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333 of 346 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Concert--BD from U.K. is Region-free
Wow! What an outstanding concert presentation of this opera-like musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel "Les Miserables", which has been a worldwide sensation for over 25 years. This 25th anniversary concert, taped on October 3, 2010 before a wildly enthusiastic audience of several thousand at the cavernous O2 Arena in London, was simply superb--the production...
Published on January 20, 2011 by 3D-fan

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222 of 259 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish they would put the 10th Anniversary Concert on Blu Ray
So I am a huge fan of this show, I have multiple recordings and for years loved watching the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast concert. I was so excited when I saw this was coming on Blu Ray and I bought it without even watching any previews or reading any reviews of the actual London concert.

Is it a good concert? Yes. The staging is impressive and the Blu Ray...
Published on March 3, 2011 by Phillip Wells


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but 10th Anniversary Production better., March 13, 2011
This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
The production was very well done, and I am happy that I watched it. However, I am so glad that I own the 1998 ORIGINAL 10th anniversary Dream Cast DVD, which I purchased any years ago. What I really liked about the 10th Anniversary production is that the big screens in the back had information introducing the scenes, so it was easier for those who don't know the story line to follow what was going on. Also, those screens showed scenes from the play, so there was a lot more impact - especially when it showed the barricade from one of the plays when there were so many deaths. There was just too much left out of this production. Plus, Nick Jonas simply did not have the vocal range needed for Marius; he was the weak link in this production. I am wondering why he was chosen to do this part (?)

UPDATE:
I just discovered that the ORIGINAL 10th Anniversary 1998 DVD release of "Les Miserables - The Dream Cast in Concert" is no longer available new. It is available used on Amazon from third party sellers for over $100.00! I understand that the subsequent releases of this DVD are not nearly as good in quality as the original and also have some parts missing. So, if you happen to own the original (as I do), take good care of it, unless you want to spend a lot of money to replace it! Also, this original can be rented from Netflix.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Big Hits... And Misses, March 7, 2011
This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
I agree with many of the reviewers on the absolute stunning performances of many of the roles, particularly Valjean and Javert -- while Colm Wilkinson is still my #1 fav, there was a tenderness in the way Alfie Boe played and sang the role of Valjean, and Norm Lewis ("Javert") was INTENSE and did a wonderful interpretation of that role. Also, Lea Salonga was just amazing.

That said, why I didn't rate this "5 stars" was because of some pretty big misses. Nick Jonas played the role of Marius as well as Michael Ball if not better, but his singing just could not come close to what Ball brought to the stage: he appeared to miss so many notes that I began to feel like an "American Idol" judge, wanting to urge him to stick to pop music. The orchestra was poorly balanced, with brass absolutely slaying the strings and woodwinds, leaving some very tender and moving countermelodies almost totally unheard.

In the end, though I totally embraced Alfie Boe as the central character and would pay big bucks to see him sing this role, this felt like a "let's bring back Les Mis but freshen it up a bit" and that they did. I enjoyed watching it, but if I were to reach on the shelf for a version I truly enjoy, it would be the 10th Anniversary Edition.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A glass half-empty, half full, September 12, 2011
This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
I accept that I am a biased fan. I've listened to a variety of Les Mis recordings and have seen a few different productions but I have never found anything to be on par with the Tenth Anniversay Concert--titled by fans the, "Dream Cast". At first, I accepted nothing but that monumental concert, and it greatly inhibited my ability to enjoy other renditions and interpritations. Over the years however, I have learned not to compare everything to the TAC--it's not fair to myself, and it is ultimately unfair to the show, which is still strong today. To anchor it down to a past performance would be wrong, and while I will always use TAC as a basis for comparison, I am now more readily able to take a good show for what it's worth and just accept that nothing will top the mental shrine i've built around the TAC. Naturally, I had high hopes for the 25th concert. Unfortunately, after having watched it a few times and after having contemplated it for a while, I feel as though my expectations were let down. Now, I won't completely degrade this show--there are some performances that are really fantastic--but as a whole, It just doesn't work. But before I delve into the bad, let me highlight the good:

