Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do you hear the people sing?

I LOVE the musical Les Miserables. I mean I really love it. I've seen it done regionally twice, the touring company four times (three in SLC, once in LA), once on the West End in London, the high school production once and the 25th Anniversary O2 concert in the theater. I saw it again tonight (or last night, rather) with my sister and my mom. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the shows opening, they redid the staging, costumes and sets just to update the overall show. It was so wonderful. Have I mentioned that I like this show?

It all started when I was about ten or so. My sister and her friends were obsessed with Phantom of the Opera. I'll let you in on a little secret here...I adored my older sister growing up, even if she was a little scary at times. I wanted to do everything she did. She collected cat figurines, so I collected bunnies. She would wear her hair a certain way and I would try to copy it. She liked Jewel so I liked Jewel. It's a lot of why I started dancing and pretended that I could write fiction. It was lucky, however, that I ended up loving to dance... we don't talk about my attempts at fiction. Anyway...I wanted to be like her but I knew that if I said I liked Phantom she would get angry. But we had a tape cassette of highlights from Les Miserables and I had a Walkman. I remember sitting at our tank of a computer playing solitaire or Oregon Trail and listening to that tape over and over and over again. I didn't quite understand the story of what was going on but I fell in love with the music. When I got older I understood the story more and it is such a powerful story of redemption and love. I could tie all sorts of gospel analogies here but I'll refrain.

I saw it for the first time when I was around 12. It was magical to me. I cried when Eponine died. I cried when Valjean prayed for Marius at the barricades. I was hooked. I've almost lost count the number of times I've seen it and people look at me askance when the hear how many times I've seen it, but I don't really care that much.

Last week Lisa asked me why I like it so much. I've never really thought about why I love it so much before so I couldn't really give her a good answer. She attributed it to the fact that I've been listening to it for over a decade...almost two decades. I'm sure that plays a part but I don't think that's the only reason I love it. I love it because I can listen to the recording and still get chills. It still makes me cry. I love the story of a man that spends his entire life trying to make up for single mistake of his past. I love the love story and the sacrifices made. It's just good music. I love it because of this...

What a way to end Act I.

And that is what I call a finale!


Katie said...

I LOVE this too. I cry every time I listen to it too! It is so powerful!