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  • Les Miserables - The Dream Cast in Concert
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Les Miserables - The Dream Cast in Concert

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

LES MISÉRABLES is widely recognized as the World's most popular musical. Now, at last, the full magnificence of the score played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is captured on video at the spectacular 10th Anniversary Gala Concert, performed live at the Royal Albert Hall. The most remarkable performance of Les Misérables ever, this unique production brings together the dream cast. The companyof over 250 performers features many of the most celebrated stars to have appeared in the show, worldwide. This special video presentation also includes exclusive footage that will never be broadcaston television, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the magic that is LES MISÉRABLES.

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The 10th anniversary concert video of the international musical sensation Les Misérables might be the best thing to appease fans until a full-fledged movie comes along. Or it might be even better, as feature films are often subject to extramusical casting considerations and this 1995 dream cast is superb. Reprising their roles from the original London company are Colm Wilkinson (Valjean), Michael Ball (Marius), and Alun Armstrong (Thenardier). From Broadway come Judy Kuhn (Cosette), Lea Salonga (Eponine), and Michael Maguire (Enjolras); from a later London production comes Ruthie Henshall (Fantine); and from Australia comes Philip Quast (Javert).

Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's score vividly captures the passion of Victor Hugo's epic tale of post-Revolutionary France, combining tear-jerking ballads ("I Dreamed a Dream," "Bring Him Home") and rousing anthems ("Do You Hear the People Sing"). The format of this concert is closer to that of a dramatic cantata rather than a fully staged production; the singers stand at their microphone stands with an orchestra and chorus behind them, but they do wear costumes and participate in some movement. At certain points such as the climax of the barricade scene, the video switches to action from a stage production. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sounds great, and it can be thrilling when 200 choristers (dressed in logo T-shirts) rise to their feet for a full-company number such as "One Day More." Also, subtitles provide date and scene information and help move the story along.

The 147-minute video contains footage not seen when Les Mis was a PBS pledge-drive staple, most notably the encore in which a progression of 17 actors who have played Valjean around the world share "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Each sings a line in his native language, a testament to the enduring power of this show to audiences everywhere. --David Horiuchi

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Special Features

  • Interviews
  • Biographies
  • Photo Library
  • Story Synopsis
  • Victor Hugo Biography

Product Details

  • Actors: Colm Wilkinson
  • Directors: John Caird
  • Producers: Cameron Mackintosh
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: VCI/Tristsar
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 1998
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767812131
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,041 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Les Miserables - The Dream Cast in Concert" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

