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Originally published February 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM | Page modified February 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM

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Puyallup native new artistic director of Balagan

Puyallup native Louis Hobson has been named new artistic director of the Balagan Theatre troupe.

Seattle Times staff

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Balagan Theatre, which specializes in chamber versions of popular musicals, has appointed Louis Hobson as artistic director. He’ll also star in the first show of the 2013-14 season: a chamber production of the Broadway megahit, “Les Misérables.”

Hobson, a Puyallup native, won recognition in Seattle for his lead performances in musicals at the 5th Avenue Theatre (“Hair,” “Miss Saigon”) and Village Theatre (“Evita”). On Broadway, he played featured roles in “Next to Normal,” and other musicals such as “Leap of Faith” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” He recently co-starred at Portland Center Stage in “Sweeney Todd.”

Balagan’s “stripped down” staging of “Les Misérables” will be presented at the Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill, Sept. 6-28.

Balagan has managed the Erickson since 2011, but company spokeswoman Christine Bateman says the landlord, Seattle Community College, will soon regain management of the space. Balagan is considering several other venues.

Hobson replaces vacating artistic director Shawn Belyea, who led Balagan for four years. He will become a full-time staffer for 14/48, which produces theater mini-festivals in Seattle.

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