Do you hear the people sing?

Oddly enough, my first two exposures with Les Miserables were not musical versions. I was forced to read a very abridged version of the book in school, and then my parents and I watched a very dry and non-exciting movie version.

In high school, I was introduced to the song “On My Own,” because it was the solo song every girl wanted to sing for the spring concert. Then, “I Dreamed A Dream” got its turn in the public spotlight thanks to Susan Boyle.

But that was the only exposure I had to the show until the 2012 movie.

I WAS MISSING OUT.

Despite its issues, the movie did an incredible job of capturing the spirit of the French Revolution, and though there were a few things I would change, I loved it. I think the live singing added a level of authenticity that is always missing in movie musicals.

And those Barricade boys….what to say about those hottie revolutionaries?

After my husband and I watched the movie – his first experience with the show. He couldn’t get “Master of the House” out of his head, while I was obsessed with “Red and Black.”

Still one of my favorites from the show, I haven’t found a version I don’t like. And by the way, where did Eddie Redmayne get that voice? It’s like angels when he sings. Bring him to Broadway please.

What I love the most about this version is  playful nature of Grantaire while he teases Marius, and the death stare Enjolras gives both of them.

Side bar, I love all of the romance talk around the internet involving Grantaire and Enjolras. George Blagden played into those rumors, not sure on purpose or not, with his side glances to Enjy and that twinkle in his eye as he eggs on Marius.

“It is time for us all to decide who we are. Do we fight for the right to a night at the opera now? Have you asked of yourselves what’s the price you might pay? Is this simply a game for a rich young boy to play? The colors of the world are changing day by day.”

By now we all know how much I love pain. This next song delivers not only heartbreaking lyrics, but also a beautiful expression of love and death.

“A little Fall of Rain” has always been one of my favorite songs from this show. I can’t explain why, but I think it has something to do with how Eponine is comforted by Marius in her final moments, and how, maybe for the first time, she feels some love from him.

This clip is from the London production of the show, starring Samantha Barks, who also played Eponine in the movie, and is my favorite in the portrayal of the character.

Also, major respect for the composer/lyricist. The ending lyrics are the perfect metaphor for death. Please write the closing lyrics on my gravestone.

“You’re here, that’s all I need to know. And you will keep me safe. And you will keep me close. And rain will make the flowers grow.”

I’m very upset I did not get the opportunity to road trip down the NYC and see the 2014 revival production. Not only does it have a star-studded cast, but also some incredible fight scenes that involve chains.

Of all the songs from this show – I sing “One Day More” the most. There are numerous memes around on the internet saying that it’s impossible to sing all the parts to the song at once – well, it’s possible if you’re very strategic about the lyric choices.

The song is powerful and inspiring and just makes me want to conquer the world.

There’s this moment about halfway through where Enjolras has his big commanding entrance. I’m lucky that there are plenty of YouTube videos available, and I’m very sorry to say to both Ramin Karimloo (who was Valjean on Broadway) and Aaron Tveit (see clip above), that I prefer Kyle Scatliffe on this one.

I don’t think it’s only his booming voice that makes him my favorite on the song, I think it’s his presence as well. When he stands there and raises that gun in his hand, it makes you want to join the revolution.

“Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in Heaven has in store! One more dawn. One more day. One day more!”

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3 thoughts on “Day 27 – Les Miserables

  1. My first exposure to the story of Les Mis was due to the whole Susan Boyle Thing, but failed to know what the title meant and what “I Dreamed A Dream” so I was very blind to the tragic nature of Les Mis for some time.

    In 2012, I saw the movie of the musical for the first time. I discovered it was tragic while actually watching it and figured that out after Fantine died. I was quite shocked and confused because I believed well all musicals were happy due to what I grew up and always felt like tragedies were boring. So at the end of the movie, had no clue if I liked it or not, but despite that started just researching the musical.

    Well the second time, I saw it fresh and saw something special about Les MIs. Les Mis showed that tragedy is way more than sad and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. It showed me a side of musical emotions that I thought was impossible. Les Mis’ emotional impact is very rare for a musical and that is very special to me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So glad Les Mis entered my life. It turned my love of musicals into something I am passionate about. It impacted the entire musical world. Due to the discovery of heartbreak through Les Mis, it made it in a way easier to spot negative emotions in other musicals

        Liked by 1 person

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