But... my husband and I had our two-year anniversary on August 17th. While we were busy on that exact date at a wedding open house for my sister, we decided to celebrate the next week by visiting San Francisco, the place we got engaged, because we were in the area. I knew we were going to San Francisco to celebrate, but my husband surprised me with the main activity that we were doing there -- going to see a performance of Les Miserables!
I have been into musical theater for a long time. I remember my grandma taking me to Phantom of the Opera when I was eight years old and being completely spellbound. In addition, I spent so much time on music in high school and the beginning of college that musical theater tunes were just part of my life. However, Les Miserables was one musical I had just never had the opportunity to see. I had told my husband that I hoped it would come to Los Angeles during the four years we will be here, but I never imagined that I would get the opportunity to see the musical so soon!
This adaptation was a little different from the film recordings of the musical that I have seen. First of all, it used props and scenery, which I thought was very effective. It also seemed to correlate much better with the book than the other videos I had seen. While the music was essentially the same, there were little changes in the words or little verses added to the songs that seemed to tie everything back to the book so much better. I'm not sure if it is a change in the parts the director chose to include, if they were additions to this tour, or if I simply never noticed the changes before, having not read the book recently. However, I found them to be extremely helpful. It was clear the director was very familiar with the book and was striving to be faithful to it.
And of course, the music and story itself were absolutely phenomenal. Les Miserables is so intensely moving, I don't think it will ever become hackneyed for me (although I do have a few qualms about the upcoming movie version). The vocalists were all phenomenal, except for possibly Fantine, who had a lovely voice but who didn't quite deliver for me. Favorites for me included Marius, who was really solid, and Cosette, whose voice was perfect for the role, in my opinion.
It was an amazing performance and made so much more meaningful by the fact that I had just finished the colossus of the novel. The day was made even better as we repeated several of the activities we did on the day we got engaged, including visiting Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. We finished the day with killer authentic Italian food at a restaurant called Specchio. I've been to so many good restaurants lately I'm tempted to start a foodie blog on the side, but with this baby coming I guess I should probably stick to my current projects. Anyway, it was an amazing day and I'm so happy I had the opportunity to see Les Miserables live at last!
|We asked an elderly man to take a picture of us in front of the poster but he didn't seem to understand so...|
|We took one ourselves, but it didn't turn out well. Oh well.|
Have you been to a performance of Les Miserables? Tell me about it in the comments!