Thursday, June 13, 2013

Les Miserables Opens in Vancouver

[Photo credit: Kyle Froman]
Les Miserables is one of the most popular shows in the world, celebrating it's 25th anniversary, and it's not hard to see why. It was the opening night in Vancouver yesterday, and I very excited to finally see it on stage.

Based on Victor Hugo's story of love and revolution, this musical brings you back to 1815 where Jean Valjean has just been released on parole from 19 years of hard labour for stealing bread to feed his family. He is greeted with suspicion everywhere he goes, until a kindly priest shows him an act of kindness that causes him to break his parole and start his life anew. Years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and a mayor. He rescues Cosette, the daughter of Fantine, a worker in his factory, and raises her as if she were his own daughter. In Paris, 1932, Cosette has grown up and fallen in love with student Marius, who is a member of a revolution. Valjean gets caught up in the revolution and helps them make their last stand at a street barricade. Throughout the years, Jean Valjean has relentlessly been pursued by inspector Javert, who believes only in justice and following the law.

[Photo credit: Deen van Meer]
There were strong performances by Peter Lockyer as Jean Valjean, Andrew Varela as Javert and Briana Carlson-Goodman as Eponine. Genevieve Leclerc as Fantine had a weak start as she sang "I Dreamed a Dream", with the orchestra drowning her out, though her voice did get stronger near the end of the song.

[Photo credit: Deen van Meer]
The innkeepers Master and Madame Thénardier (Timothy Gulan and Shawna M. Hamic) never failed to steal the scene with their antics. Their theme, "Master's of the House" is catchy and provides some fun before the darker scenes in the latter half of the musical.

[Photo credit: Kyle Froman]
The scene with Eponine and Marius as they sing "A Little Fall of Rain" will bring tears to your eyes. Briana Carlson-Goodman definitely did a great job and sang with such emotion.

The ensemble puts on a solid performance, with many powerful and emotional numbers. The costumes, set and stage design were great as well, and transported you back to early 19th century France. Les Miserables is definitely a production you have to see on stage!

Les Miserables is playing daily at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver now through June 23rd. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster. More information about the musical can be obtained at Broadway Across Canada.

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