Les Misérables

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:31 pm

Still no pics from the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Mis?

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  justin1976 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:16 pm

Not that I've seen, the brochure only contains rehearsal shots and pics of the London production as the tour hadn't been photographed yet, at least at the time I saw it.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Scorp on Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:48 pm

And it's a 5 star review from The Times! http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article6982982.ece

I don't have the original reviews saved on this computer, but I do elsewhere, but I somehow bet that this paper was not so generous to this show 25 years ago... Wink

Silly me still hasn't booked anything. I'm reckoning the Paris stint is too early for me. Fingers crossed for Bristol...

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:59 pm

Scorp wrote:And it's a 5 star review from The Times! http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article6982982.ece

I don't have the original reviews saved on this computer, but I do elsewhere, but I somehow bet that this paper was not so generous to this show 25 years ago... Wink
Seems like the reviewer is aware of the irony, by starting the review with:

"This touring Les Mis is and isn’t the show that, 24 years after it opened, is still playing in London."

It's amusing, though, that Les Mis was so bashed when it opened. Why did this happen? Because the musical was regarded French? Anything non-English (UK and US made stuff, that is) has been bashed brutally in the past - though, admittedly, the quality has been varying to say the least.

Thanks for posting that link! First picture I've seen online. The wedding pic costumes looks very Disney somehow, the silhouettes are more pronounced than in the past, and the colours brighter. But I like it.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Scorp on Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:04 pm

operafantomet wrote:

It's amusing, though, that Les Mis was so bashed when it opened. Why did this happen? Because the musical was regarded French? Anything non-English (UK and US made stuff, that is) has been bashed brutally in the past - though, admittedly, the quality has been varying to say the least.

I don't think it was so much to do with the fact it was French than just the subject matter, which seemed to baffle all the critics, but to the extent that people criticised it for diametrically opposite reasons! The tabloids all complained that Hugo was too intellectual to be the sort of thing to see in a musical, while the broadsheets bemoaned the desecration and trivialisation of Hugo (one of the reviews read something like "alas, Les Misérables has sadly been reduced to the Glums", which is why the show is fondly known in London to this day as just that: The Glums....hehehe).

Re: non-UK/US stuff, Boublil-Schönberg are admittedly the only 'foreign' musical theatre writers I seem to have liked so far...but then my experience is limited. I am not a fan of Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay. Trashy Europop (admittedly with a couple of great tunes here and there), the same old life stories with every concept blatantly ripped off from Evita and really abysmal lyrics...(sorry to people who like Mr Kunze...I'll admit I don't know much about Tanz der Vampire though to judge that, but that's not one of his collaborations with Levay anyway). I don't know, I guess I hate musicals. Tim Rice is right: most of them are so...awful.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Callie Daae on Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:54 am

When was the last US tour?

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:36 am

Callie Daae wrote:When was the last US tour?
According to Wikipedia, it closed on 7/23/06.

Wiki also says the 25th anniversary tour will be coming to America this year. I'd love to see it.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Scorp on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:24 am

Apparently the London production celebrated its 10,000th performance last week. Does anyone know if they did anything to celebrate in true Cameron Mackintosh style?

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:40 am

There were some confusion amongst fans when the 10.000 performance actually were, most thought it was January 5th. But on January 6th they had an announcement at the beginning, and the tacky facade text was changed to announce the production had reached 10.000 performances (along with "Still dreaming the dream", but that was there before Xmas too, I think).

After the show, Simon Bowman had a speech of some sort, and there were confetti. That was the part audience got to participate in, but I'm sure there were more happening backstage and afterwards...

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  starryeyed on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:30 pm

The confusion was as a result of the cancelled matinee some weeks prior. Fans would have of course figured out and calculated when the 10,000 th performance would be (a Saturday) without taking into account there had been a cancelled matinee which made the 10,000th performance the Monday show.

