Thursday, March 24, 2011

Glorious Mis-ery

Saturday was an epic, epic day.  First off, I surprised one of my very best friends by meeting her for lunch with some other friends as a surprise for her sweet 16th birthday.  It was such fun, and afterward we all walked around to all the little antique shops downtown.  And then...and then...yes, you know what's coming....Saturday night was seeing Les Misérables on Broadway!!!

Gaah, so before I get ahead of myself--I went with my sister Cassie, and two friends, Ashley and Emily.  The four of us went to the Broadway musical Wicked when it was here last year, and we're planning on making it a tradition.  Plus, it helps that Ashley and Emily are two more Les-Mis-lovers [book and music!], so I'm not alone in my obsessing.  Har har.  Annnywaayy, Cass and I headed over to Ash and Em's house where we looked up youtube videos of (can you guess?) Les Mis songs, ate pizza, and talked about how excited we were.  Then we got all dressed up and ready to go to the theatre downtown.  Eepers!

Upon getting there, we all about exploded from excitement, as is proven by several crazy videos taken outside and inside the theatre.  Sidetrack:  I love "my" theatre.  It's gorgeous.  For the city itself being nothing very special or beautiful in and of itself, its theatre is absolutely lovely, and I adore it.  It's one of my favorite places in the world, and I so wish I could explore every part of it.

Cassie and I had to separate from Ashley and Emily since our seats weren't together.  Of course, we had the nosebleed seats because I'm far from rich (ha.) but honestly, there's not a bad seat in the theatre, and we brought binoculars so that we could see faces close-up.  The tickets for Les Mis sold out here so quickly that Cass and I didn't even get seats together, but we were one right in front of the other, and on the outside of the row, which was nice.  I was behind, so I kept reaching forward and squeezing Cassie's shoulder when I was excited.  ;)

Another sidetrack: I had teased Cassie before the show that since I wouldn't have her hand to squeeze when I was excited, I was going to sit next to a good-looking guy and do the same to him.  Cassie's response: "Yeah, but all the cute guys come with cute girls."  So, we got to our seats in the theatre, and soon afterwards, the usher came up to my row showed a couple people to their seats right next to me...aaand there was a good-looking guy [if I do say so myself] who came with his grandparents [cue "awwww"ing] and he sat down next to me!  Cassie gave me an "ooh la la!" look, and we both started laughing.  Of course, when his grandma came to get her seat, they ended up switching.  Bah.  But it was funny all the same.

SO.  The lights went down.  The music started.  I squeezed Cassie's shoulder, held my breath, and felt like the intermission came within 5 minutes.  And I was, as expected, in love.  Oh, to be able to sing like that.  I know practically the whole musical word for word, so after hearing the music and watching the concerts, I wasn't quite sure what to expect by way of the actual play.  But the sets were awesome--nothing over-the-top extravagant, but just perfect.  And then having all the acting going into the singing was so cool, because I had only ever heard/seen it sung...not the actually moving around the stage while it was all going on.  It was so amazing.

Cassie and I found Ash and Em at intermission, gushed over its amazingness, and then flew back to our seats when the lights went down--just in time.  =/  If the first act was 5 minutes, then the second act was only just whirled by in splendor and I couldn't believe I'd been there for 3 hours.  And in the second act--I cried.  Yeah yeah, with my glasses on (I'm super nearsighted), binoculars up to my eyes, and make-up running.  I shan't ruin the story/bore people by telling you what parts I cried at, but every death was so sad, dramatic, and powerful.  I cried at parts I wasn't expecting to because I figured I'd already heard the song, but then seeing it acted out was so beautiful.  I cried out of happiness because I love Jean Valjean so much.  I cried because I kept thinking back to the brilliance of the words in the book.  I cried because it was the most amazing thing ever and it really touches on the misery and yet the hope in human existence.

Afterward, Cassie, Ashley, Emily, and I were one big puddle of crying and laughing and happiness and sadness that it was over.  After the performance, the girl who played Eponine (who 1. is gorgeous and 2. has a gorgeous voice--proof that life isn't fair) was out in the lobby, and we got to talk to her.

I loved our cast.  Maybe you're thinking "who cares?" [and I have gotten that reaction on some of my Les Mis posts...but that's ok...I'm writing to make myself happy too, because if I'm not happy with what I'm writing, I may as well not be writing at all], but this is our cast in all their least the main characters.  Seriously, Jean Valjean was great, but I couldn't find a decent picture of he had grey hair most of the play.  Okay, goodness knows I'm anything but racist, but when Cass and I looked up our cast, we thought our Jean Valjean was going to be black, and that was disappointing.  He just...isn't a black character to me, and as Ashley pointed out, the slave trade hadn't even been abolished yet.  But, we got the understudy or whatever, so he ended up being white.  And I feel kinda weird saying it, but I'm ever so glad.  Though our Eponine was black, and that didn't bother me a bit.  Our Marius was (*cough*adorable*cough*) the best I've ever heard in his role.  And Javert was EPIC.  There are no other words--of all the incredible people that I loved in our performance, he was the one that just fit his character so perfectly.  And for those of you who don't know who Enjolras is (because you haven't read the book and his name is not said in the musical), he's the leader of the student revolutionaries.

We hopped in the car and talked and sang all the way home.  We then proceeded to get very little sleep because we stayed up uber late to watch the movie version of Les Mis with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean and Geoffrey Rush as Javert.  Just so you know, I am one to get verrryyy upset if movies mess up books.  But this movie, even though they couldn't have everything, and even though some things were changed, I really liked it.  Geoffrey Rush was the most awesome Javert ever--so stoic, but he acted with his intense eyes.  And of course I love Liam Neeson.  :)  Em and I kept singing lines of the musical during the corresponding parts in the movie.

Ah ahh!  Altogether, it was a glorious, glorious evening that shall never be forgotten.  At first I thought, "I've finished the book (my life's purpose for the past month), and now the musical is over (my life's anticipation for the past month).  What do I have to live for?  My life is over!"  Buuut that is thankfully not the case, as I have been reminded.  ;P  I am so sad it's actually over though, and the wonderful memories of it shall last a long time.  Oh how I love Les Misérables!


  1. You are so pretty Jennoelle! So are the rest of the ladies in the picture! Sounds like ya'll had a fabulous day!!!:))~God bless

  2. Eepers! I'm just going to say whatever comes into my head, so expect some randomness.

    The Les Mis I'm going to will have the same Javert, Marius, Cosette, and Eponine! I'm so glad you liked them! But actually, I think Jean Valjean should be black. It seems to suit him better somehow. I hope mine is... And yes, Marius is *cough* adorable. So he should be.

    I'm so happy that you cried, because it gives me permission to cry too, right? Les Mis is just...cry-able.

    "Whirled by in splendor". Now that sounds epic. This post made me so happy, Jennoelle! Only a month until the best day of my life... No, your life is not over. Now comes a lifetime of continuing to obsess over Les Mis. You can never have too much. Never.

    In Christ,

  3. Larkin, ooh that's so cool that we actually have some of the same cast! Ahh, it makes me so happy that this makes you as happy as it makes me...and you are definitely going to have to write all about it once you go.
    And as for Marius--if you think he's adorable in his picture, just wait until you see him in real life. =]

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time :D
    From a guys perspective Marius is "rather" good looking :P
    Cosette kind of cute too, though.


    P.S. Please inform your one and only brother that I survived ;)

  5. That sounds so awesome! I'm so glad you had an wonderful time!

    I sent you an email...don't know if you got it or not, but we really need to catch up on life! :)

  6. Hey, hey, another Les Miz fan, I see! =)

    I'm so excited to see the play myself this upcoming Sunday... and yes, excited to see Justin Scott Brown as Marius.

    Btw, they do say Enjolras' name in the musical, just before Red and Black.


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