251 of 261 people found the following review helpful By Kwan Yin on February 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Words fail me when I try to describe this video. Les Miz is a glorious play, what with the genius of Boublil & Schonberg. I didn't think I would much enjoy this video because of its lack of actual set & acting and also the few short pieces cut. But it still blew me away. Best of all was the cast. It truly was the definitive edition.
Colm Wilkinson is just the perfect Valjean. His voice has such emotion & resonance to it. And he has such a strong presence as an actor.
Philip Quast was another excellent performer. I've once heard his voice described as "flinty" and I think that that's a good word for it. He really portrays Javert with such coldness, he makes the character quite vivid.
Ruthie Henshall's Fantine is one of those rare performances in musical theatre which simply cannot be surpassed. Henshall's voice is so stirring, heartbreaking, reverberating, deep, chilling, and beautiful. Her "I Dreamed a Dream" is excellent!
Michael Ball's Marius needs to introduction. He's THE Marius, what else is there to say? His voice so, so powerful and he sings with such heart. His "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" is truly captivating.
Michael Maguire's Enjolras is often criticised. Yes, this wasn't the best performance he probably could have given and he did miss a few notes. But he still has a great voice. People argue that Anthony Warlow is a better Enjolras. While I agree that Warlow has the vocal edge, there's something in Maguire's performance that makes him so much like Enjolras and just so perfect for the part.
Judy Kuhn's Cosette was the one performance which I can say is good but not great. She didn't strike me the first time I heard her, though she has grown on me.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Grace on June 25, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is truly a dream cast! Colm Wilkinson (Valjean), Philip Quast (Javert), Michael Ball (Marius), and Lea Salonga (Eponine) especially make this anniversary concert a must-have for any Les Mis fan.
Be warned though -- this video is NOT a replacement for seeing the musical live! It's an abridged version with several edits and less props and acting. If you've never seen the musical before... wait before you buy this, or you'll probably be either confused or disappointed. If you have seen this musical and love it, DEFINITELY get this video! It may not be a replacement for the musical live, but it's a nice little memory of it. Turn the video on and sing along to it while you're at home :)
I've seen Les Mis in London's West End.. the cast there was great, but this video has the definitive "dream team"!
Colm Wilkinson's Valjean is powerful and passionate, but gentle all at once. He has a spectacular voice, especially in "Who am I?" His is a great counterpoint to Philip Quast's interpretation of Javert... whose strong, forceful singing is breathtaking! Quast's rendition is amazing... his strong booming voice is also somehow tragic and haunting.
Michael Ball and Lea Salonga are (in my opinion) the reason why you should get this tape! Wow.. Michael Ball is THE Marius... listening to his beautiful, elegant voice could bring anyone to their knees! With Michael Ball as Marius, it's no wonder Marius gets all the girls in this video. His duet with Lea Salonga in "A Little Fall of Rain" is exquisite: perfectly in harmony, perfectly acted! Lea Salonga was beautiful as Eponine. Yes, she was "bitter"... but Eponine is a bitter character! Her "On My Own" is passionate and bitter, yet sad and resigned...
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Bolme on February 28, 2003
Format: DVD
This performance of Les Miserables is simply fantastic. The words are heartbreaking. I probably would have rated this 4.8 stars, but the pull-down wouldn't let me.
Javert is portrayed by Philip Quast, and just to see him act as Javert is worth the price of the movie.
Lea Salonga performs Eponine with a beautiful performance of "on my own" and "a little fall of rain".
Michael Ball is the perfect Marius, and his "Empty chairs" brings tears to my eyes.
Ruthie Henshall plays as Fantine, who has many moods, portrayed splendidly.
Adam Searles is Gavroche, the sly street urchin. I wonder why the "little people" song was cut so short... he was underused in the musical, but oh well...
Colm Wilkinson was perfect in every way as the convict from the chain gang, Valjean, who turns to good as the mayor, "Monsieur Madeleine". Javert, though, finds out and sends Valjean out of the city.
The thenardiers are hilarious, especially in "master of the house." they are great comic relief for this dark movie.
The only one i have critisizm for is Judy Kuhn playing Cossette. Her voice is not necessarily that pretty when she sings in this version. I've heard her sing in lower keys before,and she was much better-sounding in those movies, take Disney's Pocahontas, for example.
This movie is rated PG-13 for language, a TINY bit of crude humor, and strong sexual content. I would recommend this for ages 10 and up.
I hope you find this review useful!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Siegel on August 22, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved Les Miserables in Concert. Even though the actors weren't actually acting out the scenes, the singing was still incredible.
I don't think they could have picked a better array of talent to be on that stage than they did. The irriplaceable Colm Wilkinson returned as Jean Valjean--the character he created in the London and Broadway premieres. Ruthie Henshall was a wonderful Fantine and in my opinion, 'I Dreamed a Dream' was one of the best songs in the show. Lea Solanga sang beautifully as usual, playing the love sick and ignored Eponine. Michael Ball. Wow. What more can I say about him? He was, as always, incredible. I wish I could have seen him in the original London production of Les Mis! I am glad that I at least own the original London cast CD of Les Mis so that I can hear how he sounded then compared to now.
The children, Hannah Chick (young Cosette) and Adam Searles (Gavroche) were terrific. There was one point in Young Cosette's song, Castle on a Cloud, when you could hear a loud bang, but being the professional that she is, she kept going, even though you could tell that she definitely heard it.
Judy Kuhn (Cosette) did a wonderful job as well, but there were times when it sounded as if she was a little sharp. I think that this role makes her strain her voice a little. I know she was in the original Broadway production, but over the years, one's voice changes and I think you can tell that has happened with her. Other than that, she did a wonderful job with most of the songs.
Michael Maguire was terrfic as Enjorlas. He is such an incredible singer (not to mention very tall--I think he's taller than the rest of the cast!) and that was proven in 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' and 'Red and Black'.
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Is there actually gonna be Les Miserables the Musical on DVD?
Considering its popularity and the fact that it's still a money maker in live theater, I doubt we'll see this live production on dvd any time soon. Maybe in another 20 years when the crowds die down. Plus Lea Salonga just returned to the cast as Fantine instead of her original role as Eponine. ... Read More
Oct 8, 2007 by Amazon Customer |  See all 3 posts
Is the DVD out of print?
No, amazon is just horrible about keeping it in stock. It was in stock about 2 weeks ago. I ordered it and it arrived damaged and unplayable. It cost about $25 which is the cheapest I've seen on the net. I had to return it and because they sold out immediately, they only refunded my money instead... Read More
Oct 8, 2007 by Amazon Customer |  See all 3 posts
What's the difference between this and the $30 one with the... Be the first to reply
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