Les Miserables 25th Anniversary production

by Bill Corden

As I write, my senses are still stunned by this incredible production, I’d watched it a while back but it was re-broadcast by PBS tonight.

It takes a lot to get me to watch something twice but there I was, glued to my easy chair from the moment it started, even a World Cup game can’t keep me this riveted

The vocal talent is just amazing, bringing you to a blubbering mess with the emotions they give their souls to.

The fusion of such musical backgrounds is one of those sublime moments of musical synchronicity, only fate could make it happen.

Alfie Boe was a mechanic in a factory, Nick Jonas a pop singer, and Lea Salonga, a girl from the faraway Philippines with the most graceful presence, gifted with an angelic voice. How did these people come together?

She made her debut at aged 8 in a Philippine production of “The King and I” when she was only 8 years old and “The KIng and I” is my other escape into sublimity.

I mention these stars only because they are the outstanding members of an outstanding cast (I wonder what’s happened to them in the intervening 22 years?) There is not one single performer you can find fault with.

Put these in front of an orchestra that catches every pause and wrings every tear from your shuddering body and you’ve got a pretty good recipe for a great evening’s entertainment.

The set design has you standing inside the TV screen and of course the Victor Hugo storyline is beyond compare.

You are committing a crime if you let this pass without watching it.


4 Responses

  1. Alfie Boe is lovely.
    I saw him in 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Sunflower Jam an ensemble concert for a children’s charity. Lots of top rock musicians, of which the ones I particularly wanted to see were Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden, Brian May of Queen, Alice Cooper and Alfie Boe. I found some video of the full ensemble finale of Smoke on the Water but I can’t link it.
    Currently he is working with Michael Ball and they released another album in October. Thank you for prompting me to look up latest news; I now know that he is touring the UK next year, and one gig will be at a theatre which is very easy for me to get to.

  2. A wonderful musical with a wonderful 25th anniversary cast. We should also acknowledge Victor Hugo the author of the original story upon which the musical is based, Claude-Michel Schönberg for the music, and Herbert Kretzmer for the English lyrics. Just the lyrics alone are inspiring. To take just one example:

    Do you hear the people sing?
    Singing a song of angry men?
    It is the music of a people
    Who will not be slaves again

    When the beating of your heart
    Echoes the beating of the drums
    There is a life about to start
    When tomorrow comes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend