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Monday, December 9, 2013

Hebrew Play 5774: Les Miserables

Full Cast of Les Miserables 
On December 4th and 5th the students at the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School put on a spectacular production of Les Miserables in Hebrew as part of our annual Chanukah Hebrew play production. From the acting and singing to the costumes and props, this show was one of high caliber and professionalism. The acting was done by current students but there were multiple alumni who also helped out with the production. The students portrayed their characters with passion and intensity and audience members found themselves at the edge of their seats, hanging on every note. The intricate harmonies and powerful music moved many to tears as they were whisked into the streets of France, circa 1820. The set, ingeniously designed by Rebecca Grazi-Siev (HS '06) and created by Vivi Rosernberg (HS '12) was made solely of wooden chairs and tables that moved around to create the many different scenes in the show. Costumes were hand sewn by Math teacher, Mrs. Beth Levin and were stunningly reminiscent of the real broadway costumes. David Geleibter (HS '07) joined as the stage manager, assisting before, during, and after the show with anything that was needed, from muddying the prisoners' shirts to teaching the revolutionary students how to hold their rifles. Mr. Joel Hessel led the orchestra in an original arrangement of the show's overture and Mr. Brian Gelfand directed the choir in joining in two of the major ensemble numbers. Danny Shatzkes (HS '98) never took his hands off the piano keys in his flawless musical accompaniment, all of which he played by ear!! Sally Shatzkes (HS '99), the show's director, did not leave out a single detail. She began the production process with auditions in June and was able to direct the famous three-hour musical in one hour ....and in Hebrew! She said, "the cast inspired me every day to raise my expectations and they kept meeting those expectations day after day until I found myself directing a show so professional that it could have been produced in a performing arts high school." The students in the cast will never forget this show. For them it was the opportunity of a lifetime in which they became part of something larger than themselves. Their performance was the ultimate proof that hard work and dedication can transform a group of talented individuals into an unstoppable creative team. A performer, Junior,  Michael Zalta said, "Super gratifying. I got to learn so much about myself at the same time that I saw people so happy to see me grow and do well."

Please enjoy the full video of the production and pictures below: