I consider myself a pretty average dude. I love sports, hate chick flicks, but will indulge my girlfirend when she asks. Sons of Anarchy is my favorite TV show right now, etc.
So, the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables (the musical) was on PBS tonight. Likely a repeat, but whatever. My parents introduced me to it right when it came out in 1986-ish, when I was 10 or so, and for whatever reason I liked it. Much better than that Cats BS they were listening to a few years before in 1983. Memories, indeed. But man, if Les Miz doesn't get to me every time I watch it - and when it's in town, or on PBS, I go see it/watch it. I love it. I tried to explain to my girlfriend of a year why the room got dusty multiple times during the show tonight, and she didn't get it. Frankly, I don't either, other than it's some weak spot I can't explain. It might as well be Brian's Song or the end of Dirty Dozen. But it's a musical, which is a genre I typically despise. I am a moderately cynical person who laughed at the end of My Girl on my first date and hates Forrest Gump on multiple levels. I thought ET was weak and schmaltzy at age 6 and remember telling my Dad -- "Why is everyone so upset with the government? He made the kid sick!" But Les Miz. Man it's awesome.
Anyone else have a similar weak spot?
My wife finally just bought me the Bluray of the 25th Anniversary Concert after I kept refusing to delete it off the DVR. Shame, because I'm much more likely to see it on the DVR screen and watch a song or two than to have to go to the trouble of finding the disc and popping it in.
What are your thoughts on 10th Anniversary vs. 25th? I honestly didn't mind Nick Jonas as much as some people, and was very pleased w/ Alfie Boe and Norm Lewis as Valjean and Javert. I'd still probably give an edge to the 10th though (where I love Lea Solonga's rendition of On My Own).
I think a combination of the sweeping historical scope, the core themes that run throughout, and the fact that there are so many 'main' characters who have nice solo pieces (as opposed to something like Phantom - which I also like - where it's all Phantom and Christine [and a little Raoul] and the rest ensembles pieces) which really gives a nice variety.
Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”
The other thing that gets me? The final baseball game in Amazing Grace and Chuck when the catcher gives the fastball then curveball sign to Chuck, then stands up and shows everyone the "three" handsign. It's a preposterous movie, but for whatever reason. . . .
Anything with a strong emotional loss, like Saving Private Ryan, Big Fish, The Killing. For some reason, each of those has gotten me.
"Something in my vicinity is Carolina blue and this offends me." - HPR
Any Lassie movie or TV show gets me every time. The Champ always reduces me to a blubbering idiot. I have also tortured myself by watching Marley & Me several times, even after I swore I would not watch it EVER. Usually can't get through Silent Night or Amazing Grace without tearing up.
My foster, Chief, gets to me too, especially when he smiles at something that makes him happy, like playing with Elsa or getting a greenie. I swear, he really does smile.
I've been a fan of Les Miz for a very long time.
Step 1 - read the lyrics (impressive).
Step 2 - listen to the music (awesome).
Step 3 - see the production (not enough words available...)
The blu-ray DVD of the 25th anniversary concert is quite good (however Marius is out of his league....) but I also enjoyed the (PBS?) 10th anniversary concert when Colm Wilkinson was a bit younger. The 25th anniversary blu-ray can currently be had on Amazon.com for ~$28, which is a wise investment versus watching all of the "Donate NOW!!" interruptions on PBS stations.
If you were not already aware of it, the stage production has recently been tweaked/upgraded and by all accounts is even better than the original. Out with the rotating stage, and in with lots of high-tech projected artwork. Supposedly the music/story remains virtually unchanged.
FWIW: The NC Theatre has Les Miserables on their schedule for next year, with performance dates in Raleigh being February 14-19, 2012.
Aside: For those of you who reside in the Triangle area, the son of WTVD's Larry Stogner for some time played the role of Gavroche on Broadway.