Because life is a series of edits

The Miserables

In Thought on August 7, 2007 at 8:33 pm

We were planning to take the girls to see Les Miserables from The Muny‘s free seats tonight, but decided we didn’t want to play the title role (i.e. “the miserables”) in the 100-degree heat.

It’s unfortunate, as I’ve never seen Les Mis. I know the music; I’ve even performed a song from the production in a summer variety show back in the day. Tonight was to be the night to bask in the glory of great theater, but we would have basked in the humidity of oven-like heat instead.


I guess I should probably stop asking Megan to address me as “Jean Valjean”.

Double nuts.

  1. Dude, stay in the A.C. and rent the movie with Liam Neeson. It is outstanding. (No singing, though.)

  2. Oh yeah, it’s also an after-the-kids-go-to-bed kind of movie.

  3. Ah, I know how you feel. I’m in the middle of reading the novel (unabridged!) as I’ll be teaching it to my 10th graders (abridged!) this fall. My whole family went to see the show and called to tell me just how spectacular it was.

    I’m trying to be happy for them.

    Hope things are coming together nicely as you prep for WCA.

  4. Love Liam (and that film is a good one), but Les Mis without the music is like baseball without a bat…or something like that.

  5. i feel i must comment as les mis is my favorite novel(or second favorite to brothers karamazov, depending on what mood i am in). ironically, i watched the liam neeson version first, that inspired me to read the unabridged version of the book, then i saw the broadway play (twice), then i read an excellent abridged version i got at barnes and noble (i forgot who was the editor as i gave it to a friend), then i watched another (i think BBC) version of the story.

    so obviously, i have read/watched/etc les mis a few times. and again and again, i must say, i think that it is the best work of fiction i have ever read. it most nearly mirrors the Good News we have been entrusted with. but it also deals with many of the systemic probs that arose (and still arise all around the world) in the days of Jesus and Jean Val-Jean.

    i think the title is incredibly powerful, the miserables (or miserable ones). les mis combines the Good News to all creation, but also specifically demonstrates the Good News to these who were among the miserable, unwanted segment of society in paris at the time. really incredible work.

    anyway, in regard to the musical, i think the film and most definitely the book are better, but i think that the musical does a good job. and certainly it appeals in ways the others cannot.

    just my thoughts


  6. i agree re the music from les mis. it is great! would that i could say that i had read the unabridged version, but life is too short:)and i am not an english teacher. i know i would have enjoyed reading it as i did dickens, but since i didn’t, i won’t shed tears over it now.
    re your comment about “probably having megan stop calling you jean val jean”…i lol and tho’t, “ya think?” m

  7. Thanks for your informed thoughts, Peter. My comment was meant to be somewhat exaggerated for effect, as I haven’t had the same exposure to the literary world of Les Mis as you (impressive).

    I’ll add it to my list of eventual “musts”. Thanks for speaking up.

  8. Craig –

    I just went to the Muny last night and saw Les Mis – it’s probably the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen this musical, including on Broadway. I would NEVER miss a chance to see it – even on a toasty night like last night. It definitely was warm – but you can bring all the water you want in with you (I think it’s $3.75 per bottle there!) and once it got going, I didn’t think much about heat. The Muny run is extended into next week so maybe you’ll either change your mind about sitting in a sauna (people do pay for that, you know!!!) or the weather will break. Either way, I totally recommend the Muny show. It wasn’t quite Broadway, but not bad, really. I’d echo earlier thoughts about maybe not suitable for younger ears – definitely a few four-letter words (I think all for humor, but still….) and lots of death/dying. TONS of redemption, love, etc., though, to counter.

  9. Thanks for the encouragement, Shelley. If the weather breaks, we may try to make it over (we’ve made it to two Cards games this week, but that’s because we “had” to because the girls won tickets).

    The “wasn’t quite Broadway, but not bad, really” review makes me a little nervous, but I’ll let you know if we take the risk.

  10. “not quite Broadway but not bad, really” shouldn’t deter you. Having seen it “bigger and better” – there were a couple of decisions the Muny made to deviate (i.e. placement of intermission, etc.) that made the show less strong, in my humble view. You’ll enjoy it, really. And, as a bonus, the captain is played by Manu Narayan, who graduated a year before me in public high school in Murrysville, PA. Small world!

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