2012 Toronto Production

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
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deHavilland
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby deHavilland » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:05 am

Costume-wise, one thing I'm not pleased with is the fact that Courfeyrac is also sporting a blue coat similar to Marius', although his is cut in at the waist and the one Perry wears is full. So if you look at that picture of Marius and Cosette in the garden and then the picture directly underneath it of Enjolras and "Marius," it's actually not Marius at all, it's Jonathan Winsby as Courfeyrac. Winsby already looks enough like Perry as it is, no need to further confuse the audience by putting them in almost the same coat. (You can see Perry is actually standing behind Mark in that picture.)

Also, I still think Winsby is Combeferre and Silvestri is Courfeyrac and that the lines were switched and/or the playbill is wrong, but I guess I'll have to wait and confirm that tomorrow.
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Acaila
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Acaila » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:31 pm

Are there any *good* pictures online of Mark Uhre in his new wig? Trying to find some to show him off but not having much luck.
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby deHavilland » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:10 am

Not that I've seen so far, nope.
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Flynn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 am

Acaila wrote:I chose to comment on it being an ensemble show, because that is precisely how I've heard it described by notable performers from the West End production. That is how it is apparently treated and that is certainly how critics have described it.

Indeed, I think devaluing the ensemble goes against the spirit of the show. It's Les Misérables, not Un Miserable after all.


Enormously late reply here, sorry about that, but my issue with classifying it as an "ensemble show" is that what defines a show as ensemble is that every cast member is of relative equal importance to the story and there are no defined leads or featured roles among the cast. As important as the ensemble undoubtedly is to the show, Les Mis still isn't written in that fashion and thus wouldn't really count as an actual ensemble show, regardless of how people choose to treat it.

I'm not trying to devalue the ensemble at all here, just pointing out that there's a difference between an ensemble show and a show with a very large cast that has a number of leads and featured roles.

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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Acaila » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:05 am

It'd be interesting to know where you are pulling that definition of ensemble from, because that's certainly not how most people working in theatre would define it, let alone the RSC who promote themselves as adhering to an ensemble principle, and who, lest we forget, offered the show its original home in its current form. After all, you can't have Hamlet and Voltemand with the same amount of stage time and importance, can you? And yet, they create ensemble shows. Hell, I played a lead with a far greater proportion of stage time than Valjean in a show that won an award for Best Ensemble Play.
An ensemble show is created through production structure, ethos, working methods and the effect these create. It's not to do with how many lines you have compared to the guy sitting next to you.
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Flynn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:34 pm

I think I'm getting what you're saying- you're meaning that ensemble shows are defined more by how the production itself approaches the material rather than how the material itself is written?

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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Acaila » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:05 pm

It can be a mixture of both, but yes, it is perfectly possible and frequently done to approach texts with clear delineations of character "importance" in an ensemble fashion. Historically at least, if not so much nowadays, it's been quite a common way of working in the UK.
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Flynn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:17 pm

Ah, gotcha. That makes more sense.

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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:20 am

It's noticeable in the way Trevor Nunn works. I hadn't realised it until I saw the replacement cast for his My Fair Lady, but it absolutely turned an ensemble into a chorus. And I keep noticing it with productions of South Pacific (sorry, Bart Sher, but Trev kicked your ass).

In Nunn's productions, what had otherwise been a chorus absolutely functioned in the same way as the ensemble in LM. You can simply tell that there's a depth of understanding and a clear emphasis on character that can only come from a collaborative structure. When Nunn is replaced by resident directors who don't get it or don't care, it rips the heart out of what Nunn created. When the same show is done by other directors, who haven't the time or the inclination to allow every single nurse and Seabee to be an actual person, it is obvious. And these are shows written for leads and chorus. As an audience member, I can tell that LM has had resident directors who care more about maintaining that collaborative nature than My Fair Lady did (I saw all three London casts and the US tour - I adored that production even when the heart was cut out of it by resident directors cutting corners).

I think, Flynn, you're thinking of something like Company as an "ensemble" show - that beyond Bobby, everyone is equal. Which also makes perfect sense.

