The 34th Annual Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is officially underway on the Center Valley campus of DeSales University, and perhaps with the strongest start in their history.

First up on the main stage, theatre goers will find Les Misérables, the classic musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo.

Most recently adapted into a film version which starred Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway, this work has moved audiences since its original premiere in the Barbican Theatre in London in October of 1985.

Since then, Les Misérables has become the longest running musical in the world seen by over 70 million people worldwide.

This production of Les Misérables  at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival marks the first full-scale run of the show in the Lehigh Valley region. With 22 performances in total, the staff of PSF fully expects every single show to be a sold-out performance.

Dennis Razze returns to PSF to direct this epic sensation of a musical, and this is easily one of his best works. His direction has been previously seen on the PSF stage in Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and Sweeney Todd.

The musical direction of Nathan Diehl takes audiences through the many high and low points that the storyline presents, setting just the right tone for every moment throughout the performance. The scenery and costumes make you feel as though you are thrust into 19-century France, ready for the revolution to begin.

But the work of the cast is what truly makes this production shine. As I watched the performance, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions. From laughter, to tears, Les Misérables truly takes the audience on a journey like no other.

As a pretty avid fan of musical theatre, I was thrilled when PSF made the announcement that one of my favorite musicals would open their 2015 season.

If you hope to catch a performance of Les Misérables, don’t hold off in reserving your tickets. Many of the performances are already sold out, and the run will not be extended.

And, if you’re traveling to Lehigh Valley to attend a show, be sure to have a look at our available packages. These offers combine discounted tickets to a show with an overnight stay at a participating lodging partner. Please contact the hotelier directly to make your arrangements.

The 2015 season of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival continues with Around the World in 80 Days, The Foreigner, Henry V, and Pericles. For younger audiences, PSF presents performances of Rapunzel and Shakespeare for Kids. Find full details on the season on their website.