“I rehearse these kids the same I would with a professional company,” said Bayes, saying that he tries to “push them beyond where they think they can go.”
“We’re not your typical high school show,” said Barbara Bayes.
The Bayes realized when they selected “Les Misérables,” as their show this year that it would not be easy.
“We wanted to give them a challenge,” said Sammy Bayes.
One of the challenges inherent in “Les Misérables,” which is set in early 19th century France and explores themes of crime, revolution, love and forgiveness, is that all the dialogue is sung. Another challenge for this year’s cast involves working with the moving set that Sammy Bayes designed. Nevertheless, Sammy and Barbara Bayes said that the cast was rising to the occasion.
“We’re very very proud of the students,” said Barbara Bayes “They’ve really come through like shining stars.”
Indeed, Bayes characterized “Les Misérables” as the best show they’ve done at CCS, a statement her husband agreed with.
“I know that these kids performances will move people,” said Barbara Bayes.
Sammy Bayes said that he’s been very satisfied with the impact that directing the musicals has had on the teenagers involved. He said that parents have come up to him and said that the skills their children learned while acting in musical productions at CCS helped them to succeed later on in college.
Barbara Bayes said that the popularity of the musicals has also increased over time. She said that when they first started out, they had difficulty casting boys. By contrast, this year’s cast has 21 boys in it.
Indeed, the cast of the CCS production of “Les Misérables” consists of 70 students, and that number doesn’t include the students participating in the orchestra. Part of the reason for this is, with the exception of one year, Bayes said that she and her husband cut nobody from their casts. The reason she gave for this is that they want to offer the opportunity of performing in a musical to everyone interested.