Unpopular Opinions

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
Enjolvert
Posts: 1453
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:40 pm
Location: With Valjean and Thenardier

Unpopular Opinions

Postby Enjolvert » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:16 pm

Since we had the pet peeves thread, this is one for your opinions which you have on the show that most would disagree with it.

It can be you liking a performer that's been hated, you disliking one that's been loved by fans, or your opinion on a song that others wouldn't share with you but you feel anyway, or just anything in general about the show that the majority would probably not agree with.

Don't be afraid to post them as well. Whether it's overly positive or negative, that is what this thread is for. I'm interested to see what some people come up with here.
The law is unjust.

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Acaila » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:25 pm

I like Drew Sarich's Enjolras. It's only my third favourite on stage, and the first two are so far ahead of the rest that there's no point anyone even trying. But it was entertaining and a bit....different :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"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

User avatar
Trompe-la-Mort
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:45 pm
Location: Paisley, Scotland

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:40 pm

Maybe the fact that I hate most of the songs that are considered iconic: IDAD, OMO, AHFOL, ALFOR...
Dark sarcasm ought to be taught at schools!

User avatar
Prisoner 24653
Posts: 748
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:17 pm

Hehe, I think I have a few.


- I loved Kiyotaka Imai as Javert (in the 1994 Japanese Blue Cast) and Valjean (in the 2003 Violet/Lilac Cast). While his voice was perhaps a bit too 'heavy' for Valjean, his acting was superb... and being one of the only Japanese Valjeans who sang "Bring Him Home" in its intended key certainly helps, as well.

- I also liked Kazutaka Ishii as Valjean (in the 2003 Light Blue Cast). Partly for being the other Japanese Valjean who sang BHH in its intended key. :lol:

- Though I'm generally not a huge fan of the new (post Broadway revival) orchestrations, I do love the added percussion in all occurrences of the "Look Down" melody (especially "Confrontation," though the horns and tempo issues bug me there). I also like the added counterpoints in numbers like "One Day More," and the more intimate, cabaret-like feel of "Master of the House." Generally, added counterpoints = good, removed or reduced counterpoints = bad.

- Though I love Philip Quast as Javert, I prefer Anthony Crivello, Roger Allam, and Earl Carpenter in the role for various reasons.

- This one probably won't be as "unpopular" on this forum as it might be among general LM fans who have only seen the concerts and film... but I'm not a big fan of Alfie Boe's Valjean. His acting is all but nonexistent, and his voice doesn't really work as Valjean for me; there have been better operatic performers in the role.

- I liked Drew Sarich as Javert.

- However, I can't really get into Tam Mutu in the role. His acting is decent, but his voice reminds me a little too much of Terrence Mann.

- In the Berlin production, though they were definitely not the best performers in those roles and were understudied and/or replaced by better ones, I actually liked Olegg Vynnyk (Valjean), Uwe Kröger (Javert), and Vera Bolten (Éponine). I dislike Kröger in general but was surprised that I didn't mind him so much here. And though I wasn't fond of Bolten in the highlights album, live recordings helped me understand why she was cast. (Though she really didn't work as Fantine -- that was probably the only time I thought a role was definitely miscast in any of what I've heard from this production.) The Berlin production overall is perhaps my favorite that I've heard.

- Though I thought Daphne Rubin-Vega was vocally miscast as Fantine, I liked her more than Randy Graff because of their overall portrayals. For all of DRV's issues in the role, at least she didn't overact to the point of making me start laughing during her death scene like Graff did in a live recording. (I usually get teary-eyed very easily in that scene anyway, so it would have to be a pretty bad Fantine to make me feel nothing at all... but Graff is the only one to actually make me laugh.)

That's it for now, but I may have more later.

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Acaila » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:46 pm

Prisoner 24653 wrote:- This one probably won't be as "unpopular" on this forum as it might be among general LM fans who have only seen the concerts and film... but I'm not a big fan of Alfie Boe's Valjean. His acting is all but nonexistent, and his voice doesn't really work as Valjean for me; there have been better operatic performers in the role.


*snort* Only unpopular in that "not a big fan" is an understatement compared to many I expect. :lol:

Is Drew!vert unpopular? I wondered when writing about his Enjolras, but deleted what I'd said because I wasn't sure. Obviously he vocally isn't right for the part, but I thought, for an tenor understudy who was imo too young for it, he did a sterling job. And I absolutely LOVE the end of his Soliloquy. Like his Valjean, there's a few little bits that make me go "why has nobody else done it like this?" Whatever he does with a part, he always stands out, which I appreciate, though I can understand that it's not everybody else's cup of tea (especially his Enjy :D)

I love your knowledge of the Japanese casts 24653 :D

Ok, one of my own. I think Little People is a better song for its purpose than Ten Little Bullets. I get why people like Ten Little Bullets and that it is way more bookish, but it just doesn't seem to have the same effect as Little People and I don't think the very last line being cut off works so well. Lyrically, I think its simplicity works better for your average audience member. And I really like the original version on the OLC cd.
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"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:20 am

I know that this is going to get me pilloried by half the Philippines and half of musical theater fans....but I don't particularly like Lea Salonga as Éponine. Granted, she was pretty good but there was a lot missing/dry in her acting at least in the TAC. I think other younger actresses were able to bring so much more to the role.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Acaila » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:37 am

Heh, I was wondering about posting that myself. :D
Jo Ampil is from the Philippines isn't she? Your country should be more proud of her, she was a truly awesome Éponine.
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"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:42 am

I think so.

Honest to goodness, Lea was more awesome as Fantine. And other Filipino/Fil-Am LM alums such as Ali Edwolt and Adam Jacobs have been just as good or even better. But no one remembers them that well because of the impact of the anniversary concerts.

