SJR's Production of Les Miserables Honored at Area Theater Awards


by Ciaran Henry '27


This past winter, the St. Joseph Regional Performing Arts Program performed their production of Les Misérables in the Inserra Theater. All of the nine shows were sold out during the two weekends of shows. At these performances, judges for both the Paper Mill Rising Star Awards and the Metropolitan High School Theater Awards came to critique the actors, costumes, direction, overall production, and much more. 

In April and May, both organizations announced their nominations. The Metros awarded SJR thirteen nominations, which was the most out of any school. The nominations were: Overall Production of a Musical, Outstanding Performance by a Chorus, Outstanding Performance in a Leading Male-Identified Role (Liam Fahey as Jean Valjean), Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Male-Identified Role (Derek Bedell as Marius), Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Female-Identified Role (Emily Kenny as Fantine), Outstanding Achievement in Direction (Marc David Wright), Outstanding Vocal Performance by a Female-Identifying Performer (Lily Yezdanian as Cosette), Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction (Ed Ginter), Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design (Vincent Gunn), Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design (Asa Lipton), Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Makeup Design (Derek Alfano and Chelsey Cavalcante), Outstanding Achievement in Lobby Display (Kim Buscher), and Outstanding Performance by a Child Performer (Alexander Suarez-Inclan as Gavroche). 

Papermill’s Rising Star Awards nominated SJR for eight awards. They were: Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical, Overall Leading Actor (Liam Fahey as Jean Valjean and Jack Laux as Javert), Outstanding Overall Male Supporting Actor (Derek Bedell as Marius), Outstanding Overall Female Supporting Actress (Kate Ryan as Cosette), Outstanding Overall Female Support Actress (Maddie Heiniman as Fantine), Outstanding Scenic Design (Vincent Gunn), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Asa Lipton). In addition, MJ McKenzie received an Honorable Mention for Supporting Actress as Eponine.

On Monday, June 10th, the cast of Les Misérables traveled to Purchase College in New York for the Metro Awards. They were able to once again perform their Act One finale, “One Day More”, along with the six other schools nominated for Overall Production of a Musical who performed their own numbers. Senior Liam Fahey also sang with the other nominees in his category. At this award show, SJR brought home four awards. Derek Alfano and Chelsey Cavalcante won the award of Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Makeup Design and Ed Ginter won the award of Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction. Derek Bedell, a sophomore at SJR who portrayed Marius, was awarded Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Male-Identified Role. Sophomore Joe Lizzi brought home the Outstanding Acting Performance by a Male-Identifying Performer award for his portrayal of Officer Lockstock in the Academy of the Holy Angel’s Urinetown. To end off the special night, SJR took home the most coveted award, Overall Production of a Musical. SJR beat out 62 other schools from Bergen, Westchester, and Rockland Counties for this prestigious award. It was an amazing way to celebrate the outstanding production by the Performing Arts program.

The Rising Star Awards were on June 11th, at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. “One Day More” was also performed here by the Les Misérables cast. Seven other N.J. high schools performed numbers from their productions. Although SJR didn’t bring home any awards, it was an amazing experience for the cast to perform “One Day More” and for Jack Laux and Liam Fahey to perform for the Overall Leading Actor award. It was an honor for SJR to be nominated for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical out of 117 schools. AHA’s Urinetown took home the award of Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical. Many SJR students and other members of the Les Misérables cast were also a part of this outstanding musical.

It was such an honor for the cast and production team to be nominated for and to be able to go to these award ceremonies. It was a testament to the hard work, dedication and talent of everyone involved in this award-winning production of Les Misérables