Monday, April 09, 2012

Only Partly Mis

Five tickets to Les Misérables was my Christmas present to the family, a secret I actually kept from August to December, a feat not heard of in my world. (That is a crazy-long sentence.) I am terrible about surprises; as soon as I buy a gift I want to give it. And I really wanted to let Amy know I’d gotten her the tickets because she was begging me to take her to Grand Rapids where Les Mis was playing before Christmas. I finally had to say, “We’re not going!” to get her off my back. I’m still amazed I kept the secret…

Anyway, we went to the show on Friday and it was fantastical. The singers were absolutely amazing. The sets – phenomenal. Orchestra? Astounding. The dialogue? Non-existent, which was a little hard for me. The constant singing – really? Couldn’t someone just say something without rhyming, just once?

Okay, okay, I know that’s part of the show, but still…

Most everyone who’s ever mentioned Les Mis to me has raved about what a fabulous show it is. And while all the various production values are, indeed, beyond belief, I really don’t understand the gushing about the story. And by story, I mean the 17 different stories going on – there’s the criminal who steals from the priest but the priest doesn’t turn him in, the young revolutionaries set to free France, a whole bunch of prostitutes singing about their job, the young man in love with a young girl, the other girl who loves the guy who loves the young girl, the foul inn keepers singing about stealing from their customers, the mom who gives up her daughter to the care of others because the dad left… Y’all, that is a lot to follow. Especially when no one’s talking and everything is in song and half the time three people are singing three different songs all at the same time.

I was exhausted by intermission.

Despite the confusion of multiple story lines, I was moved by the songs and powerful orchestration. I thought I would burst into tears when the girl who loves the guy who loves the other girl sang, “On My Own.” Seriously amazing.

I’m glad I went (probably would have left Rebecca at home if I’d known more about The Master of the House scene) and I’m glad I can now say I’ve seen Les Mis. But after all that death and dying and heartbreak, I am really looking forward to Wicked this July. Nothing like a little Dancing Through Life to pick up the weary-hearted.