And other unpopular opinion: I see Ramin as charismatic and all, but for me he is just not Enjolras, not after watching David Thaxton.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
YoungStudentMarius
Posts: 8158
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:43 am
Location: In the library

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:50 am

Heh...I've got one. :oops:

I can't stand Michael Ball as Marius. I just can't; it makes me want to burst out laughing every time. He's a fantastic singer, but there is no way I can take him seriously.

Agreed on Alfie Boe; he just didn't do anything for me, either.

And yes, I do like Little People. Though I am glad the full version was cut, but I do prefer it over Ten Little Bullets for the death scene itself.
Our chimeras are the things which most resemble us. Each of us dreams of the unknown and the impossible in accordance with his nature.

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Acaila » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:37 am

I never used to like Michael Ball but I've warmed to him a lot. But mostly that's because I stopped trying to take him seriously :D

And yes, Ramin is a great singer and performer, but ....yeah

Another thing I was wondering about confessing....David Thaxton is only my second favourite Enjolras. I believe I've seen it done better (though I still think he's great)
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"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

Enjolvert
Posts: 1453
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:40 pm
Location: With Valjean and Thenardier

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Enjolvert » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:19 am

For me Michael Ball is a very good singer like Marius said, but I'm not a massive fan of watching him on the TAC. He just doesn't seem to get across Marius' personality very well, but I think part of that is because he's in his 30s by then. With Marius, you can forgive him for his love for Cosette because he's young and naive, but Ball doesn't give you that impression at all and kind of makes you want to punch him. He is a very good singer though and has always seemed decent in interviews. I can certainly listen to him and enjoy him, but I'm just not a massive on him as others are.

With Boe and Karimloo, I think some fans can almost be frustrated when others say they're simply the greatest in their roles and no one can beat them, when those people have hardly heard anyone.

I did like Boe as Valjean. His voice is different and operatic, but that benefited him for BHH and it suited his voice perfectly. Perhaps he was better in the concert format, but because he's so comfortable with his voice it's like he can allow that to do a lot of the acting for him.

I actually do quite like Karimloo as well. Some of his vocals are brilliant because he's an incredible singer and a lot of his high notes were excellent to listen to. Perhaps not the most accurate Enjolras character wise but he's a very good actor and he almost gets across a sort of awe and wonder with the whole idea of the revolution which I like. I think I kind of preferred him as Phantom though. I'd also be interested in hearing his Valjean because while he is young right now, I think it's the sort of role that could suit him when he's older. Perhaps a 50th anniversary Valjean if he's not too old by then?
The law is unjust.

User avatar
Olivia_y
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:36 pm
Location: London

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Olivia_y » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:02 am

Lol, when I first watched the TAC I thought Michael Ball was kinda goofy-looking and resembled a hobbit :P, but then he proceeded to be adorable and won me over. Of course it helped that I already loved his singing (from the OLC recording).

User avatar
macaron
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby macaron » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:55 pm

I'm pretty sure Michael McCarthy is generally recognised as one of the great Javerts out there, but even though he was my first Javert in London and the one I've seen the most times, I never really warmed up to him. It wasn't his voice because his voice is great, as was his acting; it was his phrasing, the way he sang the lines - like, he would rush through or stretch out the "wrong" (to me) part of a line, or stress the "wrong" words. I never got used to it. Ridiculous, but true.

User avatar
Prisoner 24653
Posts: 748
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:12 pm

A few more (including agreement with some of those posted by others):

- I liked Ramin Karimloo's Enjolras in the early 2000s, but wasn't a huge fan of him in the 25th AC. At the time he did the concert, he seemed to be in this habit of singing everything with a 'rock singer' style, and he often sounded incredibly sharp on the 'big notes' (also noticeable with his Phantom around that time). He seemed to have tamed that a bit when he did the POTO 25th, though, and it was almost completely gone by the time he started playing Valjean, so I liked him there.

- I like Michael Ball's Marius alright, but think his performance of "Empty Chairs" on the CSR is the best I've ever heard from him -- for that reason (as well as the age thing and his emphasis on singing over acting), I was somewhat disappointed by him in the 10th AC.

- I've never been a big fan of Michael McCarthy's Javert, either. (I haven't liked him all that much in any musical role, really, now that I think about it.)

- I also love "Little People" -- the full version most of all, but I've come to terms with the shortened one used in the actual show, as well. Though I also like "Ten Little Bullets", but not for Gavroche's death. (A few years ago when I was toying with making my own screenplay for a film version just for fun, I thought about having that replace Gavvie's verse about the Thénardiers in "Look Down," but wasn't quite sure if it would work. :lol:)

- I don't think Herbert Kretzmer's lyrics are as bad as some fans say they are. They're not the greatest musical theatre lyrics ever, but I don't think they're awful (though I am curious about what James Fenton's might have been like, as well).

- In opposition not only to most Mizzies but also most fans of Japanese musical casts, I thought Yuichiro Yamaguchi fit the role of Valjean better than the Phantom. His singing as the Phantom was nice, sure, but what I saw of his acting in the role was simply atrocious; he seemed to have a better understanding of Valjean (though I admit I haven't seen video of him there; I'm just going from a voice-acting perspective).

- I also didn't really like Lea Salonga as Éponine. She was far better as Fantine, though at times her acting was a bit melodramatic for my taste.

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Acaila » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:28 pm

I cannot remember anything really about them, but I read some Fenton lyrics somewhere and was quite unimpressed by them. I like Kretzmer's personally :)

And McCarthy has done other roles? Surely you jest! :D (I really can't see him as anything other than Javert!)
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"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"


Return to “Les Misérables”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron