Sunday, February 08, 2009

Les Miserables Memories

There's a nice piece posted at Big Hollywood today on the musical LES MISERABLES.

I think the author just might be right that the show has the greatest Act I Finale of all time.

I have been fortunate to see two different stage productions. I first saw it in the late '80s at the Shubert Theatre in Century City, which was demolished a few years ago.

In the early '90s I saw it again at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, starring Gary Morris as Jean Valjean. In the '80s Morris was one of my favorite country singers, so it was especially meaningful to me to see him in the role. This particular production had such a profound emotional impact on me that I've been somewhat reluctant to see the musical again simply because nothing is likely to ever top that particular theater-going experience.

I highly recommend the 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT DVD recorded at Royal Albert Hall, which I have watched many times. (I own the discontinued single-disc DVD release.) It stars a "dream cast" including the original Valjean, Colm Wilkinson. You can watch a YouTube link to the finale at Big Hollywood, which is absolutely thrilling, as 17 Valjeans from productions around the world join Wilkinson, each singing a few lines of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" in their native language, before the rest of the cast and the massive chorus join them to finish the concert. Goosebumps are guaranteed.

If you love LES MIS, check out the YouTube link and then get ahold of the 10TH ANNIVERSARY DVD.


Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

I saw Les Miz in Toronto, ages ago. Princess Di was in Toronto at the same time, for reference. I also saw Phantom of the Opera on that trip. I'm pretty sure I saw Colm Wilkinson, but can't remember if he was the Phantom or Valjean. My programs are very irretrievably packed away at the moment, or I'd check.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Great memories, Barb. It would be wonderful if you saw Wilkinson.

I just dug my programs out of storage a couple years ago so I know the feeling!

Best wishes,

3:36 PM  

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