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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Le merveilleux

Over the weekend, Paul and I saw a High School Production of the legendary Musical Les Miserables. I, like almost everybody I've mentioned this to, was super skeptical that high school kids could pull off such a demanding and intense show.

Finding boys who can sing is the stereotypical primary challenge of high school theater, and this is a show that demands a huge male cast. Paul and I were speculating about which male parts would be played by women (He guessed Mr. Thenadier, I guess Enjorals). Miraculously though, Oakmont High School found an ample supply of guys, and pretty much all of them were great singers!

All the leads were incredibly strong too. Marius and Cosette were impeccable. And especially the kid who played Jean Valjean. When naysayers point to why high-schoolers couldn't pull this off, they usually point to one song:

As I mentioned to my brother, who was running the spotlight, this kid they got to play the lead is like an x-men, whose only power is singing really really well. He sang "Bring him home" beautifully.

I felt just as moved, and excited and impressed by this production as I did when i saw it on Broadway. They even had that amazing rotating set that makes the staging of this show so memorable. It was a fun way to see one of my favorite shows ever again.

My brother's girlfriend was in it, and played Fantine. She was spectacular. I really can't say enough good things about this show, and the kids who pulled it off deserve a lot of praise. The audience cried at all the right parts and somebody even shouted out "no" in the audience when a particularly lovable character died (Can you guess who?).

Seeing it again has gotten me looking up all the songs on youtube. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I really like this one:

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