I don’t like musicals. I feel it is important to get that out of the way. Broadway-style entertainment is something I just don’t understand. I have seen several shows including Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof. The truth is in high school and college I even appeared in some of the above listed musicals; while I never really enjoyed watching them, I did enjoy trodding the boards.I do however adore Les Miserables. I was introduced to this show through a compact disc recording of the original Broadway cast. Listening to Colm Wilkinson as Jean ValJean and Terrance Mann as Javert, I was completely immersed in the story of a former prisoner and his pursuer. Based on the novel of same name and set against the back drop of the French Revolution, this story has everything: action, violence, war, redemption, alienation, whores, and saints. Since then, I have purchased several different recordings of the show and have been to see a traveling company performance.
As many are now aware Les Miserables has recently been given the Hollywood treatment. It has been cast with some of the biggest names of recent years and stands a real chance of being a blockbuster. Hugh Jackman is preforming the role of prisoner 24601 with Russel Crowe playing the role of his antagonist Javert. Sacha Baron Cohen will no doubt bring down the house as Master of the House, while Helena Bonham Carter plays his long suffering wife, the scene stealing Madame Thenardier. They even have Colm Wilkinson playing the role of the Bishop!
I think this will be a fantastic film and…I cannot go. Not because I don’t want to be seen buying a ticket for a musical, or because I think the big name stars will wreck up their roles. I am sure Wolverine and Maximus will do just fine.
The reason I cannot see this movie is simple:
I came to hear Sid 6.7 and Van Helsing preform the Confrontation–not the “actor” who works the cotton candy machine at the mall. I want to hear Borat and Bellatrix Lestrange belt out that final toast in Master of the House–not some Glee obsessed teenager.
Somewhere near the end of the first act the character of Marius will be asked a question in song: Do you hear the people sing? If you are asked this question while sitting in the theater this weekend, I hope you are able to answer, “only the ones on the screen!” I think I will wait for the DVD. Then I can sing along as loud as I please.