After sitting down in the historic Tennessee Theatre, I was looking forward to finally being able to see “Les Misérables” after having sung the music in high school and still not knowing anything about the musical.
Basically, the musical is about a man who is released from a chain gang on parole and disappears. Eight years later, you see him again and he has become a factory owner and mayor without anyone knowing his past. A mother, Fantine, is fired from her job because it is found out that she had a child out of wedlock. Mayor Jean Valjean, after confessing his past, promises to save Fantine’s daughter after she dies. The story continues with Cosette, the daughter, when she is older and finding true love during one of the French Revolutions.
Some of Broadway’s famous songs come from this musical, like “On My Own” and “I Dreamed a Dream,” which has been made more popular after Susan Boyle sang it in her auditions in “Britain’s Got Talent.” The actors showed true vocal talent and gave me goose bumps several times throughout the performance.
 I had only ever seen “Phantom of the Opera” and “Cats” in the past, but it had been several years so I was not used to the idea of the majority of the musical being sung.
Marigrace Angelo, senior in art and Spanish, had never seen this kind of Broadway before.
 “I really enjoyed the fluidity and operatic quality of the style,” Angelo said. “The actors were brilliant both dramatically and vocally.”
Angelo’s only issue with the musical was the lack of connection with character Éponine, who was in love with Marius, the man in love with Cosette.
“While Éponine’s death scene was very evocative, I didn’t find myself sympathizing enough with the character as I should have,” Angelo said.
While overhearing some members of the audience, it seems that the musical leaves out much of Éponine’s background that is in the book.
The production also was something of amazement as it incorporated a digital background that allowed multiple scenes, very quickly adding to the information given to the audience. The ability to have only a few sets to transform into an inn, a street scene, barricades during a battle and even the sewers, adds to the creativity that was required in this Broadway tour.
The audience enjoyed the comedic moments, usually adult in theme, and at the end it seemed the audience had a true connection to Valjean and Cosette. There were several sniffles heard around where I was seated and the standing ovation lasted several minutes. I even had some tears at the end that I was at least able to cover up during the curtain call.
Overall, this production was magical and heartfelt. I did not hear one person that did not enjoy the performance and even had several people jealous that they were not able to actually see the performance themselves. For anyone who was not able to see it this past weekend, it will be in Atlanta at The Fox Theatre, April 24-29. I encourage you to see it if you enjoy a good ensemble performance, great solos and a story that leaves you in tears after.