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Les Miserables in Toronto

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mmFan
Featured Actor
joined:10/13/03
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/3/13 at 12:58pm
Just wondering if anyone saw Les Mis in Toronto? I saw it last week and thought it was quite amazing. Excellent cast, lighting dark but that went wtih the story, set good. My only complaint was that the actors they had to play Little Cosette and Little Eponine were backwards from the grown up version (e.g. Little Cosette had black hair and brown eyes where the adult one was the typical character wtih blond hair and light eyes....and vice versa for Eponine). It made the story confusing as I had to keep think of which one Jean Valjean saved. Otherwise, it was an impressive performance.

Updated On: 12/3/13 at 12:58 PM
SamSan
Swing
joined:12/7/13
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/7/13 at 06:30pm
It is a great production. I guess I was just lucky. I had very sweet looking dead ringers for both characters. I know they rotate the roles, so maybe you seen the performance with the black hair girl playing Little Cosette. I had Ella for Little Cosette and Saara for Little Eponine (according to my program). Both were great. Ella has a great voice.
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mmFan
Featured Actor
joined:10/13/03
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/7/13 at 06:52pm
Ah yes...I just looked up the cast and they are listed as multiple roles. So the day I went it was Saaara as Little Cosette (and forget offhand who played little Eponine but a little blond girl). That was my sole complaint though and thought it was an excellent production
SamSan
Swing
joined:12/7/13
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/10/13 at 10:24am
It does make an interesting discussion about equality. Obviously the cast should be open for all, but as far as continuity goes, shouldn't theatres just stick with what makes sense? Like Simba and Young Simba in the Lion King, wouldn't be weird with one being Afro-American and the other Caucasian?
messam
Swing
joined:12/8/13
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/10/13 at 04:47pm
Will be interesting to see what happens on Broadway. African American Eponine. Caucasian Cosette.
21st century. Color blind casting.
SamSan
Swing
joined:12/7/13
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/16/13 at 07:57am
I hope you are not suggesting that our posts have anything to do with some hidden racist agenda. I for one simply referring to continuity on the given day in a a given theatre performance. A play should not be puzzle to be solved if that was not the intended purpose like in Ira Levin's Deathtrap or in Agatha Christie's Mousetrap. Breaking the continuity should be well supported, and for a reason. I welcome colourblind casting choices, I welcome even choices that provoke (Afro-American Jesus, female God, why not?) but then stick with it.
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mmFan
Featured Actor
joined:10/13/03
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 12/16/13 at 08:22am
My only problem is that while watching Les Mis, I had to keep reminding myself that it was Cosette that Jean Valjean saved, as opposed to Eponine...since the one that he saved as a child was the dark haired, dark eyed child (and I think Indian background), and the adult Cosette was strawberry blond and fair. So it didn't follow the story as the fact that he saved Cosette was important.
adam.peterson44 Profile Photo
adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/10/14 at 12:49pm
I really enjoyed the production of Les Miserables in Toronto, with Earl Carpenter, Ramin Karimloo, and Melissa Neill being standouts for me. I have been wondering - since the Broadway production has re-cast most of the principal roles (all except Valjean and M. Thenardier, i believe), is it possible that the production will stay on in Toronto as a sit-down production, with a new Valjean and Thenardier and the rest of the cast intact? I would definitely like to go back and revisit the show a few more times, especially if Earl Carpenter will be staying.

Does anyone know if there are any plans along these lines?
PixelJD Profile Photo
PixelJD
Swing
joined:6/30/13
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/10/14 at 08:15pm
So before I reply to your question Adam, I just wanted to say I too recently watched Les Mis and left the POW in chills. After seeing the film a couple times and listening to various cast albums countless times; I thought my emotions would stay intact. Boy was I wrong, Almost all of act 2 left me either with an enflammed throat,tear in my eye or grinding my teeth {as in being pissed off for the characters}. If anyone else in/near Toronto has yet to see it I highly recommend catching it!

Now to reply to your question Adam, I remember that when the show was announced I read that it was supposed to launch into a tour, but now searching that nothing comes up so I may be going crazy. If it were to stay lots of scheduling conflicts would arise as Two Worlds Of Charlie F is moving into the Princess Of Wales at the end of Feb, Chicago in March, Lion King {for a somewhat lengthy stop} in April and Mormon returning in September {Newsies will be coming in 2015 to the POW if that's notable}

I guess it's a double edged sword as it is great for more shows to come, but terrible that such a breath taking show will have to go.
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adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/11/14 at 03:06am
PixelJD, thanks for your reply. Although it is sad that the Les Miserables production will be leaving, I must say that I am beyond pleased that the POW has theatre scheduled in it for another more than one year interval. The announcements about demolishing it to build condos made me very sad indeed, and it makes me happy when Toronto has multiple musicals playing at one time. This year's holiday season was fantastic - i would love to see that kind of choice all the time! (Thank you Mirvish, LOT, Angelwalk, and other presenters of musicals in Toronto!)
mmFan Profile Photo
mmFan
Featured Actor
joined:10/13/03
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/11/14 at 08:29am
Is it still a plan to demolish the POW theatre? It is such a beautiful theatre, and one of the bigger ones in Toronto for full productions. Les Miz was amazing and sad to see that go too. We don't seem to have the long run shows anymore like we used to.
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Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/11/14 at 01:30pm
There is no chance of Les Mis extending. As stated, the POW has other bookings. In addition to the 2 leads going to NY, some of the ensemble are as well. Not to mention, the physical production is going too.

