Les Miserables in Concert
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The cast is nearly all excellent, including Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Norm Lewis as Javert, Matt Lucas as Thénardier, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thénardier (reprising her role from 1995), and Katie Hall as Cosette. Teen pop star Nick Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers) seems to have been cast as Marius for box-office appeal, however. Though he has the right look and hits the right notes, his voice is weak compared to the rest of the cast and throughout the show he seems to wear the same look of earnest worry, eyes fixed on the horizon as if reading a teleprompter. After playing Eponine in the 1995 concert, Lea Salonga is now Fantine, and while she sings well, the part really calls for more vocal power. Comparing the 1995 concert and 2010, the newer one has superior audio and video, but the earlier one has the stronger cast top to bottom, anchored by many of the legendary performers who helped make Les Mis the sensation it still is today. In acknowledgment of that, after the final scene of the 2010 concert ends, many of the original cast members enter the stage for a thrilling encore. "Bring Him Home" unites original Valjean Colm Wilkinson with John Owen-Jones, Simon Bowman, and Alfi Boe, then Michael Ball, Frances Ruffelle, Alun Armstrong, and others join the cast for "One Day More." (It's hard not to be moved when Ball looks around the stage and sings his line, "My place is here, I fight with you.") Producer Cameron Mackintosh and authors Boublil, Schönberg, and Herbert Kretzmer all address the crowd before a throng of student performers (appropriate, no?) comes on stage to close the nearly three-hour evening. --David Horiuchi
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Notable among the cast were Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Katie Hall as Cosette, and Norm Lewis as Javert. Much unfair criticism has been heaped upon pop singer Nick Jonas, who plays the part of Marius, the young student who falls in love with, and eventually marries, Cosette. While his voice is not operatic (while the other cast members have such voices), his voice is nonetheless fairly good and with his boyish good looks, he is very convincing as the young idealistic student who becomes the love interest of Cosette.
The grand finale alone is the worth the price of the BD: members of the original cast (and other previous and current cast members) sing duets and medleys, including four different Valjeans, all incredibly awesome. Their performance of "Bring Him Home" will bring tears to your eyes.
The Blu-ray Disc's video and audio are both excellent--you will not be disappointed in the sharp, pristine video and the impressive, full audio. If you have a surround-sound system, you are in for a real treat.
Also, this BD, which I ordered from Amazon.uk, is region-free: It will play flawlessly on Region A (U.S. & Canada) Blu-ray players.Read more ›
This was an incredible group of performers that still gives me chills when I recall it. Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, is trained as as operatic tenor. He was spectacular in every way. He shows a very supple vocal range. He can hit & hold the high soft notes & belt out the big showstoppers with equal dexterity. I really do like Lea Solonga but felt she was just a little weak as Fantine. (She was killer as Eponine on the 10th.) Norm Lewis was a wonderfully wicked yet human Javert. His baritone strong & menacing & yet soft & soulful as he wrestles his conscience and loses. Katie Hall was a convincing as Cosette. Nick Jonas, in a bit of "stunt casting" that went badly awry, was Marius. It was glaringly apparent when matched with multi-award winning West End & Broadway veterans. Though he did get better. (This actually played two nights in the UK October 2-3. This is a compilation.) Canadian, Ramin Karimloo as Enjoras, the student leader, was impeccable. He has previously played this role & that of Marius.Read more ›
Is it a good concert? Yes. The staging is impressive and the Blu Ray treatment gives you flawless video and audio quality. The performances are good but nothing like the stellar performances of the Dream Cast.
There are a few notable exceptions, I will keep this disc and treasure it for Lea Salongas performance as Fantine. Her pristine voice and great acting ability knock her performances out of the park. A great treat to see her 15 years after the Dream Cast going from Eponine to Fantine . And speaking of the Eponine, Samantha Barks did an amazing job in that role. She was completely unknown to me before this and had huge shoes to fill in my mind and to my shock and immense pleasure she did just that. The last note in On My Own had me standing up and cheering. I won't say she is better than Lea Salonga in that role but she absolutely holds her own.
Nick Jonas is a complete distraction in this show. His Marius has none of the depth that previous performers have given that role. His singing skills are not up to par with the material. Being fair though he did do a DECENT job on Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, but it no way has the impact that the song normally has on me. He brings down many of rousing anthems and really keeps them from reaching the soaring heights they normally would like. One Day More is the song most affected by his lackluster performance but Red and Black and Do You Hear The People Sing are equally watered down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an outstanding presentation which we thooroughly enjoyed.Published 2 days ago by Patrick Lowenthal
Amazing...This is the first time I watched Les Mis and now have it memorized from beginning to end...love it...Published 6 days ago by Zachary
My favorite musical of all time. So happy to own this masterpiece! Far better than watching the movie though I loved it. Alfie Boe is outstanding!Published 19 days ago by Paulie's Girl
Love this DVD! Just saw Alfie Boe on broadway. Was wonderful! I watch this DVD over and over and over!Published 1 month ago by M. Cote
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|Les Miserables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, DVD||
AC-3 is a sound format so it should work fine on American Region 1 DVD players.
Feb 2, 2011 by David Horiuchi | See all 4 posts
|airing on PBS in March||
I have the bluray and love it. I was going to try to watch it on PBS tonight, but dear hubby said he was afraid he was going to overdose on it, then start dreading it every time he hears those first few opening notes. So we'll see. I don't want to OD either!
Mar 6, 2011 by AlaskaGrace | See all 12 posts
|Les Mis/Pink Floyd Song Comfortably Numb?||
YES! I'm glad I'm not the only one to hear that! Specifically it is the violin part from Comfortably Numb and it's more in the background. The part in Les Mis is more prominent. I think they are the same chord progression as well.
Jan 2, 2013 by T. Fritsch | See all 4 posts
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