I adore musicals. Tech Support is more skeptical of the genre, despite having a deep love of Fiddler on the Roof and Paint Your Wagon. But since he’s a good husband, he took me to Les Mis for Valentine’s Day.
I’d seen it live a couple of times before, but this was the fancy new touring production. Not sure I’m on board with it. They took out the “time and place” signals, which made it tough for Tech Support (who knows the story less well than I) to track the changes in year and setting. And with some of the new staging, it was tough to tell when characters were moving through settings together and when they were running into each other at a new time and place. It was also a little weird to watch Marius sing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” in the middle of the empty street, instead of in the cafe where he and his friends used to “talk of revolution.”
I will say, though, that the actor who played Jean Valjean did an absolutely incredible job of “Bring Him Home.” In fact, I will take the slightly heretical position that he did it better than Colm Wilkinson. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, because the audience was dead silent while he sang it – it was absolutely electric, and more than made up for my quibbles with staging.
Have you seen any versions of Les Mis? How do they compare for you?