I just went to see the 25th anniversary touring cast of Les Miserables at the National Theatre in Washington DC and was absolutely blown away! I was nervous about seeing it because the movie comes out on Tuesday, but I am extremely happy I went, besides the overweight guy next to me elbowing me during the first half and the rude guy snorting behind me, I don’t think I’ve teared that much since I saw Phantom which is one of my favorite shows. Overall the 25th anniversary touring cast of Les Miserables reviews should be amazing. They did an awesome job. Here’s my full Les Miserables Review.
The only negative things I had to say about the show were that the grown up Cosette was not memorable. You didn’t remember her, you don’t think of her and she just didn’t exist. The same could be said for Marius.
The difference between Marius and Cosette is that Marius had an awesome voice. Unfortunately he lacked any and all stage presence. On the barricade, you didn’t see him, even when they called him out. Instead you watch other people. At his wedding with Cosette, you were watching other characters and they both disappeared. You enjoyed watching him as Eponine died, but that is only because Briana Carlson-Goodman was holy sh*t amazing! If she was the Eponine I saw in the London cast of Les Miserables, the scene would have died, not the characters. In his defense, his microphone didn’t seem to be working correctly during the first act, but his acting and his voice were solid, he just lacked the ability to grab your interest and stand out. The blond guy and the guy with the brown hair that was combed to one side caught your eye the entire time, even when the spotlight was on Marius. The last weak cast member was Jean Val Jean.
He acted like he didn’t want to be there. He walked on stage, sang his song and left. He honestly looked like he didn’t care. I don’t care if it’s the holidays and you might want to be with your family, or if you’re just having a bad day and wanting to be a diva. People are paying over $100 per ticket to see this show and for the person playing Jean Val Jean to give a performance like he was annoyed and didn’t care about being there is offense to every actor, every person who paid for the show and everyone around me commented that he was very good. If you don’t want to be there, quit the show and let someone else have your part. I was offended by his performance. With that said, lets go into the good stuff.
Javert was amazing! Andrew Varela completely stole the show. He was the only thing you could see, here and look at when he was on stage. He stole the show and completely showed that he really was Javert and made you hate and fall in love with him. His voice was strong, his presence was insane and he absolutely brought everyong to their feet, even before the cast took a bow. He was incredible and it was amazing to get to see him perform. I would gladly attend another show only because he is in the cast.
Eponine – Amazing! Briana Carson-Goodman has a holy sh*t amazing voice, more presence than Carol Channing and is now almost one of my favorite people to watch at a level of Kristin Chenoweth. I had never heard of her before, but after seeing her, Lea Salonga got taken on a run for her money. This girl can sing, she can out act anyone else but Andrew Varela (close tie on those two, she wins though) and her stage presence was incredible. When she was hiding behind the wall and not supposed to be seen, you actually kept trying to look to see her. Her performance was amazing and her voice was incredible. I would love to see the next show she is in and cannot wait to hear her again as well. She took the song On My Own and absolutely brought it above and beyond what people were expecting.
Fantine was ok. I enjoyed her voice, but I don’t like how they sped up the intro’s in some of her songs. Her acting was good and she did a great job. The Inn Keeper (Thenardier) and his wife were absolutely what you wanted to see and his wife completely stole the show when the two of them were performing. The two made an awesome team that you loved to watch. The two kids in the show were amazing and over performed their counterparts in the London cast and the rest of the cast gave a perfect show and performance.
The show was a shorter version of Les Miserables with a new staging. They shrunk it down by speeding up some of the songs, which normally I would be pissed off about, but I actually enjoyed it. I also like how they changed the set because of the size of the National Theatre vs. a larger theatre that could handle elaborate sets.
Instead of a rotating gate to Jean Valjean’s house, it was stationary. The baricade took up the entire stage which was cool and the entries and exits were all done differently. Instead of using a trap door to take Marius into the sewers, he dragged him off stage. Instead of a blue light on Fantine when she died, they used white lights which was actually pretty cool. They also had Jean Valjean sitting on the Baricade to sing Bring him Home instead of on the stool or at least by the floor and away from the other cast members. It was a pretty cool way to do the show.
The 25th anniversary touring cast of Les Miserables is amazing. I highly recommend you see it and you can buy broadway tickets for the show in your own city by clicking on the link above. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because the show was amazing, but the person plating Jean Valjean ruined the role for me by looking bored like he didn’t want to be there and because the roles of Cosette and Marius weren’t as good as they should have been for the show. If you are going to give someone lead roles, make sure they have a huge stage presence and that they can keep up with the other characters and cast members. There is no reason you should be watching the supporting cast when they are singing solos and are supposed to be the focus. Overall the show is amazing and I highly recommend you see the touring cast of Les Miserables. Feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve seen the cast and what you think.