Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Les Miz!


Years ago, my Mom asked me to accompany her to the local community theater to see a musical called Les Miserables. Not really my thing at the time, I was a devotee of JC Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (yes, I was and am a Webber fanboy) and this new stuff maybe wasn't for me. But, I was blown away by it's grandeur. 

The latest touring show of Les Miz came into town last night for a weeklong stay. And as usual, it was spectacular.

I mean this thing has it all. Love, crime, bad cops. revolution, unrequited love, comedy, tragedy, cute kids, redemption, a fascinating story, and great great songs. Yeah, it can be a downer, but it's also inspiring. I dare you to not want to rush the Nebraska Unicameral and wave a red flag as they take away your rights, give away the store to the wealthy, arm every yahoo, and say the stupidest crap ever.

The story involves a criminal named Jean Valjean, prisoner 24601, released from slavery, who turns his life around, becomes a true Christian , becomes a rich man, cares for a young mothers child after she  dies, yet is still pursued by a bad cop named Javert. Meanwhile the young people are fed up with the wealthy, the government that enriches them at the expense of the people and plot a revolution. The daughter of Valjean falls for a student named Marius, all at the expense of the tragic Epinine, who loves Marius. The revolt occurs, it fails, all are dead except Marius and the rest is history.

This touring company is top notch. Every single major character in this grand musical has a moment to shine with a classic solo. They ALL knock it out of the park.

Fantine gets I Dreamed a Dream, the song that got Anne Hathaway an Oscar. Haley Dortch as Fantine got huge applause. The first of many.

The innkeeper Thenadier and his wife provided comic relief with Master of the House and also brought down the house.

Javert gets to shine with Stars. Preston Boyd as Javert was probably the most talented singer on the stage and blew everyone away with his baritone. Chills.

The ensemble killed with the classic Do You Hear the People Sing. It's still going in my head.

Epinine played by Christine Hwang ran away with On My Own. She was a delight and received huge applause. More chills.

There's so much more. One More Day. Look Down. It's so great.

Look I understand this huge loud long musical may be a chore to a lot of people. There's a shitload going on and subjects come at you really fast and at times it could become too much to handle. 

I mean you go from laughter to tears to sympathy to cheers to sadness to joy to tears again to joy again back to cheers to grief. It's a lot to process. 

But if you love grand spectacle on a stage, special effects, great stories and fantastic singers who all come to play, by all means go see it. I'd go back tonight if I could. It's that damn good!

Thanks Mom. 

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