Les Miserables US Tour at The Academy of Music in Philly, Reviewby EJ on 01/08/13
Academy of Music was buzzing with excitement before the show. KM was one of several kids around her age that we spotted. Everyone was dressed up and I could tell from KM's fabulous smile that she was thrilled to be there that night in such a beautiful place to see the show - I'm not kidding, the Academy of Music theatre is jaw-dropping beautiful.
When Les Miserables began, KM gripped the chair arms and whispered, "There are the prisoners!" The opening scene was dark and mysterious and with Jean Valjean's lyrics, "Another story must begin..." the stage went dark and the words "Les Miserables" were projected for all to see. The crowd roared and we were soon into the thick of the story.
KM's preparation really served her well from then on as the scenes moved quickly, one song after another, with scarcely a moment to catch your breath. Since it's such a long show, she could have easily gotten lost trying to keep up if she wasn't already familiar with the plot.
Peter Lockyer played Jean Valjean and while he was very good, I don't think this Valjean came through as wonderfully as others who have played him in the past. Andrew Varela was an impressive Javert but I don't think anyone will quite compare to 2010's Norm Lewis', the insanely powerful baritone. I just wasn't floored with either actor in this new tour like I was hoping. Don't get me wrong, they were both really talented, but the greats of the past have just spoiled me too much.
As a story, much of Les Mis is very dark. Timothy Gulan as Thenardier didn't always bring that comic relief that I love about some actors that portrayed him in the past. I think they just didn't tap into that as much with this version.
Young Gavroche's final scene there at the barricade was absolutely heartbreaking. The little guy that played him, Joshua Colley, really lived up to his lyrics, "... It only goes to show what little people can do!" KM was equally affected for his final scene and she told me later that, "It hurts to hold back your cry".
I felt so proud of my KM for giving her complete attention to the entire production for almost three hours. She said her favorite characters were Cosette, Marius and Gavroche. She hasn't stopped singing the songs since that night and says she wants to play Cosette one day.
Check out the Academy of Music's upcoming Broadway Series shows.
Four Little Monsters received tickets to see Les Miserables at The Academy of Music for the purpose of promotion of review. All opinions belong to the blogger.