Comscore

Les Mis: What a Shame!!!

mchibim
Swing
joined:5/25/14
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:44am
Sorry for not writing here before but I was busy with other stuff. I am a musician ( vocalist and conductor) who dreamed for years to watch Les Mis on Broadway. I had watched that in many countries, such as Brazil, Argentina and London, and I know all the recordings( including the french one that is quiet different), as also the orchestra and vocal scores.
On April 12 I went super excited to the Imperial Theatre and the deception started early. Lots of people that were behaving like in a picnic ( sorry, broadway in other countries do not allow eating during the show) People eating, drinking, lots of popcorn, like they were in the movies. WHAT?????
Then I looked to the stage and thought "how are they going to fit all the characters and the turning stage?" Guess what?? There was NO TURNING STAGE. Les Mis without turning stage?? WHAT????
Things don't get better. When the lights were off, and the orchestra started playing, they allowed the late people come, and for around 10 minutes, you couldn't see or listen anything due the late people. Why is time for the performance if they allow people getting in late? EVERYWHERE ELSE, if you are not there by the time, you can only get in during the intermission.
My frustration was just growing bigger and bigger as other things were coming up: the ridiculously small stage, the hurry of the conductor that was rushing in ALL SONGS... and the most astonishing: The orchestra wasn't playing the original arrangements, WHAT???? Wasn't it supposed to follow the original? Apparently no. The conductor was playing in his own super fast tempo (was he in a race to finish soon to get the train back home?) and the beautiful instrumental lines of the songs were reduced. SHAME!
Ok, it would be fine if would stop here but the list goes on:
The singers... OMG, what where those singers? The men were Ok, the children were very nice, but the females.... What the F... was that Eponine? Seriously. How can a person like that be on broadway? She would be a great singer if she were in a gospel church choir, not on Broadway performing something such as Les Mis. Cossette? OMG, have she ever performed before? Does she really know how to sing? It was just Awful. I learned with a friend who is on Broadway business that the main singer casted to be Cossette was fired a week before the debut, and so they hired someone else, but Cmon, so many amazing singers in NY, and I doubt anyone wouldnt be crazy to get this jobs, why they had to get the worse?? Was she maybe a relative of the conductor or the artistic director? It seems like.
My impulse was to leave right in the beginning, but I decided staying to see if it would get better, and besides, they weren't giving my money back. So at the end, things did not get better. I got home extremely frustrated. That is a big SHAME. I always heard that Broadway musicals need to be EXACTLY the same. From my own experience, ( I auditioned couple of times to broadway in Brazil) the people who would be casting were the original directors and choreographers, in order to assure the quality of the new team.
I don't know what happened here, but If you are a Les Mis lover like me, I totally don't recommend.
If you are a tourist and want to see a broadway show, go to The Phantom of the Opera, or any another show that is the way it was intended to be, not a POOR Version of a classic, such as Les Mis.
MusicalBoy Profile Photo
MusicalBoy
Broadway Star
joined:12/3/10
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:55am
This is a revival, and a revised, new production of Les MisÚrables that doesn't necessarily use the original staging or orchestrations.

A little bit of research can save you disappointment when buying a ticket.
mickeyjotheatre.webs.com

2014 Theatre: One Man Two Guvnors**** Coriolanus*** M For Medea* Wicked***** Gaslight***** Rent: In Concert** War Horse**** Birdsong*** Romeo and Juliet** Worst Wedding Ever** Good People***** Derren Brown: Infamous***** Blithe Spirit*** The Phantom of the Opera***** Urinetown**** Other Desert Cities***** Betty Blue Eyes*** King Lear***
Eris0303 Profile Photo
Eris0303
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/07
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 12:13pm
Tony Winner Nikki M. James doesn't belong on Broadway? Kay.

