do you hear the people sing?

On Christmas day we went to see Les Miserables – and I am so thankful for this wondrous gift.

My husband, daughter, and I have seen the stage production numerous times. Each time I felt that the cast was making it their best performance ever, and doing it just for me. (The “updated” version did make me long for more when it left behind the turntable stage and other features. But I digress…) I was filled with great anticipation to see it produced on “the big screen.”  And so, there we were.

A while back, when our son-in-law went with us to the play for his first viewing, we tried to tell him the story line before we went. He would have no part of it. “I don’t want to know that ahead of time,” he said. But at intermission he confessed he was a bit lost. That’s the thing with musicals, we tried to explain. Unlike seeing a movie, you need to know what is going to happen, so you can experience the “how” (and the “wow”) of the way the tale is told through the music.

So on Christmas, on the way to the theater, I told our son Mark the gist of the tale – the beginning part at least. He had literally grown up listening to the soundtrack (as we fast forwarded through some parts not meant for little ears). But he had never seen the play, so I tried to condense its essence. He listened thoughtfully and I was anxious to see what he would think at the end.

This isn’t a movie review, but I have to say that it was wonderful, and my daughter and I are going back to see it again today. Whatever you have heard or read about Anne Hathaway’s stunning performance as Fantine is all of what you heard, and more. At home I have listened to the soundtrack twice since seeing the movie, and I can’t wait to see it again, to re-enter the world of Jean Valjean.

After seeing Les Mis on Christmas, my husband and son agreed that while the movie made some of the connections clearer and easier to understand, there were still some slow parts for them, and “a lot of singing.”

But when we went to bed and I was telling him goodnight, our son said, about the movie, “It wasn’t half bad.”  Maybe not the best endorsement ever, but definitely a “thumbs up.”

Do you hear the people sing?

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