First and last high school musical for “Les Miserables” stars

COAL CITY HIGH SCHOOL senior Nick Berta will appear as Javert in his final high school musical and taking the stage for his first production with the high school cast is Coal City Middle School sixth grader Stephen Byers, as Gavroche. The students will join the rest of the “Les Miserables” cast for the spring production set for March 8-11 in the Coal City Performing Arts Center. Photo by Jon Engler
Jon Englert
Student reporter

This week’s installment of Cast Chats for Coal City High School’s upcoming production of “Les Miserables,” features Nick Berta and Stephen Byers.
Berta, a senior, has been cast as Inspector Javert, who is the main antagonist of the show. Not only is Javert the biggest enemy of Jean Valjean, but he also poses as a threat to the revolutionaries.
Byers, a sixth grader at Coal City Middle School, plays the young Gavroche, the little brother of revolutionary leader, Enjolras.             Gavroche may not be on the forefront fighting against French soldiers, but he is a force to be reckoned with off the battlefield by spreading revolutionary spirit and motivating his companions to not give up.        This being his last year in high school, Berta reflects on what he would like to do when he graduates in the spring saying, he wants continue in theater as a computer engineer working for a theatrical company and design lighting equipment.
Though Byers still has much more time ahead of him, he already has his sights set on the future. He has contemplated potential careers, and is currently considering either wanting to be a professional bike racer or a Broadway star.
When it comes to their biggest fears in taking the stage, Berta replied that he is terrified of not portraying the character of Javert properly. Byers feels similarly in the sense that he is afraid of himself or others messing up on-stage.
Of all the songs in “Les Miserables,” Berta has mentioned his favorite number to perform is one of his solo songs, “Stars.”
“It is a very good turning point for the character Javert when he realizes that he is obliged to pursue Valjean and bring him into custody,” Berta said.
On the other hand, Byers is a huge fan of the Act I finale song, “One Day More” saying, “There’s so much power and activity in the music.”
Come watch Berta and Byers perform these famous tunes along with the rest of the “Les Miserables” cast at Coal City Performing Arts Center March 8-11. Advanced reserved seat tickets are $8 per adult and $5 for children and senior citizens  and can be purchased on-line at