I have a hard time shaming late comers. Sometimes things happen. I always endeavor to arrive early but have been late a couple times thanks to uncontrollable things. Traffic, train, delays, etc. Sometimes it's not their fault.
"All our dreams can come true -- if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney We must have different Gods. My God said "do to others what you would have them do to you". Your God seems to have said "My Way or the Highway".
teresa2
Stand-by
joined:4/1/05
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 12:26pm
I like Nikki James, but she was totally miscast as Eponine. I definitely agree with that assessment.
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 12:35pm
"I always heard that Broadway musicals need to be EXACTLY the same. From my own experience, ( I auditioned couple of times to broadway in Brazil) the people who would be casting were the original directors and choreographers, in order to assure the quality of the new team.
I don't know what happened here."

You seem to be applying the notion of this group being a replacement cast for the original show, which is not the case. It is a new staging, new cast, which also explains the "no turntable," etc.

Some things here are valid concerns, some are taste, but I certainly found there was much to celebrate on stage for this revival, and to spend the whole time stewing about how it wasn't something different, and how it should have been done, you potentially missed finding what was special about this version. I mean, Ramin's Bring Him Home was a revelation that brought the house down when I saw it.
Wildcard Profile Photo
Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 01:29pm
Don't go see Chicago or Cabaret or Pippin. You'll be disappointed they're nothing like the original productions.
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 01:49pm
Revivals (in America) are certainly NOT carbon copies of the original productions. While that has its place (Cabaret, for example) most of us want to see something different with material we already know.

Yes, most theaters will seat late, and they all allow food. Annoying? Yes. To the poiint of ruining my evening? Almost never.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 02:16pm
"What the F... was that Eponine? Seriously. How can a person like that be on broadway? She would be a great singer if she were in a gospel church choir."

Lately, they've been casting Eponine as a black woman, which is all fine and dandy. But the gospel voice thing needs to stop. You're on Broadway. Take notes from Audra McDonald.
AEA AGMA SM Profile Photo
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 02:18pm
"I have a hard time shaming late comers. Sometimes things happen."

To add to that, sometimes stage management has a hard curtain time, which means unless there is some absolute catastrophe they have to start the show by a certain time, even if it means people will be seated late. For instance I've done some shows where because of the length of time between the matinees and evening performances we could not hold more than seven minutes (so for a 4:00 matinee the downbeat had to be at 4:07 at the latest, again, barring some catastrophic event that would have made it unsafe to start).
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Mr Roxy Profile Photo
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 02:24pm
You have problems if the loss of the turntable is a turnoff.

It was annoying that all revivals had it.This is a great production of the show.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
theatregeek6 Profile Photo
theatregeek6
Broadway Star
joined:6/19/13
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 02:40pm
Latecomers need to plan to get to the venue early enough to ensure they are seated by curtain. That means dinner at a restaurant that handles pre-theatre, making an early enough train to ensure getting there, etc.

If they can't make it then stand until a true break (what is called a break is absurd
In some theatres) or stand until intermission.

In several hundred theatre experiences I have NEVER been late. It can be done

And broadway needs to stop with food in the theatre
Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 02:49pm
mchibim, if you had done your homework, you would have known it wasn't going to be exactly the same as the original production. Yes, I think a lot of people in America are sad that people (tourists?) are allowed to eat during performances, it's incredibly disgusting.

Looking in your Playbill and actually writing the names down of the people you're complaining about is pretty custom here. Nikki James was incredible in the Book of Mormon, perhaps you had a preconceived idea of what she should look like? It seems she doesn't work for the part, as many people have said on the Les Miserables review thread.

Late people are annoying, but things happen. The theater should give them 15 minutes, then they can come in at intermission. That would be due to the inconsiderate as$holes that think they can waltz in 45 minutes late, and people should pay attention to them. Yes that actually happens.

Lastly, recommending tourists to see a 30 year old show is pretty weird. When they come here, wouldn't they want to experience something new, fresh, different? Perhaps something even....Off Broadway?
Dilettante
Eris0303 Profile Photo
Eris0303
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/07
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 04:40pm
You're lucky then. Things happen no matter how much you plan
"All our dreams can come true -- if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney We must have different Gods. My God said "do to others what you would have them do to you". Your God seems to have said "My Way or the Highway".
Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 05:18pm
That's completely true, but since people know that, you would think they would give themselves a lot of extra time to get to a theater, especially if they are driving in to the city.

In my previous post, I was actually talking about the people who have all the time in the world, they just can't be bothered to be on time, and they come in and expect attention. When I was at Bridges, a woman came in very late, with 10 huge bangles on her wrists. She shook both wrists coming in, sitting down, getting out her flask, and just for the fun of it. Also, if you're going to be extremely late, and miss a huge part of the show, there's really no point.
Dilettante
SweetLips Profile Photo
SweetLips
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/13
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 05:24pm
michibim---It's all about 'expectations' and I felt for you reading your post. You wanted so badly for something you are so passionate about to be the same-in your mind-but the present reality let you down in so many situations. Don't let this latest revival spoil your love of Les Mis and when you are ready, perhaps revisit it knowing now that changes have been made. Most directors give their slant on a revival to bring something new[fresh] to a classic. A favourite saying is 'if you come with expectations-you will leave disappointed'.
Phyllis Rogers Stone Profile Photo
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 05:24pm
Why do you call the men men but call the women females?
ethan231h Profile Photo
ethan231h
Broadway Star
joined:5/5/11
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 06:17pm
Nikki i think is a good singer but she was totally miscast in Les Mis and I feel the revivals of Pippin Cabaret and Chicago are MUCH BETTER than the originals i am not a fan of Les Mis at all.
MCfan2
Broadway Star
joined:4/29/06
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 07:03pm
I saw Samantha Hill in "Phantom," and I would say, yes, she definitely knows how to sing.
LizzieCurry Profile Photo
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 07:05pm
I couldn't finish the OP's original rant. I'd rather read a Dr. Bronner's label. Same tone but more useful.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
AndrewIII
Swing
joined:5/25/14
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 09:05pm
yes why isn't she in Pippin? Nikki that is
ethan231h Profile Photo
ethan231h
Broadway Star
joined:5/5/11
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/25/14 at 10:19pm
i could see Nikki being a future replacement in Pippin!

Updated On: 5/25/14 at 10:19 PM
SweetLips Profile Photo
SweetLips
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/13
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:17am
LizzieCurry-I think to refer to the original post as a 'rant' shows your supposed superior intelligence and displays no compassion for this persons' disappointment. To not read it all and dismiss it with a snide remark doesn't come off with the humour you intended. Come off that perch occassionally, the ground is really quite safe.
LizzieCurry Profile Photo
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:21am
This person is really astounded by so many things that aren't new to the LM world. This production has been going on for about 5 years now and it wasn't like it was hidden knowledge that the revival wasn't going to have a turntable. Fine, be disappointed, but at least acknowledge that some of your expectations were a little unrealistic.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
Updated On: 5/26/14 at 12:21 AM
winston89 Profile Photo
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/26/14 at 11:11am
I just read that absurdly written rant. I can understand that one is a fan of Les Miserables. I am as well. But, at the same time there are two things that must be taken note of. Well, three actually.

The first one is minor, but the OP should note that "casted" is not a word.

Secondly, unless this guy was living under a rock, he should realize that this is the same new production that has been either on tour, or popping up in various places around the world for close to five years.

And, lastly, if the OP wishes to bash the cast, they should realize what the cast has been in and where they come. For example, saying that a Tony award winning actress shouldn't be on Broadway is laughable. So is saying that Samantha Hill isn't up to snuff to be on Broadway. Specially without realizing that not only was she in Phantom on Broadway before being in Les Miserables, she was in the Toronto production of the same show and went with it to Broadway.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/26/14 at 11:18am
(I'm going to suggest that the OP first language is not English. So I give him/her a pass on the grammatical errors.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Justin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
Les Mis: What a Shame!!!
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:52pm
thats what I was thinking, how can you be a fan of the show and not know that this is a re-concieved version and not the original.

thats like a fan, of Phantom going to see the new tour and being surprised that it looks different
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre

1
Page:

BROADWAYWORLD TV