I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to see the London performance of Les Miserables in the early 90s. We were living in the UK when my husband was active duty Air Force and we had three glorious years to soak in British culture. Trips to London to see plays were high on my To Do list. When I saw Les Miz I was smitten to my core with the story, the music, the characters – everything about it. I immediately bought the soundtrack and have now listened to it so many times I can sing the bawdy “Master of the House” in my sleep and I really don’t want to. I bought the piano score so that I could play “I Dreamed a Dream” all I wanted and whenever I hear the phrase “Who am I?” I want to shout out “2 4 6 0 1!!!”
I compare every performance of Les Miz with that London performance and I’ve not come across one I love as much. When a film version came out a few years back with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean I had serious doubts Hollywood could pull off Victor Hugo’s masterpiece the way the London cast did. I came away from that screening more assured than ever that no one can touch the London cast’s version. Ever.
But now I am not so sure. I think maybe the upcoming newest film version is going to knock my snooty socks off. I saw the trailer last night for the soon-to-be-released film version starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Russell Crowe as Javert (Oh, Javert, you tortured, tortured soul!) and Oh. My. Goodness. The trailer is already tugging at my socks. The cast sings all the takes live. The musical numbers aren’t voiceovers of studio work the actors did months before they starting filming. They are singing live takes with all the emotional pathos that the real scene brings: Watch for yourself:
Is that amazing or what?? Are you a fan of Les Miz? Where were you the first time you saw it? What was your favorite moment or line? You tell me yours and I will tell you mine!