-Alfie Boe. Wilkinson still remains the quintisential Valjean in my mind and his interpritation of the character will never be matched. However, I can appreciate when a good thing comes along, and Boe is more than a good thing: he's fantastic. His operatic voice gives him an edge over some past Valjeans(Wilkinson excluded), and his interpritation of Valjean was so different from Colm's that comparing them seems silly. Boe's Valjean is subdued and humble, and his performance is more subtle. This is a stark constrast to Wilkinson's Valjean, who is vocal and exhuberant without being overworked. In "Bring him Home", Boe adresses God with humility and without presumption, keeping his composure until the last few moments of the song. Wilkinson's legendary performance of the same song paints a very different portrait: his his outright pleading with God, perhaps seconds away from falling to his knees and begging to save this boy(even if that means that he will have to learn to let his daughter go). What I love about these two is that both paint a believeable character and unlike some other Valjeans, Boe's Valjean is not an attempt at carbon copying the original, which in turn makes his performances very interesting to watch. Colm is still Valjean, but Boe really did a comendable job with this role.
-Ramin Karimloo. It probably goes without saying, but Ramin is fantastic in this show. He brings all of the raw intensity to Enjolras without being too loud or forceful.
-Jenny Galloway. This woman is not praised enough. I was overjoyed to see her, the one and only Mrs.Thenardier in my mind. She hasn't lost a thing, and she really helped carry the show along.
-Lea Salonga. I have mixed opinions about her performance here, which came as a surprise to me because I'm really a big fan of hers. Her performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" in this concert was just too heavy handed to my ears. It was too forced, too loud, and without the subtle intricacies I've heard her handle this song with in different recordings. Her rendition of "Come to Me" however was superbly done, as was her preformance in the "Epilouge".
-The 1985 cast reunion. It was nice to see the old pros together again, and I'm amazed at how well some of their voices have aged.
-The Valjean Quartet. Wilkinson made this song. At 67 years old, he was still the most easily distinguishable voice amongst the bunch, with his wonderfully expressive voice. Obviously, his voice isn't as strong as it was. But darn it all if he doesn't sound amazing for his age. It was nicely arranged too, though at times all four voices could be a little over whelming(I think JoJ and Barrowman should have pulled back a bit--they almost sounded like they were shouting).

Now for the "half-empty" part.

-Norm Lewis. I know, I know--some people will curse and shout at me for this. However, I was really dissapointed in Lewis's performance in this concert. I mean, I know the guy can sing. He's done brilliant work in Sweeney Todd and in "Sondheim on Sondheim". He even rocked "The Little Mermaid". But as Javert, Lewis just doesn't work. He shouts more than he sings, and it really seemed like Sweeney Todd playing Javert. The character of Javert is perhaps my favorite in all of Les Mis. During the musical, we're supposed to see this character evolve, going from a seemingly apathetic military man to a conflicted soul. There needs to be a progession during all the numbers where we see this change coming about, and Lewis just didn't do this. He was "on" all the time, and I thought he was going to pop a vein in "The Confrontation". I like Lewis, but I don't like Lewis in this. I will say to his credit, the musical accompaniment hindered him during some numbers. Which brings me to my next point:
-Musical arrangment and orchestra. It was really off during this show. Sometimes the singer's mikes were too loud and overwhelmed the music, and sometimes the music was too fast or choppy. The music needs to support the voices of the singers, not hinder them. It's sad that for the 25th anniversary of this monumental show that the musical accompaniment wasn't better directed.
-"One Day More". This is a troublesome song to begin with. If the finale of the number isn't done properly, it sounds like a horrendous cacaphony of mismatched voices. "One Day More" in this show unfortunately fell into this trap. The beauty of this number has always been that, despite singing different verses, all of the singers somehow blend together. In this show, it was conspiculously obvious that several lyrics were being tossed around and it was dizzying.
-Nick Jonas. I won't hate on Nick Jonas, becasue he was actual better than I expected him to be. I will however hate on the casting director in charge of putting together the singers for this concert. Nick Jonas is often defended as "singing well for his age" and "doing the best he could with what he had". Both of these are absolutely true. However, for a 25th anniversary, you can't cast someone in a main role who "does the best with their limited voice" or "sings well for being a pop star". The poor kid was terribly outmatched on stage and, while he carried himself through to the best of his abilities, it really hurt the overall production. At times he overacts his character, no doubt trying to make-up for the limits of his voice with a moving performance. Unfortunately, it was so obivously overdone that it just didn't work. The kid isn't a horrendous singer--infact, I think he is a great deal better than any of us familiar with his Jonas Brother's work thought. But "being better than bad" isn't good enough for what is perhaps the best musical of all time.
-So-so rest of the cast. Samantha Barks wasn't bad, wasn't fantastic. The most mermorable things about her performance is her bizzar phrasing in "On My Own", a number she overacted in parts where she should have brought her voice back and underacted in parts where she should have given more. The girl can act with her face, but she has yet to master acting with her voice. She's young, and understandably she's not going to be a pro like Lea Salonga. So she was okay, but not great, and I don't she was 25th anniversary great. Similarily, Katie Hall is okay but not great. When discussing this with people who have a more positive opinion of this production, the number one phrase I hear tossed around is, "good for their age". Yes, Nick Jonas, Samantha Barks, and Katie Hall are all good for their age and yes, there ages are close to the ages of the characters they portray. But in a musical, skill takes precendent over matchign ages. All three of these singers are okay, but nowhere near skilled enough with their acting and vocal techniques to justify their casting in this production.

