by Maggie Sefton
Weekend before last, we Denver Broncos fans watched our team lose in the playoffs in double overtime to the Baltimore Ravens. I definitely give the Ravens credit for playing a great game and grabbing opportunities. But, like so many Broncos fans, I was severely disappointed. The loss Was so sudden and unexpected that afterwards I wanted something that totally took my mind off the disappointment. So, I went to see my favorite theatre presentation. . .on the screen.
Les Miserables, that stirring story by Victor Hugo of France in the mid-1800s and life among the struggling poor to rebellious students in the streets and the long arm of the Law. I first saw Les Miserables on the stage in the early 1990s. I made a point to actually read Hugo's epic story first. It's truly his masterpiece. I bought the 2-disc CD set and played it enough that my younger daughters could sing the words. It's truly a production that shows better on stage, believe it or not. And I'm a dedicated movie lover, but I'm also a devoted theatre goer as well. There's an intimacy to theatre that's hard to describe but very real. Magic can happen onstage in a theatre, and because you are there and the actors/singers are right there in front of you, YOU can feel the magic. It's special.
However, I do think the big name movie actors did a good job with this larger-than-life story. Hugh Jackman is a talented actor and lived the part. Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Fantine was truly moving. And a favorite of mine, Russell Crowe was a wonderful Javert. And Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were hilarious as the innkeeper and his wife. The entire cast did such a good job, I was in a great mood when I left the movie theatre despite football disappointment.
Have any of you ever seen a performance or the film of Les Miserables? How did you like it?