My experience seeing Les Miserables was varied. I’ll be completely honest and say that I can’t say whether I liked it or not. I mean, I loved it, but there were things that I left almost appalled at. But then I think, ‘Oh, but it was so good! The actors, the sets, the songs, the story, the musical itself…. But the language and those certain scenes…. Argh. Why can’t I make up my mind?!’
Maybe I should start from the beginning….
The day before the twenty-eighth, we went to a Walk for Life and had a lot of fun looking at all of the booths and listening to music. The whole time, though, I kept having to tell myself to calm down! We left at about nine and got to my grandparents’ house at about ten and stayed up talking about how different things – including how excited we were and about, of all things, “bad words” in movies and musicals – then went to sleep at about midnight. We goofed off and did random things until we had to go. (We were almost late! Time sneaked up on us!)
Arwen, my grandma, and I got in the car nearly hopping with excitement – well, me at least. : D We drove and drove and drove and I felt like we weren’t going to be able to get there on time! At first, we almost couldn’t find a parking spot. We drove all the way up to the top of the parking deck and found a spot on the very top deck. We rode down the elevator, walked across the street, and into The Fox – after a brief detour at the window display of clothing, of course. I told Arwen that we’d come back after the show and take pictures of the outfits. (After all, I wouldn’t know whose they were we saw them in the musical.) Arwen and I speculated as to whose they were for about three minutes, then ran inside and towards the souvenir table. I’d saved up money for months, knowing it’d be expensive, and had already looked on the Les Miz website to decide what I wanted to get. I ended up getting a (pretty awesome!!) t-shirt; Arwen got a (very awesome) mug that says, ONE DAY MORE!, and we split the souvenir brochure. (I still haven’t told my mom how much we spent…. I don’t think she wants to know! Arwen says it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it’s okay that we spent so much. And it was totally worth it, though – I love all of it!)
Arwen and I were at the souvenir booth for about ten minutes, standing off to the side to try and decide what we wanted to get. I saw a younger boy, probably about nine or ten, getting a t-shirt with his mom. The man running the booth asked if this was his first musical, to which he replied, “No. I’ve seen The Lion King before.” “Oh, really?” the man said, folding his shirt and sticking it in a bag. (If I didn’t have much money, I’d have just given the guy a few dollars for the plastic bag!) “This is more of an adult musical,” he told the little boy, who just smiled and walked away. I hoped his mom knew what was in Les Miz… I certainly won’t let my younger brother watch it until he’s much older – much older. (And married….)
Was epic. Need I say more? Well, I will – because I want to. (And it’s my blog, anyway!)
The backdrop was a picture of a mist-shrouded town with a bridge at the bottom. ‘Javert’s bridge!’ I instantly thought. In the middle were the words Les Miserables with Victor Hugo right beneath them. I started bouncing in my seat. I borrowed someone’s phone – Arwen’s or my grandma’s, I can’t remember – and called my house. Nobody picked up and it went to voicemail, which pleased me greatly. I screamed into the phone as quietly as I could and hung up. “You just screamed into the phone?” Arwen asked. “Well, yeah – wouldn’t you?!” (She said she was as excited as I was, but, like Elinor Dashwood – who I say she is very often – she didn’t show it. I, like Marianne, had no problem showing my emotions and telling my grandma over and over again just how happy I was to be there – after all, I’d waited for nearly eight months!)
The lights went down a few minutes later and the musical started. I just sat back and watched – through my grandma’s opera glasses, that is. It was so good. So amazing and epic in all senses of the word. Everything about it was great – the acting, the actors and their amazing voices, the sets – everything. (Oh, and I forgot to say it in my music post – in “On Parole/The Bishop,” when Valjean sings, ‘Drink from the pool – how clean the taste!’ Peter Lockyer did such an amazing job portraying so much emotion while he drank from an invisible pool, all alone on the stage! ‘Never forget the years, the waste!’ He jumped up and nearly started yelling with the next words, ‘Nor forgive them for what they’ve done – for they are the guilty, every one!’ Taking a deep breath, he finished, saying with hope in his voice, ‘The day begins, and now let’s see what this new world will do for me!’ [And, yes, I wrote all of that without looking up the words or listening to it. I’m one of those weird musical-lovers that memorizes the words to every single song as soon as she can. I even had the words to one of the songs in Daddy Long Legs after I’d only listened to the song about five times – in a row. ‘And you might not be rich for that much longer…. But I’m pretty sure you’ll stay tall, so I’ll call you dear Daddy Long Legs, Old Daddy Long Legs….’ Really like that musical! Random and not Les Miz, I know. Soary….])
The only thing that dampened my excitement it was all of the language and all of the visual things that went with songs like “Master of the House” and “Lovely Ladies.” I won’t go into much detail, but I’ll just say that I will be taking a strategic bathroom break if I go see Les Miserables in December. (The Hobbit or Les Miz?! Decisions, decisions. Why not both? Okay. : P)
And then in the middle – after the intermission. Ooh. I didn’t get out of my seat during the entire intermission – I just sat and looked at my t-shirt, hoping it would fit, then looking through the program and all of the pictures. (Some of the actors weren’t “ours,” but that’s okay. I just wish I could find the pictures to put them up here!! Argh…. Anyway….) The way they opened up the second act was sheer genius and very original. I know I’ve already said how, but I’ll say it again – they started with the music. No warning whatsoever – no dimming-of-the-lights, no nothing. Just the huge, “Bum, BUM!!” I was like, “Sweeeeet!”
I walked outside with Arwen, totally in awe over what I’d seen. There was a hint of something else, too, though. I can only describe it as being kind of bummed-out and disappointed that they’d had to add all of that other mature stuff. : P
Other than that, though, I knew I was happy. Totally glad that I’d gone, too, because now I finally understood the story!! I absolutely loved everyone – Valjean, Gavroche, Enjolras (Duh – who doesn’t like him?!), Eponine, Javert… and even Marius. *ducks flying tomatoes* I’m sorry, but it’s really just something you’ll have to see for yourselves to understand – the whole thing and not just listen the music. (Which is, like, the entire musical…. But that’s beside the point!) Go see Les Miserables in December and watch the expression on Marius’ face – the genuine and completely sincere love he has for Cosette, even after seeing her for just a few seconds. (Speaking of, I don’t know about Cosette. I understood her story a little more and the reasons she fell in love with Marius, but she’s still a little bit of an airhead….) I’ll get off my soapbox now.
If there wasn’t so much language, I’d say it was my favorite musical by far! It’s because of the language and the certain scenes that I can’t say it’s my absolute favorite. It’s very close, though – very close. I wouldn’t tell you not to go see it – I think it’s totally worth seeing. I’d just warn you about a few parts and send you skipping on your way to the theater. Strategic bathroom breaks, everybody. : D
We took a few pictures of all of us, then, afterwards, we went to the window display of costumes and I took a dozen pictures. : D Enjoy! (The last one – Javert’s coat – didn’t turn out so well, but I’m adding it because it’s funny. Heehee – can you find Javert’s coat?)
But then… what happened after… wow. I’m pretty sure that was my absolute favorite part of the entire afternoon, maybe the week! But… to properly tell all that happened – including pictures – I’ll have to save that for another entire post. I’m simply dying to tell you guys everything, so it will not be as long between parts four and five as it was between parts three and four!!