Les Misérables - Third National Tour
Salt Lake City - 14-15 June 2003


Salt Lake “closing” was probably the most emotional I’ve ever been over LM. At the time, we were pretty sure it would continue to be an Equity tour when it started up again, but no offers had been made, so we had no idea who would be allowed to stay and who would have to go. Certain things we thought would happen turned into the exact opposite. This was the last time I saw several people I adored - they left the business after not being picked back up. It was also the weekend before I graduated from college, so the conjunction of two worlds being left behind probably made it more emotional than it should have been. It wasn’t a closing, but it felt like one, it was treated like one, and nothing can ever quite compare.

Alex Lubliner
Alex took over as Montparnasse from Matt Clemens when Matt transfered into a swing position. This picture is probably most emblematic of that weekend - Parnasse is a really crap track with the cuts, but Alex and I knew each other because I was always around. He took it upon himself one weekend to introduce himself to me since he kept seeing me around. (It’s rather hard to talk to Parnasse without looking like a freak, so I generally don’t do it.) Except for a couple recent replacements of people who had found other jobs, I knew everyone in the cast. Including Alex. How could I not get a picture with someone I chatted with at the stage door? It was closing weekend.

Nicole Riding
Nicole had been with the tour for a couple years as an Eponine understudy (the blue urchin track) and had left with me ever seeing her as Eponine. I have crap luck with understudies. Nicole was also a really great person and one of the people I always looked forward to seeing after the show as well as on stage (particularly as the blue urchin is not the showiest female ensemble track). But, when the decision was made to close out in Salt Lake, Nicole was asked to come back as Eponine. Thank god. I adore Nicole. And her Eponine was exactly what I expected - tough, trying to hide her feelings. One of my favourites ever in the role. And it was so good to see her again, and have her remember me and chat about things other than me squeeing over her performance. She’s just so much fun and such a great person, and I miss her.

Ashley Jarrett
Ashley married my Matty. I unfortunately never saw her go on as Cosette, and she had the red urchin track, so I never got to see her as much on stage as I wanted to. But she’s one of the cutest, sweetest people I’ve ever met.

Michael Hayward-Jones
Michael took over for JP Dougherty as Thénardier and only really hit his stride closing weekend. Which was too bad because he was really terrific. We’d met properly about three weeks before, in Denver, and at the time, he told me that I didn’t count as a fan, I was “part of the family”. One of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me. And it rather gives context to how much of an emotional mess I was during Salt Lake.

Kip Driver
Kip is one of my Martin Guerre boys. Sort of. He was a swing. He into the 3NT as a swing, too, and he was terrific.

Justen Steinagle
Only one of the best Gavroches ever. He begged to be allowed to appear as a ghost in “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” because if Gav has been so much a part of everything, shouldn’t he be a ghost, too? Smart kid. Sweet, too, and mature, but not in the creepy way stage kids with horrid parents can get. His mother, Maria, is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. And his father, and his little brother. They’re just a nice family.

Tonya Dixon
Tonya was one of the newer people at the time - she started only three months earlier. But she is one of the nicest, friendliest people, and one of the few I would call a friend. She’s a great Fantine, and a great person, and I love her dearly.


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