But yes as operafantomet said nothing spectacular, I think a few Les Mis fans complained about it.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:45 pm

ruthy wrote:The confusion was as a result of the cancelled matinee some weeks prior. Fans would have of course figured out and calculated when the 10,000 th performance would be (a Saturday) without taking into account there had been a cancelled matinee which made the 10,000th performance the Monday show.
That explains it! People seemed so sure it was the day before, but I figured CamMack and co knew what they were doing.

I can see why people were a little disappointed by that celebration, but I guess they celebrate years rather than performances. It's not the the POTO celebrations has been wild and crazy either, although they have had some nice cakes. After seeing what they did in Japan for the 5.000 performance, a cake just won't do...

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Scorp on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:49 pm

operafantomet wrote:
I can see why people were a little disappointed by that celebration, but I guess they celebrate years rather than performances. It's not the the POTO celebrations has been wild and crazy either, although they have had some nice cakes. After seeing what they did in Japan for the 5.000 performance, a cake just won't do...

Those Miz fans are spoiled. They had a massive concert at the RAH on the 10th anniversary which got released on video and CD, and one year later us lucky Phantom fans got to.......oh wait, we were barred from going to the "celebrities only" 10th anniversary performance at HM's... Rolling Eyes

EDIT: OK, can someone please volunteer to work out when London's Phantom hits the big 10,000? Then we can try and book in advance before they make *that* "celebrities only" too, lol. The 9,000th performance was on 31 May 2008, so you can use that as your starting point... (and that was after the digital installation, so no need to take into account the missed performances resulting from that being set up....although has Phantom ever been closed due to the recent snow at all?). Don't forget the extra performances over the holiday period too...

I know I attended performance no. 6999 once, as the next day RUG announced the show's 7000th, hehe.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  starryeyed on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:05 pm

I may be mad but I am going to try and figure out when Phantom hits 10,000 performances in London. It was cancelled for a day last February so will that have to be taken into account yes? I think that was a Monday evening (I know the Les Mis website has there notice up still from that day so if it was a Tuesday then that would be two performances deducted.) I suppose I also have to take account of the crazy Christmas schedules which may be harder, I know what this years (well last years) schedule was but the year before, was it the same?

ETA: Phantom was cancelled along with half the West End (if memory serves me correct Hairspray remained open) on Monday 2nd February 2009, one performace deducted there... wish me luck!

Oh I'm doing well already not... was the 9000th performance the matinee or evening show on the 31st May 2008?


Last edited by ruthy on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:08 pm

Scorp wrote:Those Miz fans are spoiled. They had a massive concert at the RAH on the 10th anniversary which got released on video and CD, and one year later us lucky Phantom fans got to.......oh wait, we were barred from going to the "celebrities only" 10th anniversary performance at HM's... Rolling Eyes
I've been following the discussions over at musicals.net (the Mis forum), and they're actually jealous of POTO fans. Main reason is that POTO still runs in its "original" theatres in both West End and Broadway. They're also very little altered from 1986/1988. Les Mis has, on the other hand changed locations from massive Palace to the more cramped Queens, and they also got the partly pre-rec orchestra.

The most recent agony is though the 25th anniversary tour. They seem to feel it "steals the thunder" of the original London production, and that everything concerning big celebrations, new recordings etc. will be from the tour rather than from Queen's. I hadn't thought of it like that before, but I definitely see their point. I would feel the same, had it been POTO. But that doesn't make me dislike the tour, like it seems to do with some Les Mis fans. And I try to tell them that Les Mis (the stage musical) haven't gotten a mediocre movie version and ditto stage sequel... Whereas that's the reality for POTO fans. And then there's the point you brought up, with them getting more stuff released, and bigger (public) celebrations.

I guess both "fan worlds" has their pros and cons...

