Les Miserables is a genuine musical. The story is picked from the literal works of Victor Hugo. It is a tale of a man’s journey to emancipation coupled with the forces of the class-struggle and civil unrest in France, after the defeat of Napoleon. It is largely elaborated in scope and scale.
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The production was previously inaugurated in 1985. It has been on show for a long time. Les Miserables is considered to be the most ancient musical play. The show is so famous that even if one has not been conversant with it, he or she can identify its famous musical piece, such as “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Bring Him Home” among others.
In the last 28 years, various productions have been set on various stages all over the world. They include the famous Canadian production, which Mirvish show presented in Toronto. The presentation took place in 1989 at the Royal Alexandra Theater. During 2009, Mackintosh Cameron introduced a modern version of Les Miserables to mark the commemoration of its 25th anniversary. Director Laurence Connor was recruited to re- formulate and re-conceive the play for a recent tour.
This 25th anniversary formed the foundation of the last Canadian Production. The modern version of the play has been totally re-conceptualized and re-designed. A famous and memorable turn-table stage used in the initial production is conspicuously absent, but not missed at all. The new version of the stage is particularly more dynamic. The director reveals several nuances in the narrative. He incorporates other character scenes that were not initially present, or that were not strongly expressed before.
They were skeptical about the use of projections because technology was regarded as du-jour. They have rarely been used in the theoretical productions. However, for a considerable part of this production, the projections are magnificently employed to display the visual palette without attracting a lot of attention.
Consequently, the director has made a decision to remove projections that describe the plot and time occasionally. He uses them to explain the course of the play when the story line is skipped. Coincidentally, the pace of the sound tracks to this new production has also increased, especially at the beginning of the prologue section. This makes the production difficult to follow.
The robust direction and design were supplemented using a star-studded, predominantly Canadian cast. The main role of the convict (Jean Valjean) who has corrected his ways is performed by Ramin Karimloo. He was raised in Richmond Hill and is considered as a legend. This production coincides with his epic return to Canada. Karimloo provides an electrifying performance. He unequivocally brings something exceptional to the role he plays.
He adds exquisite passion and burning vigor to his character Valjean. The former Canadian idol plays the part of hard, but lovelorn character known as Eponine. Melissa provides an exhilarating and well-polished performance. In fact, some critics can argue that she was particularly among the best casts. Saunders and Horner provide exemplary comedic performances in their roles. They were playing the roles of the scoundrel inn care-takers.
Valjean spent 18 years incarcerated because he had stolen a loaf of bread. However, he violates his parole which leads inspector Javert to pursue him for years. The directing of the production is loyal to the previous versions, which have been paid homage to by millions of audiences. The manner in which the show opens is very impressive. The musical begins with the image of a male figure being chased down by law enforcers carrying rifles.
This sets the mood for a ruthless and cruel encounter. The design team is faced with a gigantic task of creating a better version of the play, while still upholding the values and illustration of the previous performances. The earlier versions have been considered by the majority of viewers as iconic. The costumes are transformed from drab and shabby to modern designer clothing. The design team makes good use of the windows, doors, and lighting to establish a grim and murky atmosphere.
Even though the original turn table is dropped in favor of a modern set, the magnitude of the barricade set is equally impressive. Something that the viewers should take into account is the ability of the cast to challenge their own vocals. Jill Blackwood is exemplary on her role as Fantine.
In conclusion, with the exemplary new staging and a refurbished scene founded on the famous paintings by Victor Hugo, it is presumed to be the best version of the Les Miserables. As the production continues to attract more viewers, most critics and new fans argue that this presentation will break a lot of records in the film and theater industry.
The movie version has been nominated 8 times for academy awards. It was also awarded the Golden Globe Award. I would recommend it to anyone who has not had the opportunity to view this production to try it out. They would be impressed by the musical presentation.