Niagara Gazette — About 250 actors showed up to audition for nearly 60 roles. Some of the cast are professionals from Buffalo, performing free in this non-profit production because it isn’t likely a local professional group will have the cash to produce it any time soon. Cast members are driving here for rehearsals from all over the region and parts of Canada. One actress drives two hours from Cuba. It appears the hundred or so people involved in getting this enormous, song-filled production together are simply captivated by the challenge.
The other day, Lewiston actor Jerry Mosey commented to me via Facebook, “Believe it or not (at 71) I’m playing Thenardier — Master of the House!” His excitement was contagious.
I met up with Mosey on Wednesday to talk about the play, and while “Les Miserables,” with its dark tones of class warfare, has never been my favorite musical, even I got drawn into the excitement.
Mosey, a veteran actor most recently seen performing in the Marble Orchard historical tours in Lewiston, told me over Orange Cat coffee about his life. It’s been a wandering road which led him towards and then away from the priesthood. After the seminary, he toured with a nightclub band, but eventually became a college educator before retiring about ten years ago. He sits on a handful of community boards, but his real love is theater and that love is expressed in this dastardly role.
The play takes place in 19th century France and is about a man who is wrongly imprisoned for stealing bread to feed his dying nephew. Years later, released from jail, but pursued by his jailor, the man gets entangled in a student uprising and lives are changed forever.
Mosey plays a loathsome barkeeper who gets to sing the well-known song that is the play’s comic relief, “Master of the House.”