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Spotlight: Civic, Symphony team up for ‘Les Mis’

Natalya Ferch, as Cosette, and Jim Swoboda, as Jean Valjean, in Spokane Civic Theatre’s production of “Les Mis” last fall.
Natalya Ferch, as Cosette, and Jim Swoboda, as Jean Valjean, in Spokane Civic Theatre’s production of “Les Mis” last fall.

Jim Swoboda made quite a splash this fall in what was in essence his musical theater debut. In Spokane Civic Theatre’s production of “Les Miserables,” Swoboda walked into the challenging role of Jean Valjean and turned in a performance S-R critic Nathan Weinbender called remarkable.

Now, he’ll get to do it all over again, when Civic and the Spokane Symphony team up to stage the epic musical for one weekend in March. For many in the Civic cast, it will be their first foray onto the stage at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

For Swoboda, at least, it’ll be old hat. Because while he hadn’t done much acting in musical theater before “Les Mis” came into his life, he’s not been a stranger to making music with the Spokane Symphony. For nearly three decades, Swoboda has been a member of the Spokane Symphony Chorale, a chorus that often performs with the symphony.

“Performing with the orchestra for me is OK. I’m comfortable with that,” Swoboda said Tuesday at a news conference announcing the collaboration. “I know a lot of the orchestra members, so I’m a little more used to that. But wearing a costume and performing it is a little daunting. But it’ll be a joy at the same time.”

Swoboda, a tenor, said “Les Mis” is essentially an opera. “It’s truly about the music and the story. And what better place to do that than here, and with a larger orchestra.”

The production will be staged March 1 and 2, using much of the original cast as well as Civic’s sets and costumes. Tickets are on sale now through TicketsWest and the Fox and Civic box offices. Cost is $40 to $125.

More from Mission Control

Spokane-based record label Mission Control is set to release a single from Spokane native Keyonna Knight on Christmas Eve.

Knight’s cover of Meatloaf’s hit “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” will be available Tuesday as a digital download from Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and other major digital retailers, according to a news release. A video of the song has been posted on YouTube.

Knight, who graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in June, was active in the LC drama program and also acted in “Once on This Island” for Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater in 2011.

Mission Control has released albums by artists as diverse as the Singing Nuns of Mount St. Michael, the Randy Shaw Band and Glenn Symmonds, who drums with Eddie Money. Among the artists on the label’s roster are Chad Mitchell and Sammy Eubanks.

CST’s new home

The revived Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre has a new box office location.

Beginning Jan. 2, the box office will be located at 4951 Building Center Drive, Suite 105, in Coeur d’Alene. That address is off of Kathleen Avenue, behind Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.

This year, CST will stage its productions at the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene, after a longtime residency at the Schuler Performing Arts Center at North Idaho College ended.

For more information, visit CST’s website at