Westford Academy Theater Arts presents Les Miserables
Westford Academy Theater Arts presents Les Miserables

Michael Towers and his crew at Westford Academy Theater Arts have never been shy in their efforts to stage awe-inspiring musical productions.

They did it in past seasons with such blockbusters as Evita and Phantom of the Opera.

But this year Towers and the rest will likely top their previous successes with Les Miserables, arguably the biggest blockbuster in musical theater history over the past 30 years.

Performances take place at the Westford Academy Performing Arts Center Nov. 15-26.

For proof of Les Miz's endurance, just visit the Les Miserables official website, where producer Cameron Mackintosh lauds the show's continuing success on London's West End an astounding 29 years after it opened and reports that a new production will open on Broadway in 2014. And, of course, the show finally made it to the big screen last December, starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in the pivotal roles of Jean Valjean and his nemesis, the Inspector Javert.

Les Miz, featuring a score by Boublil and Schonberg, re-tells Victor Hugo's epic story of the beleaguered ex-convict Valjean, his escape from Javert and the tragic story of Fantine and her young daughter, Cosette, who becomes Valjean's ward.


Performance and ticket information for the WA shows are available at MKTix.com/wata.

On the marquee

Emily Wivell as Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie at Andover High School, Nov. 21-24
Emily Wivell as Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie at Andover High School, Nov. 21-24 (Kevin J. Doyle)
  • MODERN MILLIE: Andover High School's Drama Guild brings the perky Thoroughly Modern Millie to audiences at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts at the high school Nov. 21-24. Based on the 1967 movie starring Julie Andrews, Millie opened on Broadway in 2002 and earned 11 Tony Award nominations, winning six, including Best Musical and Best Actress for Sutton Foster. Tickets $20, adults/$15, students and seniors at 978-623-8666 or online at andoverdrama.com.
  • SOARING TRUMPETS: The Orchestra of Indian Hill continues its 2013-2014 season on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Littleton High School Performing Arts Center, King St., Littleton, with The Trumpet Shall Sound, a concert devoted to noteworthy compositions for the trumpet. The program include Brahms "Symphony No. 4," Tomasi's "Trumpet Concerto," featuring BSO principal trumpeter Thomas Rolfs, and Britten's "Sinfonia da Requiem." Prelude dinner at 5 p.m.; Know the Score, pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.; concert at 7:30 p.m. and post-concert Encore Café for coffee and dessert with Maestro Bruce Hangen and guest musicians. 978-486-9524, ext. 116 or indianhillmusic.org.
  • LAUGH TRACK: Steve Solomon's My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm In Therapy, an angst-filled laugh fest starring Peter Fogel, plays the Larcom Theater, 13 Wallis St., Beverly, Friday, Nov. 15-Sunday, Nov. 24. Tickets $39, regular/$36, senior. Group rates. 617-531-1257 or at the door.
  • SWING TRIBUTE: Swing music and dance fans take a sentimental journey back to the '40s, the heyday of those classic sounds with In The Mood, playing Boston's Cutler Majestic Theatre Nov. 19-24. This upbeat 1940s musical revue --a rhythmic, jazzy, brassy, romantic, patriotic theatrical event -- features 19 performers on stage, including a 13-piece Big Band and six singer/dancers. The show recreates the swing era with sizzling choreography, sassy costumes and over 40 songs from those days, including "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)," "In the Mood," "Tuxedo Junction" and "Over There.
    In the Mood
    In the Mood
    " Bud Forrest, a Juilliard-trained pianist and conductor and former accompanist for the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants chorus, is the show's creator/producer. His goal was to compile the greatest music from the swing era and create a revue about the big band era and its influence during World War II. His second act pays tribute to the "greatest generation" who fought that war. Performances Tuesday-Wednesday, Nov. 19-20, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 21, 2 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 23, 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets $25.50-$89 at box office, online at www.CutlerMajestic.org or call 617-824-8000.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.