Last week, Playa del Carmen's Music and Performing Arts School, Explayarte presented its full scale production of the award winning musical, Les Miserables. The show ran for three nights to packed and overwhelmingly enthusiastic audiences in Xcaret's Foro Abierto. This is the 5th Explayarte production that I have seen, my 4th as a corporate sponsor and the 3rd that Cat has participated in. I think it's fair to say that I am no longer what anyone would consider objective about these shows and the production company! Anyone who has been anywhere within earshot of me for the past few weeks has heard me wax effusive about the school, the leadership, the teachers, the curriculum, the production process and the level of talent that Explayarte demonstrates and shares not only with our children but with everyone who makes the effort to come out and support these shows.

For years, I have heard people lament that there is no culture in Playa del Carmen. No museums, no dedicated performance spaces, art galleries, few opportunities to expose our children to the arts in a meaningful way. I'm pretty sure that not a single person who attended any of these performances can deny that we are blessed to have music theatre of this caliber to enjoy and even take part in! As I looked back into the audience each night, I was really pleased to see so many families and even better groups of teens and almost teens who had come to see the show together. Certainly the timing of the production, falling after the overwhelming success of the star studded major motion picture, must have had an affect on attendance. Above that however, in the weeks and days leading up to the show, the energy and excitement surrounding the final rehearsals and the performers was absolutely palpable. It had to be infectious as nearly everywhere I went I could overhear people talking about the show....what night they were going....who they knew in the show....would be like the movie. It was this infectious excitement and anticipation that packed the house each night and had the audience leaping to their feet and cheering

If you were unable to make it to the show, here's a little taste of what you missed. If you saw the show, this will help you to relive some of your favorite moments from this amazing and very emotional production.