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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Les Miserables 10thAC & 25thAC Reviews

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?


Miss Jane Bennet said...

YES! You like MM too? He was my first favorite for a while there- till I saw the two Greatest Enjolrai Ever. :D
Ehehehe...I agree with you about Alfie Boe, although I do like Lea Salonga's Fantine all right (she was not *my* Fantine, if you get what I'm saying). And yes, do not go into the realm of how bad NJ is. :P
Yes, I agree with you totally about Norm Lewis. He was sort of...I don't know. You said it perfectly. :)
Sam did do a better job in the movie, plus she had a better costume, but I like her in the 25th too. Not as much as Lea Salonga, of course. Movie-SB is tied with her, but not 25th-SB.
EheheheHAHAHA, I wouldn't miiind your going on and on and on about Enjo in an email (*cough*), but I suppose that mini-reviews are supposed to be mini. Ah, well. And Hadley and Killian and Alistair are barricade boys in the 25th, and therefore I couldn't care less about the others. :D
...Hahaha, just kidding. I ALWAYS care about the barricade boys.
Great reviews! :)

Quinlyn said...

I've been meaning to watch the TAC version all the way through...I've watched some snippets, though. XD I think Eponine and Marius were great in that version.

Miss Dashwood said...

Yep, the TAC wins all around. Even though the 25th is still good. And your "Enjolras is... hehehehehehehe" made me laugh muchly. Indeed. That is exactly the way to describe 'im.

SO JEALOUS about your FABULOUS opportunity in October. I demand squealy fangirly emails afterwards, all right??

Eva said...

I did that because I honestly couldn't find any words to describe him ;) Even though Aaron is my favorite Enjo, I just can't get over Ramin. Every time I watch the 25th, I fall in love with his portrayal all over again :)

Oh, I'll definitely send out the squealy emails ;) Especially since my dad said we could stick around for AUTOGRAPHS so, y'know, I could meeeeeeet him.

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