Broadway Bob* said: "Went to this tour last night 11/30 in Pittsburgh. Was so excited to see it as I haven't seen Les Miz in a long time so felt like I was visiting an old friend. Unfortunately, things went downhill quickly. This tour is in abysmal shape. The ensemble was basically fine, but the only lead who was worth her paycheck was Madame Thenardier. Everyone else was off-key and either sleep walking through their roles or camping it up and completely over-acting. In the hundreds of times I've seen this show I've never seen/heard such off pitch singing, hammy over acting and/or complete lack of acting, and such liberties taken with so many notes of the score. I was quite sad at how awful the show was. In fact, my friend I was with and I were both so disappointed we left at intermission (only the second time in my life I've left a professional show half way through.) I'm glad there are some new leads coming into this tour soon. I'm hoping they breathe some new life into it and only wish I'd gotten to see them instead."I share your opinions. Laurence Conner's direction is some of the worst I have ever seen. I caught this production on tour, and then saw it here in NYC when they brought it to Broadway. The production has always left me cold as ice. It's poorly directed, designed, and executed. And to think that they replaced the brilliant original turntable staging in London with this hot mess...
Looking at this through fresh eyes, as one who has never seen the show, watched the movie, or read the book, but has been listening to the OBCR for the past several weeks on repeat, I wanted to share a few thoughts on seeing the matinee of Les Miserables on Sunday 12/01/2019. I’ve read a lot of the posts from BWW in various threads regarding the show, and tried to balance my expectations going in despite still being very excited to finally see this legendary work of literature and stage. And I think perhaps I came away somewhat disappointed. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea.During most the entire performance two thoughts kept going through my head: why is the staging so very dark (dimly lit), and (particularly in Act Two) is it over yet? This just seemed like a looooong show. There were times the scene on stage wasn’t much brighter in its lighting than the audience area that I was sitting in. Or so it seemed. Even the backdrops and scrims were so dark I could barely, if at all, make them out. And I don’t know if it was just this performance, but I really wished there was about 60 minutes worth of dialogue to interrupt the start-to-finish non-stop singing.Not that the singing, or the acting, was really all that bad. Several of the musical pieces were quite good and/or very enjoyable - I Dreamed A Dream (beautifully done), Lovely Ladies (good stuff lol), Master of the House (funny), The People’s Song, One Day More (loved this), Bring Him Home (gorgeous), Beggars at the Feast, and Finale. And I never thought the acting was all that bad or overly hammy, maybe a bit dramatic at times. But shouldn’t I have expected that for Les Miserables? I rather enjoyed the performances of Marius (Joshua Grosso), Enjolras (Matt Shingledecker), and the Thenardiers (Jimmy Smagula and Allison Guinn). Jean Valjean (Nick Cartell) did a fine enough job, but at times he was a little overcooked. And Jalvert (Monte J. Howell) has a tremendous voice, not much more though, and no real stage presence.But to me there was just something off about the entire show. I think maybe the combination of the very dark staging (again, with the lack of lighting), odd use of spot lights especially during the barricade scenes, and way too many people on stage at times with the added difficulty of seeing what was going on between them (even who was doing the singing) just made me wish I had front row seats. Not that my seats were in a bad location - first balcony tier Row A center. I do think being much closer would have been better.I ended up buying the window card (which I love), magnet, and souvenir program. The cast-signed window card at $40 was nice enough but it was signed in black marker, and it blended in way too well with the background of the image. Wish it had been done in silver.Maybe my memories and fondness of the show will improve over time. Listening to the OBCR and seeing the show that’s still in my mind’s eye, it was an interesting experience. Different than any show I’ve ever seen. Not in a bad way. Just different. Would I see this again? No. Did I hate this? No. Would I recommend it? Maybe.
I finally got around to downloading a few pics I took while up in Pittsburgh last weekend to see Les Miserables...https://www.flickr.com/photos/57377062@N04/albums/72157712017281938
That's awesome! Now I know what merch I want to purchase tomorrow for Nick, Josh, and Allison's last performance! I'll be sure to report back on that as well. Thank you for the great pictures.
I absolutely love the window card, which is quite vibrant and better looking than my picture shows. The 4-piece button badge set is nice too, which I gave away to a 13-yr old neighbor who’s a fan of the musical. I could’ve walked away with much more merchandise, but I’ve got a few more shows coming up in the next 90 days (Jesus Christ Superstar, Miss Saigon, and CATS) that’ll put a dent in my bank account for sure. lol Enjoy the show!
What to say, everyone?! I am still speechless. Nick, Josh, and Allison had an incredible last performance and they drew out many of their big belting notes to twice their normal length to which I appreciated very much! I could feel the energy emanating throughout the room.There were no speeches or announcements, however, their bows were nice and long and after the company bowed once, the three of them had their own special bow and Allison was holding a bouquet of flowers throughout the entirety of the bows. I assume they did speeches backstage because people were walking out of the stage door with pieces of cake!"Bring Him Home" stole the show. Period. Best Valjean and Javert I've ever heard, and I've seen Les Mis on stage six times now between Broadway, National Tour twice, and community theatre.If you have any other questions about their final performance, let me know :)
RWPrincess said: "dmwnc1959 said: "Intermission. Just found out that they’re having cast-signed window cards by all of the members of the regular tour cast at $40 a piece that will have the signatures of Nick Cartell and Josh Davis. Hate that I missed the latter in his performance."If you follow Josh on Instagram, he often posts the soundcheck from each theater. It's usually the confrontation scene. I know it's not the same as seeing him live but at least you'll get a taste of his singing in the role."He posted a run though of "The Confrontation" on Halloween with him and Nick both dressed in those inflatable T-Rex costumes... it was amazing
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