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Movie Review – Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary (2010)

Jean Valjean

This production is not to be confused with the movie which will be released this month, December 2012, starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. However, it is a nice preparation and stands on its own on the 25th Anniversary of the longest running musical in the world.

Most everyone is aware of the story of Jean Valjean, who has been hunted for decades by lawman Javert after Valjean broke his parole from prison where he served for twenty years for stealing a loaf of bread. Valjean became prosperous and offered to care for poverty-stricken Fantine’s daughter Cosette, which initiated the events in his life which followed.

The music from Les Miz is some of the most recognizable of all theatre productions. I Dreamed a Dream, Drink with Me, Bring Him Home, On My Own – are all haunting melodies which have stayed with me unceasingly after viewing this Anniversary production.

It is clearly evident that each and every member of the cast loves the script and the music. Their work seems effortless as they give their best in this performance. My only regret is that Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers was cast as Marius. Although his voice is of high quality, he appeared to be too young for the role of Marius, especially in his scenes with Eponine who was cast as an older, more experienced woman who would not ordinarily be attracted to the young Marius.

The best performance was given by Norm Lewis, the baritone singer who played Javert. It was such a pleasure to watch him play a role he obviously loved.

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The concert was filmed in London for one night only in October 2010. The film became available to the American audience five months later through Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

One of the best surprises of the show was the encore wherein the original London Cast reprised the roles they created, giving us an added thrill as we watched the spotlight move from one to the other as they performed the parts of Les Miz which they so clearly loved.

I look forward to the version to be released this month. It will have to be spectacular to vie with the 25th Anniversary edition.

Sources:

Les Miserables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary (2010)

www.imdb.com/title/tt1754109