Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Les Miserables

Last June Emily and I made a brilliant discovery: Les Miserables. This incredible musical was something we had heard of, but never though much about. With unspeakable thanks to Miss Dashwood and others (other Les Miserables fans to put it lightly) we rented the 25th Anniversary DVD. After being completely and utterly floored by the music (I shall say nothing at this time of Sir Twerp-a-lot) Anyhow, one thing led to another, and next thing you know we had watched the DVD five times in one week, and were reading the 1500 page book (which quickly became a favorite, we highly recommend it!) Shall I fast forward through Em and I memorizing every song, and doing nothing on the 22 hour ride to Canada but listen to the cast album? Thought so m'dears. Anyway, this past fall it came unto my attention that the Les Miserables US Tour would be in Charlotte; I was thrilled. I cunningly plotted to buy Emily tickets for Christmas for a show that would take place on her birthday. Great Christmas gift, eh? This seemingly infallible plan was foiled because of every single ticket selling out, and a certain trip I made to the dark continent. Emily was somewhat very sad but, being the kind hearted sister she is, decided to content herself with the thought that her sister had even tried to take her. You can imagine then her complete and utter shock, when I presented her with tickets several weeks later to another show, a few stops later on the tour. Emily is now eternally in my debt, and would do basically anything for me at this point. 

On the momentous day of March twenty-third, year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen, we set forward on a somewhat wet, but joyous four hour journey to the location of the show.
Those who know Emily, know she was pretty much  completely beside herself. 

The show was even better than either of us had imagined (and take my word for it, we had high expectations). The first notes were sung, and we grabbed each other, completely enraptured. 

A brief review of characters:
Jean Valjean (David Brink) He was actually the understudy, which at first we were slightly saddened by, he soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread. He was stunning. Emily decided that he was her favorite voice of the performance

Javert (Andrew Varela) my favorite, his Stars was stunning (sorry Russel, but this guy was really great).

Marius (Devin Ilaw) Marius is not one of my favorite characters.  However, he has some incredible songs. Some of them, Empty Chairs and Empty Tables especially, never seem to be sung to their full potential. Never fear, Devin is here. If we could just have him be the one to always sing that song all the time from now on that would be great. Thank you for cooperating.

Enjolras (Jason Forbach) Ahh Enjolras, I always feel bad for anyone tasked with playing this role after Ramin Karimloo's stunning performance in 2010, but Jason held his own very well. It's very difficult to make this music sound bad : )

After the performance several actors were in the lobby. To Emily's great delight, one of them was the actor playing her favorite character, Gavroche. 

Congratulations on reading this long and silly post written by my overly excitable sister, it was an unspeakably beautiful experience. I'm always amazed by people who have seen Les Miserables live, and don't seem all that smitten. As for my sister and I, we loved every minute of it, and found our trip very worthwhile. 

P.S. Emily might have written this post, but I have to confess I concur with her on every detail, I just try and act a little more grown up about it. : )


Miss Dashwood said...

You have nooooooo idea how happy and squealy-inside this post made me. :D Did I really influence you to start your Les Mis journey??? Happy thought indeed! Isn't it PHENOMENAL?

Ah, yes, a 22-hour marathon of the cast album (London? Broadway? Complete Symphonic Recording? do tell, for I love details!) sounds like bliss.

I gave my sister tickets to the show this past Christmas... unfortunately it was way too early for her birthday but it was an awesome Christmas present. Isn't it AMAZING to see it live? Now I can't wait until the tour comes around again. :D

LOVE Emily's cockade! I wish we'd thought to make some of those! My sister and I did wear red and black to the show though. :D

Isn't Andrew Varela THE BEST??? Philip Quast from the TAC is still my favorite Javert but Varela was unbelievable. We were sitting in the very very back rows and I could feel the seats shaking at the end of "Stars." What a voice!

Yay, you saw Devin Ilaw as Marius too! His Empty Chairs was phenomenal. Forget Sir Twerp-a-lot. :D

Gahhhhh, Jason Forbach was MAGNIFICENT. I was pretty much madly in love with him for the entire show. :D Again, a stupendous voice! Ramin is still the best Enjo singing-wise, though. :D

Eeeeeeep, I wish the actors had come out to the lobby at our show! Gavroche happens to be my favorite too. Well, one of my top five favorites. :P

I can't understand people who have seen it and don't seem smitten, either. How can you watch such an awe-inspiring story and not allow it to CHANGE YOUR WHOLE EXISTENCE?

Heh. Pardon my rather passionate outburst.

So happy you got to see it!!!! Have you seen the movie yet? (It's amazing.)

Anna said...

You absolutely had a very big part in me and my sister's introduction to Les MIs!!! You along with Alexandra. We are forever and ever and ever in your debt. We read your blogs and we liked so many of the same movies that you did and you were obsessed with Les MIs and so we figured we might as well try it out. Em got around to watching it first and I came in after 20 minutes and she was already completely in love with it and told me I had to watch it ASAP. 1 minute into the film and I was smitten.

We have the London 25th anniversary one. The one with the amazing Ramin Karimloo. Thankfully this recording does not have Sir Twerp a lot.

I underestimated how amazing it was to see it live. INCREDIBLE.

Andrew Varela is the best. Period. It gave me goosebumps. I love Russell too, but Varela's power and strength is unbelievable. And he can hold those notes so long! I couldn't get over how amazing he was. Still can't. Never will.

I don't get Sir Twerp a lot. I really don't. Do you know how many amazing voices are out there compared to Sir Twerp a lot!?!?!?!?!? The "nobodies" from the show have better voices then him. It had to be for publicity. I simply don't see how anyone could be that blind.

Yep Ramin is the best. "barricades of freedom" : ) But Jason help his own quite well.

Well only Gavroche and little Cosette came out.

Yep saw the movie the soonest possibly show that I could get. Loved it.

Thank you for your delightfully long and energetic comment!