the show also can be purchased online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.