College Reunion for "Les Miz" Co-Stars and Catawba Alumni
October 8, 2007
by Alumnus Devin Richards
Working on this show (“Les Miz“) brought to me a wonderful surprise that I only learned about at the last minute. I was already excited at the opportunity to just do "Les Miz" as I said. In most shows when you get hired you try to find out who the other people are who are in the cast. You look online and google the show, if you find out which people are in the show, then you begin to google the people's names to see what they've done, if you know them, etc. (Yes we performers do that too.) Anyway, I found out some names but I could not find out for the longest time who would be playing Jean Valjean. Finally, the last week before rehearsals I saw the announcement online and was in complete shock. Jean Valjean would be played by Fred Inkley!
Fred had played Valjean on tour for several years and twice on Broadway. ( I saw him do it on Broadway and he was incredible). But this was shocking to me because Fred and I went to college together at Catawba College in North Carolina twenty(some) years ago. (He even married his college sweetheart and they are still together with three beautiful children!) Fred was a music major and I a drama major back then. We did several shows together: "Hamlet", "Hair" as well as other smaller plays etc. But I had not had any contact with Fred since I left Catawba a year later. Twenty(some) years ago! So what a complete blast to find out that he would be playing Valjean. This week we've rehearsed together quite a bit, and it is so cool looking at Jean Valjean who Javert has been chasing for many many years only to be acting again and looking at a college pal whom I have not seen for many many years. And also how cool when you start acting together and the feeling is still very familiar. Sometimes it's like the twilight zone and I have to remember we are not at school. So that makes doing this show even more special for me. Of course our college director, Reid Leonard, is very proud. And as he said to Fred and me in an email, "Imagine! People could have payed just 10 dollars to see you two perform back then! Now they've gotta pay a whole lot more!"