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  starryeyed on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:17 pm

Come to think of it... over the Christmas period Phantom doesn't add any extra shows in, they just have to make up the 16 shows in two weeks quota... therefore there should be no extra performances required. It is only shows like WWRY that end up with 12 shows a week :O

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Scorp on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:18 pm

ruthy wrote:I may be mad but I am going to try and figure out when Phantom hits 10,000 performances in London. It was cancelled for a day last February so will that have to be taken into account yes? I think that was a Monday evening (I know the Les Mis website has there notice up still from that day so if it was a Tuesday then that would be two performances deducted.) I suppose I also have to take account of the crazy Christmas schedules which may be harder, I know what this years (well last years) schedule was but the year before, was it the same?

ETA: Phantom was cancelled along with half the West End (if memory serves me correct Hairspray remained open) on Monday 2nd February 2009, one performace deducted there... wish me luck!

Oh I'm doing well already not... was the 9000th performance the matinee or evening show on the 31st May 2008?

Not sure if it was the matinée or evening, you might have to try and Google that. I can tell you though that the 7,000th performance was on 12 August 2003 (I know this because I saw performance #6999 the day before Wink ) and the 8,000th was on 3 January 2006. That might help as a rough guide...

Good luck!

operafantomet wrote:I guess both "fan worlds" has their pros and cons...

Yeah. the grass is always greener on the other side. I don't think the Broadway revival went down too well with the diehard Mizzies either.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:26 pm

Scorp wrote:
operafantomet wrote:I guess both "fan worlds" has their pros and cons...

Yeah. the grass is always greener on the other side. I don't think the Broadway revival went down too well with the diehard Mizzies either.
Don't blame them... It wasn't all it should have been.

I have a question re: Les Mis. I must admit I've never read Victor Hugo's novel, and my knowledge to the storyline is a bit random. And one thing I don't understand, is this: Javert tells he knows where Valjean is labelled 24601, and he constantly refers to him by his number rather than his name. How does that fit with Champmathieu, the guy arrested in his place (around the time when Valjean lifts the runaway cart)? Have they tattooed him with "24601", just to get a convict? scratch Or doesn't he bear any number? How can they then mistake him for Valjean?

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Paula74 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:40 pm

operafantomet wrote:
Scorp wrote:
operafantomet wrote:I guess both "fan worlds" has their pros and cons...

Yeah. the grass is always greener on the other side. I don't think the Broadway revival went down too well with the diehard Mizzies either.
Don't blame them... It wasn't all it should have been.

On the whole, there was just something weak about the revival. I wasn't overly impressed...particularly with the orchestrations which sounded like an inexpensive music box compared to the original. And, apart from little details like Cosette's dress, there wasn't anything that felt new or fresh about it...it certainly lacked the awesome energy I felt when I saw the original tour in the late 80s or even the smaller Walnut Street production last year (leaving out my bias for Hugh, that was an excellent production partly because it had a very fresh, energetic feel to it).

Which isn't to say it that it didn't have some good points. Nikki Renee Daniels as the Fantine understudy was wonderful, Aaron Lazar was the closest thing to a book Enjolras that I've seen, Adam Jacobs was adorable as Marius, and...while he doesn't top Anthony Crivello in the role...I like Norm Lewis as Javert.

I have a question re: Les Mis. I must admit I've never read Victor Hugo's novel, and my knowledge to the storyline is a bit random. And one thing I don't understand, is this: Javert tells he knows where Valjean is labelled 24601, and he constantly refers to him by his number rather than his name. How does that fit with Champmathieu, the guy arrested in his place (around the time when Valjean lifts the runaway cart)? Have they tattooed him with "24601", just to get a convict? scratch Or doesn't he bear any number? How can they then mistake him for Valjean?

In the book, that scene doesn't hinge on the number 24601 at all. Champmathieu is about to be convicted mostly on the strength of other convicts identifying him as the Jean Valjean they knew in prison. It's not until Monsieur Madeleine comes forward and points out things he knows about those other convicts (such as their scars and tattoos) that the case against Champmathieu falls apart and Madeleine is revealed as the real Valjean.

