Monday, October 13, 2014

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Yep, we're singing . . . "One Day More," "Master of the House," "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "Who am I?," "Bring Him Home," "Red and Black."

But not "Castle on a Cloud"--none of us like that song.  And we all laughed when Madam Thernardier mocked it!

We went to see Les Miserables on Broadway this weekend.  And it was fabulous!!!  It is Mama's favorite show, one she was quite taken with as a teenager.  She's seen it in the theater several times--even once in French in Montreal!--and owns numerous recordings (including French, Dutch, and now Spanish.)  She can't abide the movie because it rejects the usual theater conventions (and has mediocre singers.)  In fact, she wasn't sure she wanted to see the new production because, among other things, it didn't have the iconic revolving stage.

But I talked her into it, saying this might be the only chance the kids have, for years, to see her all-time favorite musical.  And even if it's not as great as the original production, at least it's not, ahem, the film.  And she relented, out of curiosity and desire.

And while she did miss the revolving stage and bemoaned the slimmer production values, she did like the show and was especially gratified that the kids loved it, too.  We had spent the week prepping them--playing the concerts on tv, summarizing the characters and plots, and prepping them about the sex (prostitutes, penis-size jokes) and violence (almost everybody dies.)  We even said, that on the off-chance they got lost by it all, to just enjoy the music and the production and not worry about who's who and what's what.

No worries, there.  They followed it all and even noticed a few minor changes from the concerts (like who sings the line about the Captain wearing his shoes.)  And we were all impressed by Ramin Karimloo, who played Valjean.  (We knew him from the Phantom 25th anniversary concert and also as Enjolras in the Les Mis 25th concert.)  Such a strong yet tender voice.  We also really liked Will Swenson as Javert.  And Nikki James as Eponine.  Really, they were all good.  And I liked the gritty realism of the costumes and sets and even the lighting; but then, the show has always had a serious dark side.  And it took all my powers not to sob outloud at my favorite line, "to love another person is to see the face of God."  I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Whew.  After the show, we went for our traditional post-theater snack at Junior's--cheesecakes, egg cream soda, and cel-ray soda.  We didn't stagedoor because it was a matinee and many of the performers don't appear.

We stayed in Union Square this trip, far from the bed bugs in Times Square.  The kids liked the neighborhood--Forbidden  Planet, the Strand bookstore, Max Brenner chocolate restaurant.  Even the Whole Foods was more interesting than ours!  And we had a great view of the park and also the World Trade Center/Freedom Tower (I don't know what we're supposed to call it, but I don't really like FT), glittering in the distance.  Oh, the noise, though.  Even six stories up, we heard loud drunk people and car horns all night, much worse than Times Square.  But still, no bed bugs (yet.  We took all the precautions and are boiling everything here at home.)

And the next day was Comic Con, but that's a separate post . . . .

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