Your first experience of Les Mis

Obsess over Harry Potter, regale us with Fluffy's latest escapades, ask for advice on what colour to dye your hair, and continue the raging debate of Pirates vs. Ninjas -- whatever strikes your fancy.

In what form did you first experience Les Misérables?

The book
9
18%
The musical - original production
3
6%
The musical - 25th anniversary tour production
4
8%
The musical - another production
6
12%
The 2012 movie
13
25%
Another movie
2
4%
10th anniversary concert DVD
4
8%
25th anniversary concert DVD
4
8%
CD recording
2
4%
Other
4
8%
 
Total votes: 51

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YoungStudentMarius
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:05 am

One thing I'd like to point out while it lasts: There have so far been eight votes, and, as there are ten categories, somehow everything currently has exactly one vote save the two left over. Isn't that wonderful? That we can all love something so much, and all have come by it different ways, and yet be completely accepting of each way and person? It says a lot, really. :mrgreen:
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Lamarque-is-Dead » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:15 am

That is wonderful. :mrgreen:
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Acaila
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Acaila » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:23 am

And then someone had to go and spoil it! :D I'm kidding :lol: But yes, I was thinking the same thing! And the two that don't have votes are not probably the two I would have expected to be in last place actually.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:43 am

I took a screenshot beforehand, at least. :mrgreen: So no one would feel bad about tipping the balance. And yes, you're very right, Acaila; I wouldn't have thought so, either. Those would have been two of the more popular ones, I'd guess, but apparently not.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby SpiritOfDawn » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:52 am

Hmmm... I'm lacking the category "no freaking idea" :-).

I'll probably go for 'other' then ;-)
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Courgette » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:05 am

For me, it was the SuBo mania which made me realize that something called 'Les Misérables' actually exists. But till date, I've not seen her video. And, it was sometime after the O2 concert that I really started hunting down various Youtube videos for different performances (& then the DVD of the concert). But the musical (for me) has ALWAYS been about the performances rather than the story...that is how I look at ALL musicals, in any case. And 'Les Misérables' is NO different. For instance, I like 'One Day More' because of the passion and the energy of the song and the harmonization of the different voices. I like the song in terms of the musicality, just like a song of any other genre. Period.

Then, what about the plot and character development? Brick over Musical. Any day. There are so many characters like Felix Tholomyes, Azelma, Louison, Madame Hucheloup, plus minor but important plot details (that the musical NEVER touches upon), that I got to know only after reading the Brick in its entirety.

I don't care if this sounds patronizing but if you judge characters based solely on the musical without bothering to read the Brick, I have NO respect for you whatsoever. The source material is, after all, Victor Hugo's tome. And to experience 'Les Misérables' in its entirety, you NEED to read the Brick.

So, for me, it was the O2 concert + reading the Brick which completed a full-fledged first experience of 'Les Misérables'.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Flynn » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:07 am

Acaila wrote:Yeah, I mean I love it for the cast and all, but I refuse to introduce newbies to Les Mis with it. Plus the lack of blocking makes it seem a bit dumb in places.


That always frustrated me, but it's far and away the best cast and the one people are least likely to seek out (especially now that the movie and 25th anniversary DVDs are out there), so that's what I like to introduce people to anyways. I actually had a viewing party for the musical before the movie came out, and what I did was show the TAC and then give a summary of the missing parts when necessary (in certain occassions (namely Gavroche's death), I played the CSR). It actually worked out pretty well.



As for myself, long long ago (when I was in maybe fifth or sixth grade or something) my school choir did "Castle on a Cloud", which prompted me to check out the full show. I believe I rented the OBC from the library, but it for some reason didn't grab my attention very much, and I returned it without listening to any more than maybe 3 tracks.

Cut to about two years ago, and my family is flipping through channels when we land on PBS airing the 25th anniversary concert (it was in the middle of "The Bargain"). None of us recognized it at first, until somehow I figured out it was Les Misérables. I began trying to figure out exactly where in the show we were (via Wikipedia) and we watched until "One Day More", when we realized we were halfway through the show and didn't want to go further with that much missed.

At the general same time as this there was a girl in my theatre class who was obsessed with the show and kept pressuring me to watch it, so I checked out the OBC from the library and rented the 25th anniversary concert from Netflix. Watched/listen to both, and obviously loved it. It wasn't until later, however, when I watched the TAC and bought the CSR that my love of the show was truly solidified.




So, the short answer is 25th anniversary combined with the OBC.

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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby macaron » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:14 am

Okay, before I actually answer the poll, question - what does 'original production' vs 'another production' mean in this case? Replica vs non replica, or French/OLC vs other, or something like that?

My first experience was a Swedish production of the musical in 2000, and I think I could've explained the plot pretty clearly afterwards. In fact I believe I did, extensively, because my friends quickly got tired of me. *g* It was love at first sight.