It's the musical that puts all the focus on 24601.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:06 pm

Paula74 wrote:In the book, that scene doesn't hinge on the number 24601 at all. Champmathieu is about to be convicted mostly on the strength of other convicts identifying him as the Jean Valjean they knew in prison. It's not until Monsieur Madeleine comes forward and points out things he knows about those other convicts (such as their scars and tattoos) that the case against Champmathieu falls apart and Madeleine is revealed as the real Valjean.

It's the musical that puts all the focus on 24601.
I don't doubt that for a second. But in the musical, Javert is the one telling Valjean/Madeleine about them finally finding Valjean. Surely he must have checked upon the prisoner to see that it is his long-life chase they've taken, and check that he has the number tattooed on his chest/arm/whatever. But the random vagabond wouldn't have such a number, would he? And Javert seems to be a man of pride, and would not be content unless he KNEW it was Valjean? Is it a plot-hole in the musical, or is Javert doing it deliberately to lure Valjean/Madeleine to come forward?

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Paula74 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:55 pm

I think it's pretty much a plot hole. My personal theory - strictly musical - is that Champmathieu had either been branded with the same number as Valjean by mistake (I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too far-fetched to assign the same number to two different prisoners by accident in an era before computerized identification records) or that his tattoo/brand was very similar to 24601 (maybe something like 24607) and faded/distorted so much over time that it could be read wrong.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:28 pm

Paula74 wrote:I think it's pretty much a plot hole. My personal theory - strictly musical - is that Champmathieu had either been branded with the same number as Valjean by mistake (I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too far-fetched to assign the same number to two different prisoners by accident in an era before computerized identification records) or that his tattoo/brand was very similar to 24601 (maybe something like 24607) and faded/distorted so much over time that it could be read wrong.
Interesting theory. I'd never really thought about this plot hole before.

I also think the Broadway revival was weak, particularly the orchestrations, but the casting improved with replacements, I think. Lea Salonga and Judy Kuhn seemed like excellent Fantines, and Ben Davis seemed like an underrated Javert (certainly better in my book than Lewis or Robert Hunt). And while I don't think JOJ's the best Valjean since sliced bread, I do certainly prefer him to either Drew Sarich or Alexander Gemignani.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:39 pm

I agree, I fancied the casting towards the end a lot more than the opening cast. But I also agree with the orchestration and various details. It wasn't a disaster, but it could have been a lot better.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  justin1976 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:59 pm

Lucky Mancunians. The Les Mis tour opens at the Palace Theatre next week then returns to Manchester at a different theatre (The Lowry) for two weeks in August. The first UK tour opened in Manchester and a five-track CD was released featuring that cast. It also played the Manchester Opera House, making the Lowry the third venue in the city to host the show.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  justin1976 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:20 pm

Pics from the new tour - http://photos.thelowry.com/LesMisrables Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  operafantomet on Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:18 pm

Crap, the link worked some while ago, but seems to be broken/down now. Ah well, got to see the pics, and in general I liked it. Very Happy

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:02 am

I only got to see a few of them before the page stopped working.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  phantomgirl110 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:27 am

I had technical difficulties too, but here are the few I managed to save before the site went kaput:




Earl Carpenter


Rosalind James


Ashley Artus and Lynne Wilmot

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  EarlFan on Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:36 am

You can also see the new pictures here: LINK

I like this one, he looks so different


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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Viscountess on Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:00 pm

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4684907&id=217240141163#/photo.php?pid=4684905&id=217240141163

I can't really judge Hall's acting without seeing her, but the look on her face in this pic alone says so much.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  starryeyed on Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:06 pm

Katie Hall is the only Cosette I have seen who has managed to act during One Day More, she was really amazing. Yet to see her on the tour however but I am sure she has only improved. Her Epilogue was also really good (pictured above.)

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Re: Les Misérables

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