TJ has been to see the production of Les Mis currently running at the Canberra Theatre and has posted her thoughts at length.
I’m sure many of our theatre types have their own views about this production.
You know what to do…
Caught this on Friday night. Overall a decent show with some excellent set design and good direction. I had the pleasure of enjoying the show from the front row, two seats left of centre so it was quite an experience.
The bads: Javert forgot his lines in *three* different songs and had to mumble his way through. Enjolras missed on of his lines too, and you could see the “oh crap” in his face when he did it.
The so-sos: Marius had a fantastic voice but his acting was pretty flat and emotionless (but his singing made up for it). Val Jean did a pretty damned good job for such a hard role, but didn’t quite nail one of my favourite songs (Let Him Be) so he loses a point. Whilst some chorus members were fantastic, others were really quite ordinary.
The brilliant: Lighting, set design and direction were all wonderful. The Thernardiers were excellent (particularly the Mister) and so were the Gavroche and Young Cosette! Adult Cosette was in her stage debut I’m told and did an excellent job. Eponine=FANTASTIC. She played the same character the last time Philo put this show on and has again showed us her wonderful talent. Orchestra didn’t miss a beat either – great stuff. Fantine (despite not quite looking the part) was brilliant and her emotion filled rendition of I Dreamed a Dream gets top marks from me.
Despite the bads and the so-sos, I found this to be a strong showing for Philo in their production of the worlds most popular musical. Whilst I liked their 2002 version at the Erindale Theatre better, this show was executed a lot better from a technical perspective and the ensemble certainly held their own.
I saw the show on Saturday night and thought that for a local production, it was really great in terms of singing and set quality. And having attended the show with the daughter of ‘Inspector Javert’ I know that with ticket sales to date, the production is in the black which is fantastic.
I do agree with Spectra’s comments regarding sound quality though – at a couple of points the speakers/sound was a bit crackly and a couple of the minor characters’ mics seemed to cut out completely.
But all in all I thought it was an extremely enjoyable experience. I loved the Innkeepers!!!! Hilarious!
Basically, I thought TJ was pretty much spot on with most of her observations (I donâ€™t have quite the same desire to take Enjolras home…Eponine on the other hand…sheâ€™s always been my favorite character, and the actress playing her didnâ€™t disappoint).
One thing TJ didn’t mention, however, was my biggest qualm about the show. The sound quality was…average (my sound tech buddy who was also there used considerably more disparaging words). Being right near the front, next to the speakers, we got a considerably bigger dose of it than most other audience members would have. It wasn’t so much the volume – I can deal with “loud” if it’s good quality – but this just wasn’t. Which is a shame, because there were some beautiful voices on display.
Itâ€™s clear that an enormous amount of effort has gone in to this production, but I just felt it didnâ€™t really deliver. Last time Canberra Philharmonic put this show on, it was so I went back for a second helping. Sadly, not this time.
That was a pretty entertaining review, whoever she is should do theatre reveiws more often. Much more interesting thatn the usual CT stuff anyway.
In Fantine’s defence, she is an awesome talent in every respect apart from that of looking like a consumption victim. Her “I dreamed a dream” is a knockout.
It would be good if this could be bumped next week -as we have only had two nights and have another 8 to go.
What should we call Canberra’s newest Light Rail Vehicle?