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Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Tale Of Two Cities: The Musical

[this is not a review.  it's a bunch of ramblings that have no rhyme or reason.  just to let you know.]

Until yesterday, I'd never been able to find a musical that rivaled Les Miserables because Les Mis is perfect and my mom won't let me watch Phantom of the Opera and I'm not in the least interested in Wicked (or any of the other musicals of that kind).  I was talking to Ally about the Scarlet Pimpernel musical and listening to a couple of songs from it that she had recommended (Into The Fire and Madame Guillotine are EPIC, btw).  I was looking for some actual clips of the songs on Youtube...and accidentally stumbled across A Tale Of Two Cities: Live In Concert (sort of like the 10th or 25th Les Mis concerts).  

The odd thing was that a few nights ago I had read an abridged version of the story (my mom won't let me read the full thing because she's going to teach it to me next year in school).  It was actually a Wishbone version *blush* with Wishbone as Charles Darnay.  Anyway, I watched the whole thing yesterday afternoon and I'm watching it with my mom and my sister now.  I told her (my sister) all about the plot last night and she couldn't wait to see it :)

The cast was amazing.  The woman who plays Lucie - Brandi Burkhardt - seriously looks like Romola Garai.  At first I thought she was RG and so did my brother.  He came downstairs once when she was singing and he said "Isn't she the girl from Emma?" :)  I didn't like Charles very much (well, I really don't like Charles in general).  His singing was great but I just got an overall feeling of 'meh'.  But.  When he and Sydney were singing 'Let Her Be A Child' and he was tearing up, it almost reconciled me to his performance.  I guess I just like Sydney too much to really like Charles...

SYDNEY WAS AMAZING.  Whenever I read the book, I always pictured him as Hadley Fraser (hmmmmm....I wonder why that would be...) but I think he'll always be James Barbour to me now.  His acting/singing was incredible and absolutely perfect for the character.   All of Sydney's songs were so sad, though.  Although he could be funny as well.  Like when he comes to see Lucie (right after she's accepted Charles' proposal) and she gives him a scarf and since it's quite small, he's rather at a loss to what it is for a moment.  "A SCARF!"  

That was one of the rare times I laughed because, seriously, this musical rivals Les Mis for general heartbreakingness.  There's this line that made me completely lose it - a line during 'If Dreams Came True' (sung by Sydney about Lucie's daughter) that was so sad (at least to me) that I had to turn off the video and have a good cry.

'Knowing her's an endless second chance'

I don't know why that line struck me as being so heartbreaking, but it did.  There was another song where Sydney is listening to little Lucie's bedtime prayers ("Now I lay me down to sleep...") and later on at the beginning of 'Let Her Be A Child', there's a reprise of that.  I'm tearing up just thinking about that song.

She mustn't know the sorrow.
She mustn't know the tears.
Tomorrow mustn't bring her,
 A future that she fears.

There were several songs that brought Les Mis to mind, particularly the opening number - 'The Way It Ought To Be' - which reminded me of 'At the End of the Day' and 'Reflection' which reminded me of 'On My Own'.

But when the dawn comes,
And you awaken,
You're still alone.
Nothing real.
Just a dream.

This musical was beautiful.  The costumes (eeeeep!  Sydney has a greatcoat!), the music, the lyrics, the singing, the story...everything was gorgeous.  It's definitely a close second to Les Mis.  And now I want to see it live :)

Have you ever seen A Tale Of Two Cites: The Musical?  What did you think of it?


Anonymous said...

I've heard a lot about Wicked, and same as you, I'm not at all interested in it. I love Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Newsies (the movie) I've never seen the whole movie The Phantom of the Opera, but I've heard the singing, and it's terrible! So if your mom ever let's you watch POTO, do not watch the movie version. I fell in love with it because of the 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall. It stars Sierra Boggess as Christine, Ramin Karimloo as Erik (Yes, he plays Enjolras in the 25th of Les Miz) and Hadley Fraser (Grantaire in 25th Les Miz and the National Guard in the movie) as Raoul. You can't get a more perfect cast! By the way, fi you respond to this, maybe you could use it as a contest for your blog, but I'll ask you the questions first.

Out of the 10th, 25th, and 2012 movie version of Les Miz, who are your favorite people who plays them? Like here are mine:
Jean Valjean: tie 10th and movie
Javert: movie
Fantine: movie
Cosette: movie
Marius: tie 10th and movie
Eponine: 25th and movie (you know why! :)
Enjolras: tie 25th and movie
Thenardier: three way tie
Madame Thenardier: 10th and movie

how about you?

Eva said...

I've heard that the POTO movie is pretty bad and if I were to watch any version, it would definitely be the 25thAC (just because of the cast)

As for the comparisons...

Valjean: 10th with the film close behind
Javert: 10th and film tied
Fantine: Film
Cosette: Film
Marius: 10th and film tied
Eponine: Film
Enjolras: 25th and film tied
Thenardier: 10th
Madame T: Film

Anonymous said...

If you heard Emmy Rossum, Gerald Butler, or Patrick Wilson, you would cringe. Sierra Boggess has more emotion on a stage than Emmy had for the movie. Gerald Butler, well I just don't like is voice. Ramin will always be my phantom, Sierra will ALWAYS be my Christine, and Hadley, don't even get me started on how awesome Hadley is as Raoul :)

Caroline L. said...

Ooooo! I've been really interesting in seeing or hearing this musical, but I haven't been able to find any cast albums or video recordings, so thanks so much for the link! So excited to watch it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I haven't been signing out my proper way. Just so you kinda know who I am :)
~Hannah S.

Anonymous said...

B the way, I started a new blog, I only have one post right now, but you can check it out here, If you choose to, thanks! I'm really trying to get the word out!
~Hannah S.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat as you! Well, partially seeing as I like Wicked. I happen to be a musical junky, and yes, Les Miserables is my favorite musical..or was to be more accurate. Now I'm torn. My college did a production of ATOTC The Musical (we were the first ones to get rights to do it) and I must say, it is simply fantastic. Of course nothing even close to seeing a professional rendition, but I was tech crew for it operating the light board, and I cried every night we performed. I have always liked Carton better (who wouldn't? XD) and at the very end when he sings before going to the gallows, that was the part I walked into on the first rehearsal of which I was a part. I literally cried right there. No costumes, make up, half built stage, but oh my goodness the song just made my heart break. It is definitely worth a watch and I'm trying to find out how to go see it professionally but it is incredibly hard to find.

I know this is really late from your original post, but I managed to come across it while looking for performances of ATOTC.

Anonymous said...

So happy that you liked "A TALE OF TWO CITIES" so much! I know, isn't Sydney a heartbreaker? ;-) Please keep an eye out for future incarnations of the show - we are working on trying to get a movie version done!
Take care,
Jill Santoriello

Eva said...

A movie version of the musical? That would be amazing!


Caroline L. said...


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