Sunday, April 1, 2012

Les Miserables

Music: The Confrontation- Les Miserables 25th Anniversary

I did it! I finally did it! I finally got the chance to see Les Miserables live and it did not disappoint! The cast and music and costumes and stage and props and backdrop and setting and sets and basically everything was simply amazing! And if you are one of those people who are complaining because "there ain't no turntables in this rendition" the musical survived well enough without them, who knows maybe the turntables will make an appearance in the 30th anniversary tour.

However despite the turntables not being there this production had somewhat of a 3D thing going on during the 2nd act or rather projections of Victor Hugo's drawings which is actually a lot cooler than it sounds and really added to when Javert jumps into the Seine. (RIP Javert, he has to be my favorite character behind Eponine.)

To begin with apparently this show was sold out all 3 days it was running so for my mom to have gotten tickets for us was one of the coolest things she has ever done for me considering she knew I have wanted to see this production since 2009 or so and she had absolutely no idea what it was about. (Has anyone ever really tried explaining Les Miz to anyone? Exactly what are you supposed to say? "It's about a guy who went to jail for stealing bread then get's out on parole. 24601." Lol, It's so much more than that!)

But anyways, we get there and I had to take pictures next to the signs because it's Les freaking Miserables and I love it and need proof that I was there! We walk into the theatre and my mom did excellently with the seats! 15th row in the middle! YES!

About 15 minutes beforehand with me telling my mom and grandmother  to read the synopsis before watching I was flipping through the program and reading about the actors/directors and what not and then the show started and I must say Les Miz has the most powerful musical opening in history.
Now as for the actors;

Jean Valjean played by Peter Lockyer- First and foremost his name is pronounced Zshan-Val-Zshan. NOT Jeen VOL Jeen! I swear if I hear one more person pronounce his name like this I am ending them.  But Lockyer was fantastic and I don't think they could have picked a better Valjean. Bring Him Home is what made me think that this guy is the best person to ever play Valjean ever. I can truly see him going places.

Javert played by Andrew Varela- I'm going to admit I wasn't a fan of his at first. But after 2 minutes I got over it. He was actually pretty amazingly fantastic and his version of "Stars" blew me away and he will be going places too. Overall I think I'm just a huge fan of Norm Lewis's Javert but Varela rocked the house just the same! Oh and the hat Javert wears at the beginning always makes me smile. I kind of want one. =P
Show Photos - Les Miserables - Andrew Varela

Cosette played by Lauren Wiley- She was fantastic. Although I think Cosette has less of a storyline in the musical than she does in the book, Lauren really made Cosette come to life. Plus she was a phenomenal singer! 
Quick Change - Les Miserables - tour - Lauren Wiley

Marius played by Max Quinlan- I am seriously not a fan of Marius's character but oh my God this guy was freaking fantastic! He actually made me like the character and that's saying something. He put so much emotion and song into his act that it's really hard to dislike him. 
One of my favorite bits in the entire show though (I'm not sure if they've ever done this for another performance) was when he throws a rock at Cosette's window during "A Heart Full of Love" and then goes "I'm doing everything all wrong." It was so great! 

Fantine played by Betsy Morgan- Best Fantine ever. She pretty much made me fall in love with the character. Her, “I Dreamed a Dream” is one of the only ones I really WANT to sit through and listen to. And her voice is so perfect for the songs she sings and her acting is just as good. Overall I have to say she was my absolute favorite in the entire musical. 

Eponine played by Chasten Harmon- Eponine has to be my favorite character in this entire musical next to Javert. Chasten did a spectacular job with "On My Own" and it really did seem as if she made the role all her own, she wore a red hat!!! What I really liked about Chasten is that I actually got to meet her afterwards when they were collecting money for some charity and she was super nice.

The Thenardiers played by  Timothy Gulan & Shawna Hamic- They were HILARIOUS. I absolutely loved both of them. Personally I never  liked Mr. Thenardier as a character but Gulan was great and everyone absolutely loved them both. Shawna seems to really really like her job too and I have so much respect for people like her.

Enjolras played by Jason Forbach- Honestly I didn't find him memorable but living up to Ramin's Enjolras is quite a challenge so I'm not going to say he was bad. Infact he is a great singer! And at least he wasn't blonde like they showed the dude in the program. 

Gavroche played by either Joshua Colley or Marcus D'Angelo- I have no idea who played him in the show I saw but whoever it was is the cutest kid ever! I don't necessarily take a liking to kids but whichever one of these guys played him made me want to give them a huge hug! I swear not knowing who played him will haunt me forever!

Young Cosette played by Erin Cearlock and Young Eponine played by Juliana Simone  - I doubt if they could have picked two better girls for the part. Both played the role to a T! Mavis Simpson-Ernst was also great as the "Turning" ensemble girl.

The Bishop of Digne played by James Zannelli- Honestly I think the guy plays one of the most important roles in the entire musical. Zannelli actually brought the character to life and I was just in awe of his performance. 

Every single person in the ensemble was great too, not a single person was horrendous. Everyone was top notch with their performances whether it be a "lovely lady" or the guy who says "Move it Madeline."

Other things I really liked:
-The scenery and props and design- LOVED everything about it. I cannot imagine having a stage like that. Truly spectacular!
-The costumes- All of them were wonderful along with the makeup.
- The lighting- Perfect.

One thing I will never understand:
I don't think I will ever get why Eponine is beside Valjean during his death. Did he even know her? Personally I thought the Bishop would have been a better choice but what do I know!?!?!?

Overall this musical will always be a 10/10 in my book and I strongly urge people who have never seen it to do so! 

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