Les Misérables

Expect a stripped-down set and minimalist costumes at the Bayou City Theatrics production of Les Misérables. ''When you look at Les Mis, there's definitely a sense of grandeur, of spectacle,'' Colton Berry, the group's artistic director, tells us. ''As we do with every show we [produce], we try to bring it back to storytelling. We've stripped away the revolving stage and cut the cast down, to present something that's quite simple and allows us to focus on the storytelling. The story and the score are already stunning; they don't need a lot of dressing up. We're letting the musical stand on its own. ''

This production, which, according to Berry, is the first ever in Houston with a completely local cast and crew, is set in a factory where workers have come together to recount the dramatic story of life during the French Revolution. ''There are hundreds of roles in the script,'' Berry says, ''and we've got only 24 cast members total, from leads to ensemble. During the show, one of the factory workers adopts a new piece of costume or physicality or affect, and becomes a different character. Some of the men play more than 15 characters.''

Besides the toned-down visuals, BCT's Les Mis is being presented in two distinct singing styles. ''We have a classic cast and modern cast. On the classic cast nights, you'll hear Les Mis as diehard fans expect it. On modern nights, we're taking a much more raw, more contemporary sound.'' Berry tells us it's nowhere near a rock opera, but it's also far from the traditional Broadway approach.

8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays. Through September 29. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 832-444-4400 or visit bayoucitytheatrics.com. $30.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Starts: Sept. 19. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013

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Olivia Flores Alvarez