Had a chance to the see the 25th Anniversary Les Miserables concert at our local theater here in Ann Arbor.
Les Mis is one of my favorite musicals and I’ve seen it performed a number of times from local touring productions, to Broadway and in the London West End so I brought many preference to how I prefer each part to be performed.
First the technical production was good, it was displayed digitally and the picture quality only broke up a few times and even then it didn’t detract that much. I would have preferred a little more volume but overall the sound mix was good.
The cast was very accomplished, and did the material the credit. My only disappointment was that I prefer the Javert role to be performed by a “low” baritone to contrast with Valjean which is usually a tenor.
One annoyance was that the Marius role was played by pop sensation Nick Jonas whose pained facial expression is matched by the audience when he sings. Seriously, I had almost convinced myself that he wasn’t *that* bad until the concert cast was joined by the original 1985 cast in an encore, and the 1985 ‘Marius” reminded me what a truly talented performer could bring to role.
Overall the concert is well worth seeing and will be available on DVD. One note is that this might not be the best introduction for someone who has never see the full stage production. The show has been edited down (most of which I heartedly agree with) but some of the scene transitions may confuse someone unfamiliar with the stage production.
An added bonus is the previously mentioned encore where the 1985 cast joins the concert cast and members of the current London production.
A final note, as much as I love Les Miserable the Musical, anyone who enjoys it should really take time to read the original book by Victor Hugo which is an amazing work. Knowing the back-stories and connections between the characters detailed by Hugo adds extra layers of depth to the musical.