So overall, this was a "meh" attempt at what should have been a tribute to one of the greatest musical ever written. There were highs and lows, and unfortunately they didn't balance eachother out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get the 10th Anniversary Concert Instead, March 20, 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "Joey E" (Kennett Square, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
The four stars are actually because of the bonus material. Three Jean Valjean singing "Bring Him Home" including Colm Wilkinson was a thrill to see. The original London cast performing "One Day More" was spectacular. If only the rest of the concert was that thrilling and exciting. For some reason, the perfomrances just seemed good, but not great. Let's face it, any performance of Les Miserables cannot be terrible because of the wonderful score. However, there are some recordings and concerts that are better than others. After watching hte original London Cast perform "One Day More", I would have rather have seen them perform the concert. The 10th Anniversary Concert cast was far better. Even Lea, the original Kim from Miss Saigon, was better 15 years ago as Eponine than she was as Fantine. Ncik Jonas gave the best performance he could as Marius, but no one can do it better than Michael Ball. Jenny Galloway appeared in both the 10th and 25th concert, but she seemed far better and more enthusiastic in the 10th concert. So, while this was very entertaining, the 10th anniversary concert was better in terms of casting and performance. The one thing I like about this concert is the camera angles, closeups, and shots. But, get the 10th Anniversary concert instead.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nick Jonas EPIC FAIL, March 9, 2011
This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
I love Les Mis, overall I will say that most of the performances were moving, there were several times during the program where I needed a tissue. The music always moves me to tears. Awesome performances, except for Nick Jonas, what were they thinking when they thought it would be a good idea to put this pathetic ameteur on stage with true professionals? With his weak voice and pained expression, it was pitiful to watch and just as painful to listen to. I wouldn't let it ruin my overall impression though. This is why I only gave 4 stars, ignore the meak and meager Jonas and you get 5. The encore was spine-chilling, the voices of the 4 Valjean's were stunning together, more crying from me here. Highly recommended.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a sin this is not on a CD as well as a DVD, March 7, 2011
By 
Larry H. Mullen "Larry616" (Reading, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
As much as I have loved Les Miserables over the last 25 years I think this concert was about the best version I have seen and heard. I have the DVD on order (saw the show on PBS last night) but I bought the 2010 cast album thinking it was a recording of the concert. I now realise my mistake. Although the album is good it does not compare to the concert that we saw last night on PBS. I hope that someone in their infinite wisdom will wake up and say, "Oh my God we could sell a million of these CD's"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Les Miz 25th, movie, September 7, 2011
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This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
As most others here have said, Nick Jonas is really lackluster in this production. (I read that his father had a lot to do with getting him on board this version - good connections will always make the world go `round). I would say that there's much to appreciate in the clarity of the image and sound, but the overall emotional impact is not quite as thrilling as the 10th Anniversary production. Besides Jonas being miscast, you have a very (supposed to be) `funny' Thenardier, as apparently Matt Lucas is some sort of `famous' British comedian, though I just didn't get his take on the part - completely the wrong guy. (Please compare Alun Armstrong's version in the 10th Anniversary to see what I mean.)

