The cast and crew of "Les Miserables" raised more than $1,800 Sunday night as they presented "Beyond the Barricade," a hilarious yet touching benefit for AIDS education and prevention charities.
The variety show included Kelly Briggs (Lesgles in "Les Miz") spoofing Judy Garland in a black sequined dress, executive producer Richard Jay-Alexander singing disco with the Fabulous Fantines (the women who play Fantine) singing backup and the talented children from the cast donning tap shoes to boogie to "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy." Also featured were ballads from other Broadway hits including "The Secret Garden and "Rags."Jay-Alexander and casting director Ron La Rosa hosted the event, keeping the audience laughing as they provided insights and background information about the cast.
While the show provided laughs and entertainment, it also provided much needed funding for providing AIDS education and prevention. The event included an auction. Proceeds from the show and auction will be donated to the Utah AIDS Foundation, The People With AIDS Coalition of Utah and Broadway Cared/Equity Fights AIDS.
Jay-Alexander called Salt Lake a "Les Miz" city and said that is one reason the cast chose to perform "Beyond the Barricade." He said the cast does not perform the variety show in every city.
Items for the auction came from a variety of sources, including items from Broadway plays such as "Miss Saigon." Jay-Alexander sweetened the offerings by adding tickets to the sold out "Les Miz" along with backstage passes and even chipping in his vest.
"Les Miz" and maybe "Beyond the Barricade" will visit Salt Lake City next year.