I saw Les Misérables the first time back in 2012 (before it hit the silver screen) and I thought the show was absolutely phenomenal. I had yet to start my blog so it is really great to have had another opportunity to see it and give it the proper review it deserves.
October 2015 will welcome the 30th anniversary of this much loved show. So why do audiences keep coming back to this tragically wonderful (or wonderfully tragic, if you prefer) show?
The story, based on Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, speaks to audiences on a multitude of levels. Whether you choose to look at it as historical, political, religious or moral narrative, you are bound to find some way to relate to the themes of the show - even if you can't relate to the characters directly.
The music is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and includes some of the most iconic songs in the Musical Theatre world such as; I Dreamed a Dream, One Day More, Bring Him Home and On My Own among many others. The music can often seem repetitive throughout with melodies being repeated, however, this connects the timeline of events and the lyrics are really beautifully written.
While watching the show this time around, it occurred to me how physically fit the cast must be to survive such a physically challenging show. The clever staging allows the cast to change location and time by walking with against the revolving stage. Also it is incredibly skillful to see how a set can be turned 90 degrees to transform from a café into the barricades.
The cast in 2012 left a more powerful impression than the current cast but that is not to say that this performance is just as talented and still are able to portray the heart-ache and passion of their characters. Carrie Hope Fletcher as Eponine and Celinde Schoenmaker as Fantine both leave remarkable impressions with their emotive acting and powerful vocals. The children in the show easily capture the hearts of the audience night after night, I'm sure.
Everything is so beautifully choreographed only highlighting the series of tragic events that take place throughout Les Misérables. A show with so much sorrow needs some wicked comic relief and the Thénardiers (Tom Edden and Wendy Feruson) fulfill that role perfectly. It is nearly impossible to hate this pair of crooks.
So in answer to my question, Les Misérables is still as popular as ever as it keeps delivering a wonderful cast who tell a fascinating story that will stay with you forever. Just one last warning: you might want to pack a few packets of tissues.
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