Thursday, November 18, 2010

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert Screening

It's sad to think we live in a world where people don't know about the beginnings of popular music - also known as musicals. I know some people tend to think they are cheesy or over the top - but then when you look deep into your favorite genre's music, they all are connected by one singular thing, musicals. Musicals started everything when it comes to the music everyone else chooses to listen to. We wouldn't be anywhere today without the Broadway musical, especially when it comes to the mature subject matter that music can bring us. This is why I bring to your attention a musical only a wee bit older then myself, that has remained a favorite of mine and I hope could become or is already something you whistle or sing on occasion.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a special 1 day only screening of Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert, recorded back in October at the O2 Arena. This show and location is both infamous in size and beauty - which is why this was something I couldn't miss. Les Mis has been a favorite mine since I was little, being raised on Cameron Macintosh and Andrew Llyodd Webber shows - this was one of the staples even in it's recent creation in the 90's.

Ever since I can never seem to escape the story or the entire world of Victor Hugo's masterpiece.
First off, if you don't know the story of Les Miserables, I recommend reading the official website, in it's most epic of layouts and designs.

The story can easily be described as that of the essential human struggle of good and evil in all of us. No character is really pure, they all have a duel side to them that you can argue to be one to defend or go against. But overall I can never seen to properly express how perfect this musical is - but let me dive into the details of this specific performance.

This features what I believe to be on the coolest casts that the show has had. Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean gives some real Opera cred to the role, along with key members Matt Lucas (Little Britain) and Nick Jonas (If I have to tell you who he is, I think that's a big problem.) Not all of these members exactly carry the talent to represent this show perfectly (cough - Jonas), but the majority of them filled their roles to perfection - especially Boe and Lucas, new comers to the production. To find out more about the members, check out the official concert website.

The highlight performances for me this time around were Matt Lucas's Master of the House, Anytime Boe got to sing (also basically his entire performance), On my Own, and also the entire performance of a new love of mine Ramin Kamiloo. You might know of Ramin from his new role of Eric, The Phantom in Love Never Dies (Which he also played the original Phantom.)

But what was the one flaw of this production? You guessed it, Jonas. I apologize for those who are Jonas fans reading this - but as a true fan of this musical, hearing the role of Marius played by a little boy instead of a man was truly disappointing. Granted, he's probably the only one to play Marius who was actually the characters age, but still when one new singer is over taken by the original singer who is almost 50 - we have a problem.

Overall? I was so pleased with this production. It meant a lot to me, especially when my mom and me were convinced we'd somehow see this exact production live 15 years ago. Sadly, we didn't get to see it actually live - but this was just as good and close as we could. Frilly Musical? Go for it period/historical story telling lovers! Les Miserables The 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 is not something you should miss! You can pre-order your copy on DVD and Blu-Ray here. (US version should be available soon as well!)

LVF Grade: 4 headbows out of 5


  1. This is one of the few major musicals I haven't seen (my mom raised me on AMC and TMC, so I've seen quite a few over the years!). Would you recommend the DVD or BluRay release of this version as a first-time watch? Or is there a better one to look for?

  2. Oh thanks for asking! Glad to see another musical fan out there ~! There has actually never been a full-feature film of the musical version of the show. I would recommend actually to check out the 10th Anniversary Concert first, as it features the majority of the original cast. Also, for just pure film versions, I recommend the Liam Neeson version or Fredric March version.

    Links for Amazon here:

  3. Thanks for the links! I've seen the Liam Neeson version, we watched it in high school as a "reward" for finishing finals. I loved Geoffrey Rush as Javert, he was just so good in the role.

  4. I haven't seen Les Miserables, but have always wanted to. I love musicals and before my Mum got sick we used to go to at least one a year.