It's one of the musicals which I've long forgotten. If not for Susan Boyle.
I landed in London early morning 4 years ago or possibly even way back, very early, about 6 am after 12 hours in the air. Had the hotel concierge got me a ticket and that was the only night he managed to find a ticket to the show. Spent the day around London & by the time I got to the musical, I was not tip top. Ok, I'm owning it up here... I even dozed off half way through the show (it was a long one btw). I was out of control, simply couldn't help it! Jet lag!!!
But, I do remember this song. I knew I liked it, but there are many other songs which I liked too. This is a review about Les Miserables, but it is not exactly about the musical which I originally saw many years ago. That show didn't leave a deep imprint on my mind, much less my heart!. Although it certainly did my colleague who had actually watched it 5x, I was recently told. Les Miserables, 5x? OMG!
What I had originally wanted to review about is this song "I Dreamed a Dream". I'm not in the mood to set up data point today as it frustrates me to some degree, so I am taking the short cut. What I'm trying to say is this... at times, something in a show, movie, or event, makes it bigger than it otherwise is. This is one instance. Susan Boyle's rendition of the song makes it a stunning revelation; a calling which deep down we all have at some point in time, very much in tune with the world's circumstance! It is a case of "There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come (Victor Hugo)". It speaks to the world audience, of desperation, of hope, of the past, the present & the uncertain future.
When Fantine was unemployed & destitute, it is the same circumstance as many of us are in right now. When Susan Boyle sang the first verse, I was touched deep inside. Deeply touched. It's something in her voice that did it. I couldn't help myself from shedding tears. Not because I think she's destitute or because she's pathetic. It's not her, and possibly not even her voice. It is not the song either. I think it is HER rendition of the song. In this case, she has made something which have existed in public eyes for decades and turned it into something of a miracle. That to me is God is speaking.
Trivia: The song I dreamed a dream has also been sung on the night of President Clinton's inauguration. Another lovely song is Out on My own sung by Lea Salonga.
Les Miserables will forever hold a special place in my heart as it was the musical that first got me hooked. Epic in proportion in accordance with Victor Hugo's grand novel of the same name, this musical was one of the first of the "mega-musical" genre - big budget productions that feature massive sets, moving parts, giant casts and huge orchestral sound. (Others in this genre include Phantom of the Opera with its crashing chandelier and Miss Saigon with its working … more
Les Misérables (translated variously from French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims) (1862) is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty-year period in the early 19th century, starting in 1815, the year of Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo.
The novel focuses on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. It examines the nature of law and grace, and expounds upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. The story is historical fiction because it contains factual, historic events, including the Paris Uprising of 1832 (often mistaken for the much earlier French Revolution). Les Misérables is known to many through its numerous stage and screen adaptations, such as the stage musical of the same name, sometimes abbreviated "Les Mis".