Regarding the theatre's demolition, Mirvish has come across some heavy opposition from the City of Toronto Planning Department. The City is asking for some drastic alterations to the Gehry/Mirvish proposal. Construction on the project is very far down the road, if ever.
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canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/11/14 at 05:10pm
Enjoyed the production. Did not make me forget the original production that played at the Royal Alex back in the day, but I was not pining for it either. Ramin Karimloo was the standout, and I'm glad he was able to perform in Toronto before his Broadway debut. I wish him much success.

Cast was mostly solid. Liked the soaring belt of Mark Uhre as Enjolras, and some of the other male ensemble. And I thought Melissa O'Neil acquitted herself well as Eponine (even though her performance was Frances Ruffelle-esqe). I'm personally not a lover of the Thenardiers or the child characters (especially the spunky Gavroche), but they were suitably pleasing to the crowd.
Coach Bob knew it all along: you've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows. (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)
avabe
Swing
joined:7/22/11
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:55am
When you say "I'm personally not a lover of the Thenardiers or the child characters (especially the spunky Gavroche), but they were suitably pleasing to the crowd." are you referring to the casting choices or the characters themselves? My husband loves the book but feels that Gavroche has no place on the stage, it waters down the meaning. No one would guess that Gavroche is actually the little brother of Eponine, son of the Thernardiers. Same time I thought the little actor delivered well what he was acquired to do. As far as Young Cosette, I think it is important for the story, as without her Jean Valjean will have no quest to go on. He found the reason to live, and to seek redemption.
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bwayto
Broadway Star
joined:12/5/11
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/15/14 at 11:36am
I'd like to chime in and point out that in the stage productions (going back to the original), Gavroche is not ever defined as Eponine's brother.

In this new version, it is made known that Gavroche's father is once of the ensemble members. They are seen together many times and during "Drink With Me" it is made very clear when Gavroche goes to hug him.
Alan Henry
Senior Editor, BWW Toronto
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avabe
Swing
joined:7/22/11
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/17/14 at 10:59am
I never said that Gavroche is ever defined as Eponine's brother in the musical. I was simply referring to the original book by V. Hugo. In the book is a known fact that Gavroche is Eponine's brother (she also has a sister and two more brothers by the way). I disagree that is "made known that Gavroche's father is once of the ensemble members". Where does it made known?
If you refer to Grantaire, he is member of the cast. Grantaire is not he father of Gavroche either in the book, either in the film (musical) and not in the stage version. He likes the child in the musical, but he is not his father. The film is more true to the book, where Grantaire takes his place next to Enjorias in the ABC Cafe, when he is executed by the National Guard. Grantaire is a sceptic and a drunkard, he loves and cares about nothing but admires Enjorias who is full of passion.
"suddenly they heard a powerful voice cry out beside them, 'Vive la Republique! Count me in.' Grantaire was on his feet. The immense glare of the whole combat he had missed and in which he had not been, appeared in the flashing eyes of the transfigured drunkard. He repeated, 'Vive la Republique!' crossed the room firmly, and took his place in front of the muskets beside Enjolras."
Since the ABC scene missing from the musical's stage version, I think they put Grantaire's affection for Gavroche there, so instead of walking off from the barricade, he goes and dies willingly.
canmark Profile Photo
canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/17/14 at 03:15pm
> When you say "I'm personally not a lover of the Thenardiers or the child characters (especially the spunky Gavroche), but they were suitably pleasing to the crowd." are you referring to the casting choices or the characters themselves?

The characters themselves. I like the Thenardiers when they are seen more as villains, revealing base human selfishness for example, the song Dog Eats Dog (which reveals Thenardiers' god-less philosophy). This contrasts with Valjean's selflessness, or the rebellion by the (affluent and educated) students who seek a better life for the poor and downtrodden.

All the mugging and hamming it up for the audience may win laughs and applause, but I don't think it enhances the story or the meaning of the show.

----------

Mirvish has posted the curtain call from the benefit performance, showing Ramin Karimloo and Colm Wilkinson performing Bring Him Home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcXhADCioiQ

Coach Bob knew it all along: you've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows. (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)
Updated On: 1/17/14 at 03:15 PM
bwayto Profile Photo
bwayto
Broadway Star
joined:12/5/11
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/17/14 at 05:51pm
canmark,

I think the Thernardier's mugging it up is to lighten the mood. If the show didn't have them to balance out some of the tougher emotional moments I don't think it would be as commercially successful. You do raise valid points, though. I can see why it's not everyones cup of tea. I love them, personally.
Alan Henry
Senior Editor, BWW Toronto
alan@broadwayworld.com









Follow me on twitter, here!
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jayzee92
Swing
joined:11/16/13
Les Miserables in Toronto
Posted: 1/19/14 at 12:10pm
I think an affective Thenardier kind of balances both. Yes, he his the comic relief of the show (of course, the comedy is coming from his selfishness) but I also think Dog Eats Dog needs to be the number where we really see how ugly his selfishness can be. It's a serious, character revealing moment for him. Just my two cents though!

 
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