BWW Review: The Barricades Arise Once Again in Stirring National Tour of LES MISERABLES

BWW Review: The Barricades Arise Once Again in Stirring National Tour of LES MISERABLES

The crowd was practically vibrating at the Keller on Tuesday night. I don't think I've ever been in a more excited audience (and that includes for Hamilton). LES MIS got its first thundering ovation as soon as the lights went down. And for the next almost 3 hours, the spectacular cast gave the audience exactly what they'd come to see.

If you've seen LES MIS before, you'll notice some differences between the original and this revamped production. There are plenty of articles detailing those differences, so I won't repeat them all here. But what stood out to me was the energy. This LES MIS moves considerably faster, especially in Act 1, which adds to the desperation (Fantine's fall happens so fast, you hardly have time to breathe) and serves to emphasize the moments when things slow down, like during the iconic solos.

The production has also gotten a high-tech upgrade. They've ditched the revolving stage and added digital projections and some other bells and whistles. These were most effective during the battle scenes, which felt fully immersive, and for Valjean and Marius's journey through the sewer.

But the real stars of this production are the actual stars of this production. Every member of the cast is exceptional (which could be, as others have written, because they're being paid a wage comparable to what they would make on Broadway). Nick Cartell is the best Valjean I've ever seen (the ovation he received after "Bring Him Home" lasted at least a minute), and Josh Davis did an excellent job of portraying Javert's growing internal struggles. The other principals -- Joshua Grosso as Marius, Mary Kate Moore as Fantine, Emily Bautista as Eponine -- were equally strong. And when the whole cast sang together, well, let's just say there were moments when I thought all 3,000 of us in the audience might spontaneously rise up and join the revolution.

LES MISÉRABLES runs through Sunday. Whether you're a superfan or a first-timer, it's a definite must-see. More details and tickets here.

Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

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From This Author Krista Garver

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