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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Enjolvert » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:24 pm

Courgette wrote:For me, it was the SuBo mania which made me realize that something called 'Les Misérables' actually exists. But till date, I've not seen her video. And, it was sometime after the O2 concert that I really started hunting down various Youtube videos for different performances (& then the DVD of the concert). But the musical (for me) has ALWAYS been about the performances rather than the story...that is how I look at ALL musicals, in any case. And 'Les Misérables' is NO different. For instance, I like 'One Day More' because of the passion and the energy of the song and the harmonization of the different voices. I like the song in terms of the musicality, just like a song of any other genre. Period.

Then, what about the plot and character development? Brick over Musical. Any day. There are so many characters like Felix Tholomyes, Azelma, Louison, Madame Hucheloup, plus minor but important plot details (that the musical NEVER touches upon), that I got to know only after reading the Brick in its entirety.

I don't care if this sounds patronizing but if you judge characters based solely on the musical without bothering to read the Brick, I have NO respect for you whatsoever. The source material is, after all, Victor Hugo's tome. And to experience 'Les Misérables' in its entirety, you NEED to read the Brick.

So, for me, it was the O2 concert + reading the Brick which completed a full-fledged first experience of 'Les Misérables'.


On that last bit, I think 'no respect' is perhaps a bit harsh. I agree that you need to read the brick to get that full understand of what the characters are about and just what Les Misérables is, but the musical does an excellent job of it.

There's plenty of character depth in there too. Yes, you might not get 1000's of words from Javert as he's about to die, but you go pretty deep into his head during the suicide. It's the same for Valjean in songs such as his soliloquoy and Who Am I? Again, you might not get the same level of depth as the book has, but it's impossible to do so. It does go into the characters thoughts and feelings very well, and while it's never going to beat the brick for plot and development, it does beat pretty much all other adaptions of Les Mis for it.

Plus, it's easy to forget that the brick isn't an easy read either. It takes time and a lot of people may not be at the literacy level to take a challenge like it on. If I'm having a discussion with someone who's a fan of the musical, then I'd never cast aside there opinion on something that's in the musical because they haven't read the brick. It's a different canon in it's own way.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Enjolvert » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:26 pm

macaron wrote:Okay, before I actually answer the poll, question - what does 'original production' vs 'another production' mean in this case? Replica vs non replica, or French/OLC vs other, or something like that?

My first experience was a Swedish production of the musical in 2000, and I think I could've explained the plot pretty clearly afterwards. In fact I believe I did, extensively, because my friends quickly got tired of me. *g* It was love at first sight.


I'm assuming that other production would probably cover from anything like OBC or OFC to just seeing it on the West End more recently or the Swedish production of it you saw.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Acaila » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:58 pm

Derp, I never thought of the original French production :oops: Fail!
By "original production" I mean any replica of the Nunn/Caird one. So yours would be musical-other Mac :)
Hopefully there aren't too many older French people who were around in 1980 posting :oops:

And yeah, I think "no respect" for musical-only fans is rather harsh. Heck, some of the fans I am closest to are musical-only fans. Reading the Brick is a huge effort, and anyone who goes for it and gets all the way through really impresses me. I was full on obsessed with Les Mis by the time I tackled it, and I'd have challenged anyone who thought I wasn't worthy of respect before that. I get annoyed with people making grand claims about character importance/Hugo's intentions/character interpretation/Les Mis fandom if they haven't read the Brick, and people do sometimes mischaracterise in fanfics if they haven't read it, but personally I think anyone can come up with good points and can appreciate Les Mis if they've fully experienced some version of it.

Anyway, the point was about how people were first introduced, i.e. which version is the gateway drug. I definitely didn't start this for a "which is the best?" version.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Rachelle » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:07 pm

I think it's definitely possible to be an amazing les mis fan without having read the brick. As long as you admit that it exists and don't badmouth it.
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Rachelle wrote:I think it's definitely possible to be an amazing les mis fan without having read the brick. As long as you admit that it exists and don't badmouth it.


Seconded. It doesn't matter how one is introduced to the story: it's still Les Mis, and it's a story worth telling in whatever form. :)
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby redmiserable » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:12 pm

I watched the 25AC on youtube in November. My friends always mentioned this musical and I was like "men" but then I thought, "holy crap, this actually has great music!"
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Re: Your first experience of Les Mis

Postby Rachelle » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:18 pm

I mean, I love fans who've read the book, seen the show, seen the movie, but I think there are many fans who will only ever watch the movie or the show or both and never read the brick. It can be very intimidating and if you have no one to tell you that you can skip the sections that aren't relevant to the story, then I'm sure a lot of people give up or don't try.
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