Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

French Connection 

Countless performances later, Les Miz still thrills its audiences -- and its star.

42061.0.jpeg
Michael Kostroff, who stars in the touring production of Les Misérables coming to Playhouse Square this week, knows that the musical (based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel about a fugitive evading a determined detective over three decades) has a rep. He knows it's come through town a few times before. But he insists, even after countless performances, that he and the audience are not tired of it. "I'm always surprised when it's over," he says. "I remember thinking that, when I'd [first] seen the show. At the end of it, you just want it to keep going. That's the reason people come back. It's just very engaging. It has a huge following, for good reason."

It also helps that it's the one show that the veteran of TV (HBO's The Wire) and stage (The Producers) long wanted to hitch onto. "It's really one of the best parts in musical theater," he says, referring to evil scam artist Thénardier ("Master of the House"). Whenever the part was available, he wasn't; when he was available, someone else already had the role. But when word got out that the national tour was hitting the road again, Kostroff jumped at the chance. "There are so many stories within Les Misérables," he says. "It appeals to something very deep in people."

The production unfolds on a stage that's set on a huge turntable. "It keeps turning, and the story keeps turning," Kostroff says. "It is literally always in motion. There is so much to watch." But mounting and dismounting the revolving platform is a challenge, he admits. "There's a particular technique for getting on and off the turntable without looking like you're drunk," he explains. "Fortunately, my character can be drunk. To be very honest, I'm still working on it. It is a little tricky."

But not even a spinning stage can dissuade Kostroff from performing in his dream production. "I really love this role," he says. "It's always fun to be evil."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Diane Sofranec

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation