My fiancé and I made a last-minute decision to go see the Les Misérables tour here in Columbus on Thursday. Huge thanks to the very nice woman at the CAPA box office who found us great tickets. Also, for anyone in the area, PLEASE do not use Ticketmaster to buy your tickets. We noticed that the seats we got for $60 each at the box office were going for over $100 on Ticketmaster. Totally ridiculous! Anyway, our seats were in the lower balcony, and they were quite good for the price.
For anyone not familiar with the musical, this revival has a redesigned set and has been compressed by about half an hour. I’ve seen Les Mis before, and really didn’t like the new design. Compressing the show made it much more confusing, even though I had seen the show before.
Another thing that really irked us was the balance between the orchestra and the singers. The orchestra was WAY too loud…we could barely hear the words most of the time! It was quite disappointing. We especially had a beef with the horn players, who blasted the whole time and were way out of balance with the rest of the orchestra. Fun fact of the day: I majored in music for my first year in college, and played French Horn. So I feel qualified to judge this, haha. The orchestrations were changed in this version as well, which was a disappointment. Gone are the powerful synthesizers from the original version, which I missed. To me, they were a hallmark of the original music.
Now on to the good parts. The entire cast was FANTASTIC! Jean Valjean was the best incarnation that I’ve seen, and the actress playing Madame Thenardier was fabulous. I felt that Javert’s voice was just slightly too high for the part, but he was still great. Fantine had an absolutely lovely voice as well. All of the ensemble numbers were outstanding, and I thought the cast had a nice synergy going. All of the kid singers were great, and so cute. There truly wasn’t a weak link to this cast.
It was definitely worth it to go. There is something about seeing live music that just cannot be beat!