"Red, the color of desire."

"Black, the color of despair."

These allegorical colors helped define the desires to be free, to love, to live – all while the breath of despair haunted the air.

Hatboro-Horsham High School presented an emotional rendition of the demanding Les Misérables, highlighting the dreams of the French people to start life anew when tomorrow comes.

The musical, adapted from the book by Victor Hugo, takes place in France before and during the Revolution, following the compelling story of fugitive 24601, Jean Valjean. Intertwined is a story of love and courage. After it was published in 1862, Les Misérables was brought to life as a piece of musical theater and was an instant success throughout Europe.

From the beginning of the show, it was clear that the ensembles would include members with excitement and strong vocals. The male students, led by Enjolras (Ron Kolla), seemed very comfortable on stage, expressing enthusiasm to fight for freedom. The prostitutes and beggars also successfully portrayed what lower class life was like for those in early nineteenth century France.

The role of Jean Valjean was satisfyingly accomplished by Anthony Viscounte. He convinced the audience with his charming vocals, stage presence, and interactions with other actors, including Ian Vosseler (Javert) and Christina Hasselmo (Fantine). Both Vosseler and Hasselmo contributed with stunning vocals and performances.

Anna Larouche and Jimmy Knowles captured the essence of the cruel, greedy, and selfish Madame and Monsieur Thénardier. They held their own, allowing their youthful air to add to the comedic demeanor of their characters.

Other praiseworthy performances were by Nicole Falgoust (Eponine), Jeff Walton (Marius), and Melissa Colelli (Cosette).

Lighting and sound effects greatly added to the overall performance. The stage was mostly bare, allowing the audience to create its own image of France. The strategic timing and positioning of the lighting, the music, and varying sound effects, especially those during the attack at the barricade, heightened the emotion connection between the audience and stage.

Hatboro Horsham's "Les Misérables" was full of passion and excitement - a success and pleasure to watch.