As Surfer Guy’s belated birthday gift, the whole family attended a touring stage production of Les Miserables. Surfer Guy and I had seen it before (I also saw it in NYC, on a half-price ticket, boy was that great) but Son1 and Son2 had not. All four of us loved it! Our seats were pretty good, not great, but our imaginations were captured by this great story. Years ago my in-law’s bought us the CD of the show and the music alone inspired me to read Victor Hugo’s looong book during one three-day weekend.
There’s so much they manage to get into the staged musical: Jean Valjean, whose anger is turned one night by a kind stranger. The lovely Eponine and her unrequited love. Young men eager to fight for a cause that’s good even though the odds are so overwhelming. There’s even comic relief in the innkeeper, Thenardier, and his wife. It’s really a special, special play, even though it doesn’t hit the story points in a way I think we’re most accustomed to (even Son1 noted this).
I wasn’t sure, actually, how the sons would take to the story, but of course it wasn’t new to them at all, plugged in as they are to popular culture. The Les Miserable movie will be out in December, starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean (the boys love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine), Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. I don’t know…can a movie do what the stage play does? The energy of the young rebels, the heartache of Eponine, the soaring love of Cosette and Marius…you feel that as well as hear it in the theater.
What do you think? I enjoyed the stage production of Mama Mia more than the movie…though both were fun. I embedded the trailer for the Les Mis movie below if you want to check it out. Do you think you’ll see it?