Two students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School have roles in Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s musical production of Les Misérables.
Larissa and Lily MacDonald, fourth and second grade students at MAM, were cast during auditions in June. They sang a song from the musical during the audition and both scored a place in the production, despite having never been in a musical before.
Their mother, Kristen MacDonald, heard about the show from Special Education Teacher Justin McArthur, who was also auditioning. MacDonald auditioned as well, and joins the cast as a factory worker.
She hadn’t been on stage since her children were born. The MacDonalds live in Pennellville.
Auditions for the production were elite. Out of the 120 plus who auditioned, only 35 were selected for the cast. The cast also include Phoenix alumni Henry Wilson, Jason Bean and Paul Thompson.
The story chronicles the struggles of Jean Valjean, a French peasant who searches for redemption after serving a prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his family. The musical is entirely sung.
Larissa plays Young Eponine, while Lily is a part of the youth ensemble. The cast is made up of mostly adults — the MacDonald sisters are the youngest of the children.
Singing in all of the chorus parts, Larissa is looking forward to joining chorus as a fifth-grader. She is also involved in gymnastics, Battle of the Books, and the school science fair.
Lily plays piano.
The girls have broken some of the MacDonald’s house rules in order to a part of the production. Play practices close to show time ran up until 11 p.m. some week nights, ending a few hours past their normal bedtimes.
The hard work and long rehearsals have paid off. Each show has sold out, and a Thursday night performance (Feb. 6) has been added.
After the curtain closes, Larissa and her sister hope to continue performing. Larissa recently sang the national anthem at the Winterguard’s first home show at the high school.