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'Les Miserables' a labor of love for Plant City cast, crew

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Published:   |   Updated: July 16, 2013 at 07:32 AM

PLANT CITY - Holly Turcich is putting the summer before her senior year at Plant City High School to good use.

The 17-year-old is helping direct perhaps the most challenging play in Plant City Entertainment's history.

The community theater group has spent three months rehearsing "Les Miserables" ahead of Friday's opening performance. It's meant a lot of hours for the cast and crew, including Turcich, who has acted before but is trying a directing role for the first time.

"It's a lot more difficult than appearing in a production where you just have to remember your lines and where to stand," she said. "You're responsible for other people and it's a lot of responsibility."

The musical is complex for a number of reasons, according to director Domin Pazo.

"There's no dialogue and the music is hard and complicated. And it's a three hour show," said Pazo, who calls it the most difficult show he's directed in his 15 years with Plant City Entertainment.

"Even with the head start (in rehearsing), it's still hard," he said.

He and Turcich are directing a cast of 52 in the musical, adapted from a Victor Hugo novel set in turbulent 19th century France.

Music will be provided by a live orchestra, not a soundtrack.

The actors and actresses in the community theater production say they like they enjoyed the work leading up to the production.

"It's amazing. It's so much fun," Lisa Westcott said.

Ashley Allen added that "it's a great cast and crew."

"Les Miserables," has long been considered a classic and the musical was adapted to the big screen in a 2012 movie by the same name. But the script has only recently been made available to community theater groups, Pazo said.

"We're going to be the first group in Central Florida to perform it," he said.

Vinnie Natale said he feels honored to have won a spot in the cast.

"This is history," Natale said. "It's exciting to be in this play and be the first."

Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib

dnicholson@tampatrib.com

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