|I'm going to be doing mini-reviews of the 10thAC and the 25thAC. Enjoy!|
10th Anniversary Concert Review - The TAC has been, and always will be, my favorite version of Les Miserables. The dim lighting, rough costumes and sometimes less-than-perfect voices (especially on the part of Fantine and Cosette) are all extremely evocative of Les Mis and what it stands for. The cast has my favorite Valjean, favorite Javert, favorite Marius and tied-for-favorite Eponine. The orchestrations in the 25th and the film are beautiful, but, in my opinion, the TAC nails the music. There's no big difference between the three, but I like it better all the same (the orchestration for Stars is out of this world).
The singers/actors are amazing. While there's not as much acting as in the 25thAC (and definitely not the movie), it's not a big requirement. After all, this is a concert, not the actual play. Still, I think that most of the singers did a remarkable job both vocally and emotionally, with what little opportunity they had to really show a lot of acting. One of my personal favorites for that is Michael Maguire, who plays Enjolras. From the first moment he came onto the stage, I was swept away by his passion and fire for the revolution. And even though he's now my third favorite Enjolras, I still really enjoy his performance.
The 17 Valjeans singing Do You Hear The People Sing? is phenomenal. I always get chills, especially when everyone breaks our into 'ONE DAY MORE!' That was epic and really surprised me the first time I watched it. Even though the 25th has more color, lights and acting and the movie steals the show when it comes to emotion and stunning visuals, the TAC is still my favorite. Every time I watch it, I get sucked into the world of Les Mis for a good two and a half hours, something that the 25th can't quite do.
25th Anniversary Concert Review - Once upon a time, I was completely obsessed with the version of Les Miserables. I watched it every chance I got (and then some), but the silly thing was, I skipped a lot of it. I was really young back then and I thought several of the songs that I love now, were boring. So I only really watched about half of it each time. But now I'm older and wiser and I don't skip a thing except the bad songs. And maybe Empty Chairs at Empty Tables ;) I've noticed that the orchestrations - and the songs themselves - are quite a bit faster than in the TAC. It doesn't really pop out to me, unless I have my music on shuffle and a TAC song plays right after a 25th song. But it's still there, and I'm not sure why they did that.
That was sort of random. Anyway...moving on. I have mixed feelings about pretty much all the cast members. In my opinion, Alfie Boe is only good as Valjean in the prologue. The rest of the time, I don't really like his portrayal. I really don't like Lea Salonga's Fantine (sorry, guys) and Norm Lewis' Javert is just...okay. I like his version of Javert's Suicide but everything else is sort of 'meh' (hehehehehe...if my brother ever reads this post - which I doubt - we'll probably get into another argument). Cosette is really good, Marius is...well...let's not go there, and Eponine is amazing (although I think Sam did a better job in the movie). Enjolras is...hehehehehehe. I could go on, and on, and on about Enjolras, but I won't (I am going to see Ramin Karimloo play Valjean in October...SO HYPED). And all the barricade boys are perfect. The End.
If you've never watched right to the end of the 25th, go do so at once. After the reprise of One Day More with the original cast, there's speeches and stuff (which, frankly, I skip) and then an awesome reprise of the reprise of DYHTPS? With everyone singing (well, except the audience...I think). And then once that's done, the credits start rolling, but you can still see everyone on stage hugging and grinning and laughing and having a great time and the poor orchestra still doesn't get a break because they start playing this amazing instrumental medley.
Which version do you like the best? Who's your favorite cast?