Transatlantic issues, perhaps? Point of interaction with the business?
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Acaila » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:39 am

Regarding Nunn's method of working specifically, there's an interesting documentary about his and Caird's production of Nicholas Nickleby, where they didn't even cast the show for the first couple of weeks of the rehearsal process. They cast an ensemble, worked together on a better understanding of the period and of the production, and only then actually assigned people to roles.
A lot of directors of Nunn's generation work in an ensemble way. There's a production I adore fiercely where they took democratic principles to what some might consider extreme and made every decision as a company and were all paid exactly the same, from the guy who memorably brought the house down in a bigger part, to the guy that drove the van.
I really like it, and I think it's interesting to compare it in musical theatre, with the sort of show where you can tell that every chorus member is desperately trying to be noticed in their brief moment in the spotlight, rather than focusing on the overall effect of the production.
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"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby deHavilland » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:05 pm

Back onto the topic of Toronto Les Mis specifically: since Halloween fell on a Thursday this year (meaning an evening performance,) the cast/crew party was this past Sunday and for actual Halloween the Cosettes and Gavroches went trick-or-treating backstage from dressing room to crew office to dressing room and here's the result:

Image

Aiden Glenn is sporting a terribly charming Mark-Uhre-Pre-Wig-Change-Enjolras costume.

Back Row: Marisa McIntyre (Ens), Andreane Bouladier (Ens, Cosette u/s), Elena Juatco (Ens, Éponine u/s), Heather McGuigan (Swing, Fantine u/s), Katie Beetham (Ens, Mme Thenardier u/s) and Caroline Colantonio (Ens, Cosette u/s)

Front Row: Aiden Glenn, Saara Chaudry, David Gregory Black, Madison Oldroyd, Ella Ballentine
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Acaila
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Acaila » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:58 pm

Tiny Enjolras! Oh my, that is the most adorable thing!
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
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"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Flynn » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:13 am

MmeBahorel wrote:I think, Flynn, you're thinking of something like Company as an "ensemble" show - that beyond Bobby, everyone is equal. Which also makes perfect sense.


Chorus Line was actually the example that came to my mind, but yeah. And I think I was thinking of it more in this way just because of the kind of stuff I've experienced- specifically types of plays that were written in that fashion that I had heard referred to as "ensemble shows". It could also be down to transatlantic issues, though- it's actually a little similar to the differences in acting, where Americans tend to prefer method and the British prefer presentational acting (though I think that line is more blurred nowadays). One is focused on serving the show as a whole, while the other is more focused on the individual performers.

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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Acaila » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:50 am

That last line is more of a definition really, overall focus vs individual focus, I think the issue was over where that is shown, script or production.

There are definitely a variety of acting styles used, probably in both countries, but certainly in Britain. Method is certainly more popular overall in America, but Stanislavskian technique is standard first year drama school work here (not so much Strasberg etc. though I think most will do at least a little) and any trained actor will be able to pull it out on demand. It's just more a case that it's one of many techniques that will be studied rather than the be all and end all, albeit a commonly used one. I'd say that's probably a reflection of the variety of theatrical styles that are regularly found in Britain and from wider European influences. So actors will change their working approach, and bring a different method out of their toolbox, depending on the production rather than using one specific system for role after role as American actors have spoken about. Otherwise, if you've only done method, and you suddenly get thrown into the likes of Mother Courage or Oh! What A Lovely War, well, things might get a little bit strange. On the flip side, for me personally, my stylistic interests usually land firmly on the presentational side and I tend to avoid Stanislavski method like the plague (and got a D on my Stanislavski practical in my last year of acting classes so that should give an idea of how I do not get on with naturalism) but even I've made use of it as both actor and director when working on scripts.

I'm sure everyone's familiar with the Olivier/Hoffman exchange regarding method acting :D.
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
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Re: 2012 Toronto Production

Postby Les Mis Jedi » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:53 am

Toronto production extended to February 2, 2014! Good I might be able to squeeze a 3rd time in then. I am so happy !!!


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