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Les Misérables: 25th Anniversary

Long ago, in the winter of nineteen-ninety-three, my grandmother and I journeyed to The Centre in the Square. Oft times I had been there before, yet that evening remains the most poignant, because we went to see Les Miserables.

For nearly four years prior I had played its ballads relentlessly; I’d listened to my father tell the tale of the live performance a thousand times over; and after my mom knew my ever-growing obsession was far from fading she got her mother and I tickets for the show.

My grandmother was a classy dame, and on that winter’s eve I took her gloved hand and led her to our seats. There we sat, long ago, to experience the sites and sounds of “The Miserable Ones.”

Les Miserables: a 19th century novel by the immortal romantic, Victor Hugo. Simply put, this nearly fifteen-hundred page book is about a criminal’s quest for redemption. Along the way his path leads him to forlorn lovers, war-torn corners, and second chance opportunities.

The musical adaptation opened in 1985 and brought Jean Valjean and The Battle of Waterloo to the stage. Twenty-five years hence Universal Studios threw a commemorative concert at The O2 arena to an audience of over 23,000. The other night I witnessed that recorded performance thanks to Rogers: On Demand.

When I was younger Jean and Fantine were my favorites; two separate and struggling souls who worked to raise Cosette. I still love those characters; however, this latest viewing led me to others I’d overlooked in the past. Marius and Eponine (played by two Disney stars this time around surprisingly enough). Marius’s emotional carelessness is now something I am more experienced with and able to relate to. Eponine, on the other hand, was simply a role/girl I fell for. Samantha Barks rendition of “On My Own” is now amongst my favorite songs from the musical’s history.

Suffice it to say I truly enjoyed this silver celebration of Les Miserables. It returned me to that seat from long ago, where I sat beside my grandmother, god rest her soul. Furthermore, I discovered that this romantic tale has only grown in relevancy. Alas, my On Demand service has found further use by returning a timeless love to me and my life at the movies.

Comments

  • Connor Sziklasi

    My favourite play! And one of my favourite stories of all time!

    I gotta admit, I have a new-found respect for Nick Jonas after discovering this, who knew!?

    • Anonymous

      I agree completely. I am unfamiliar with the Jonas’s work, but I am aware of their celebrity. That said when I saw Nick on stage I knew he looked familiar… and my god did he perform well! Glad you enjoyed. I knew this piece would find some fellow fans.

  • Anonymous

    Aside from the content and Le Miz itself I really enjoyed this one because of the association with your grandmother. When I was younger I was really tight with the Gramma on my Dad’s side and this helped some memories rush back. Unfortunetly she has passed but we still have them with us.
    I’m sure the work itself was amazing but what I find helps with movies, music, plays, etc is the moment you are in and the people who you share it with. I’m sure this brought those memories back to you.

    Good job.

    • Anonymous

      It definitely did. My grandmother was the closest person, aside from my parents and sister, I’ve ever known. She always got me, understood I was a brooder, and would listen to my dark take on life for hours. She waited for me to get back from Africa and passed away hours after I got off the plane. Her high class and educated attitude have played the biggest influence on my understanding/love of women to date.

      My goal is to review “The Secretariat,” soon. She was a HUGE fan of the Kentucky Derby, and Penny Chenery Tweedy. Hopefully I’ll get to it before the month is over.

      • KWgirl

        Wow, I had no idea that you knew she was a HUGE fan of the Kentucky Derby. She would make us watch it every year when we were kids. When the movie came out I thought of her every time I saw the trailer…I really need to watch the movie, she would have LOVED it. I had forgotten that I bought you both tickets to see Les Mis….my ALL TIME Favourite musical. I’ve always loved Eponine and her haunting song. Good Job sweetie:)

      • Anonymous

        Thx mom! I was just about to go to sleep & Then a blinking red Blackberry light alerted me about your kind comments, lol. Yes, I know & remember a lot about grandma. She was one of my best friends. I spent a lot of time with her and that is one thing I am forever grateful for. This memory though was more important than most, and I’m glad to have finally written it down. LOVE YOU! HAPPY V-DAY MOM!

  • Sharlene Gerontzos

    One can only hope that Mirvish Productions brings this one back once more (I missed it a couple of years ago) so that I too, can relive one of my fondest childhood memories, which btw, also includes my grandparents.

    • Anonymous

      I concur! That and I <3 you Shar-Shar :)

      We will have to go as a family night. In the meantime I HIGHLY recommend the 25th Anniversary show. They bring back a lot of the old casts at the end. The writers come on stage and discuss it, and there is tons more depth brought to this great/timeless show.

      It is the greatest musical of all time, thus it really is 25 years YOUNG as they say :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Michael-Elliott/500513490 Christopher Michael Elliott

    This is awesome man. As you know, I love musicals, so I should definitely tack this onto my list.

    • Anonymous

      @ChrisAndFame you’ve yet to see Les Mis? I am genuinely surprised.

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