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Left to right: Julie Lumsden and Colleen Furlan, two of several U of M students and alumni appearing in Rainbow Stage's Les Miserables.

Rainbow Stage tinted with brown and gold

Alumni and current students on stage for Les Miserables

July 8, 2015 — 

Rainbow Stage opens Les Misérables on July 9 with a plethora of University of Manitoba alumni and current students hitting the stage.

Julie Lumsden [B Mus Performance/15] plays Éponine. This is her second appearance at Rainbow Stage. In 2014 she was a supporting cast member in The Little Mermaid. Lumsden says playing Éponine is nothing short of a dream role.

“I was so excited to learn I was playing Éponine,” said Lumsden. “Les Mis is such a powerful show with amazing music. To be part of this cast is a dream come true.”

Lumsden will be on stage with long-time friend and University of Manitoba student Colleen Furlan.

Furlan is making her third appearance at Rainbow Stage this year. She was previously supporting cast in Mary Poppins (2013) and starred as Ariel in The Little Mermaid (2014). Along with playing Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act this August, she plays Cosette in Les Misérables. Furlan says being on stage with a close friend like Lumsden can be an emotional experience.

“We don’t cross paths too much on stage,” said Furlan. “We lock eyes for a few seconds, but that’s it. However when Éponine’s death scene happens, I get choked up backstage every time. Even though its just pretend, it’s a very emotional thing to see. It shows you how powerful the music and story really is.”

Set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, and his quest for redemption after serving jail time for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. As the story progresses, group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.

Furlan says though the story takes place in a different era, the overall plot is still important to today’s society.

“It’s amazing how relevant the story is,” said Furlan. “Civil rights is always an ongoing issue. The story will resound well with the audience, even though it is set in the 1800’s.”

Furlan took over the University of Manitoba’s Instagram all day on July 9 to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the actors prep for opening day of their big show:


Follow her on Instagram and use hashtag #umtakeover to see more backstage photos and get a rare look how the actors prepare to hit the stage.

Other students and alumni appearing in Les Misérables and Rainbow Stage’s August show Sister Act include:

  • Paula Potosky (new McLeod) [B Mus/B Ed/04] – Fantine in Les Misérables. Potosky is also in the ensemble of Sister Act.
  • Joseph Tritt [B Mus 14] is the Music Director for Les Misérables.
  • Nelson Bettencourt [B Mus Performance/13] is supporting cast Les Misérables.
  • Jacqueline Harding [B Mus Performance/09] is supporting cast in Les Misérables.
  • Aaron Hutton [B Mus Performance/11] is supporting cast in Les Misérables. Hutton is also in the ensemble of Sister Act.
  • Darren Martens [B Mus Performance/12] is supporting cast in Les Misérables.
  • Sam Plett (former student) is supporting cast in Les Misérables.
  • Wes Rambo [B Mus Performance/15] is supporting case in Les Misérables.
  • Paul DeGurse [B Jazz 2012] is the resident Assistant Music Director for the entire Rainbow stage summer season.
  • Brendan Thompson, alumnus, is in the orchestra for Les Misérables.

To get tickets for Les Miserables and Sister Act, click here.


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