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I will preface this by saying that I have seen so many iterations of this show. I have seen really amazing performances and relatively poor performances. For me, this particular show falls somewhere in between.
-The actors that play Valjean, Javert, and Madame Thernardier carried the show.
-Sounding: It was VERY difficult to understand a lot of the words being sung, and the orchestra was far too loud. I feel my girlfriend (a Les Miz first-timer) missed a lot because of this.
-Lighting: WAY too dark. Hard to watch at times.
-Singing: Everyone had great voices, but the singing all lacked emotion. When Fantine feels hopeless, I want to hear it in her voice. I did not. Thernardier was pretty inanimate. Marius did not sound sad in "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables."
-A personal peeve: Gavroche without the accent. I never understood that.
When I go to see Les Miz, I expect to be on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I didn't quite get there with this cast.
Jay Steger from Indianapolis, Indiana
STUNNING BRING HIM HOME…
While I agree with the reviews below that the sound system made it difficult to understand a lot of the words. But setting this aside, the performance was powerful.
My wife and I saw it first on broadway. But in this performance I heard something I had never heard before in my life.
Late in the solo of Bring Him Home, the lovely sound of both the soloist and the violin were indistinguishable, one to the other, to my ear.
I had never such a thing in my life. I’m not sure if this was because the vibrato of both were perfectly in sinc, but it was quite a moment!
CW from San Francisco, California
A BIT SHOUTY MAYBE BECAUSE OF ALL THE REVIEWS SAYING THEY CAN’T UNDERSTAND?
I mean, this is my favorite musical and I was silently lip syncing to 90 percent of the show, so I’m biased… I thought the actors were mostly great but were directed to be super belty and to speak-sing certain parts (perhaps in a misguided attempt to be better understood and communicate emotion?) that took away from the beauty of the songs. For example it felt like Eponine (who has a lovely voice) was shouting On My Own by the end, and Fantine was doing the same with I dreamed a dream. Marius has a beautiful voice but had little chemistry or connection with anyone. Half of Javert’s songs were shouted, etc. Valjean had a great voice and was suitably convincing, though. And the Thenadiers and ABC boys were entertaining as ever.
Also, this is no fault of the production, but the audience at the Orpheus on Thursday… This lady behind me was actually humming, audibly and out of tune, with the most well known passages including the climax of “Bring him home.” I threw my hands up but that didn’t even stop her. 🙄 also I heard multiple people whisper loudly after a line or two of each song, as if to express their opinion of the singer. What happened to theater etiquette?
Sammo from San Francisco, California
The production is dark and the sound is not good. The singers mostly garbled their words. First Broadway show I have seen with this problem.
Lynnabeth from Santa Barbara, California
BEAUTIFUL WORK, BUT TECHNICALLY WEAK
The lighting is troubling. I've seen Les Mis five times and I struggled in the orchestra section to see the actors and figure out who was singing in certain numbers. The orchestra was also missing something: characteristic notes missing, like an instrument wasn't hired? Or not enough members? Jean Val Jean is superb, same with Gavrosh and Marius. Eponine's quiet lines were too quiet (A stage whisper should still resonate) and Javert struggled at times. Overall I love the play and while this version wasn't as good as some others, I still enjoyed it.
Robert deutsch from Los Angeles, California
GREAT VOICES - NO FEELING
This is a gorgeous looking production with absolutely magnificent voices! Missed opportunities prevail with the leads way too over the top and yet with no feeling. Epinone is oddly staged upstage left for her I DREAMED A DREAM which diminishes the effect of the beautiful song. Again a beautiful voice with no feeling apparent. Disappointing.
RKL from Cleveland, Ohio
My wife and I have seen like 15 different performances over 25 years
and this was the most disappointing. The person playing Cosette was
probably on par of all past performances but on the final show on
11/18 in Cleveland, we got the understudy for Javert who was ok, and
and the understudy for Eponine, whose vocal range was limited and
she wound up screaming vs singing. Fantine was lifeless and the
singing was not up to par for this performance. Jean Valjean was
decent but he had strong competition compared to the various actors
we have seen over the years. In addition the staging without the
revolving stage looks cheap as they only displayed one side of the
barricade compared to past performances with the revolving stage
which made it more dramatic. It also seems like there a lot fewer
members in the ensemble. The ensemble group numbers were the
best numbers of the show as the overall quality was comparable to
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