I was also excited to hear about the planned movie of the musical, wondering who would appear in the cast. You would hope after all the comments here, Cameron Mackintosh would hold his ground. If you've seen the wonderful `Stage By Stage' version that came out just 3 years after Les Miserables opened in London, you will see footage from what I am guessing was an earlier attempt to film the original British cast for a movie version. They obviously decided that this approach was not going to work (for whatever reason)...but I personally enjoy seeing it quite a bit, and I think it would have worked even better with a live audience, warts and all if that be the problem.

Anyway, disappointed as I was to see my favorite musical `downgraded' because of the 25th Anniversary performances of Marius and Thenardier, I am now wondering if, as with Nick Jonas, Cameron is just settling for less, just to get the darn movie financed and done. The Hollywood types are putting on the pressure for more popular names, with the announcement of Hugh Jackman starring as Jean Valjean. I know he has a decent voice (much, much more so than the Jonas kid) and appeared in several London West End productions (you can hear him sing "Oh What A beautiful Mornin'" here [...]), but I'm uncertain about how he will handle the Valjean part. Given the way things are done in Hollywood, I am not too optimistic for the rest of the casting - look at the disasters of Madonna as Evita (but she financed it, so what could you say?) or Gerard Butler in `Phantom of the Opera' (a quote from Entertainment Weekly said, "Prior to his audition, Butler had no professional singing experience and had only taken four voice lessons before singing "The Music of the Night" for Lloyd Webber."). There's a lot going on behind the scenes to get these big projects green lighted, and I'm not surprised...just hoping that Cameron could assert more control than apparently he is able.
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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper Price on Amazon.co.uk (even with exchange rate), December 21, 2010
I recently purchased this on the UK Amazon site and only paid approx. $27 (after conversion from pounds). The blu-ray DVD is not region-coded and can be played on US players & tvs(unlike the regular DVD version coded only region 2 on the UK site).
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta get this one!, February 24, 2011
By 
R. Tolar (Nacogdoches, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary (DVD)
While I'd love to see a DVD of this incredible show with a little more staging, this cast makes up for it out of sheer talent--with one exception. Yes, it's the much misaligned Nick Jonas. I felt sorry for him at times; he is so out of his league among these other performers. Whose idea was this? Thank god it wasn't Justin Bieber (he might have made a good Cosette). This aside, get this one. It'll make the hair on your head stand, and yes, the Encore/Finale is awesome!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This show is stupendous - we loved the whole thing, January 10, 2011
By 
Geoffrey Woollard (South East Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This show is stupendous and all of it (nearly 3 hours) is on this Blu-ray edition made to mark the 25th anniversary of its original opening. My wife and I loved the whole thing and, short of seeing it live, this recorded version must be the best ever to watch. Lots of people have praised it to the heights and all of the praise is deserved and need not be repeated by me. I just think that it's worth noting that the 02 arena adds a very special something to the atmosphere and, obviously, to the numbers of people who could be there, live, for the recording. In the context of the 02 - formerly known as the Millennium Dome - thanks might also be offered to the principal politicians who saw that project through: Michael Heseltine and Peter Mandelson. Without those earlier supporters, the genius of Sir Cameron Mackintosh's 02 production would never have been seen or known.

Oh, and thank you, too, to Victor Hugo. Gone, but as long as 'Les Miserables' lives, not forgotten
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Les Miserables in Concert - 25th Anniversary
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