The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9974
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Acaila » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Interesting that he got cast so quickly considering the heaps of callbacks other people seemed to go through!

"Any notes you get from the directors is like, 'make sure that this is in there because that is what the original intent of things were and this is what we're trying to do as well'"
There is so much I could say about that quote....oh so much! :twisted:

Snark aside, Kyle seems like a sweetheart, and I'm glad he loves the show.
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
Acaila
Posts: 9974
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Acaila » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:46 am

Here's a roundup of all the main reviews with links: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Re ... e-20140323

I have to be honest, it's getting better notices than I expected!
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
Auf die Barrikaden
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 2:36 pm
Location: In the heart of the city we claim as our own!
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:07 pm

Production photos: http://newyorktheater.me/2014/03/23/les ... -surprise/
http://2-ps.googleusercontent.com/x/www ... TzKmtU.jpg
This one is missing, anyone seen it in hi-res?

Production video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQy0yCUdqE

Reading through the reviews I'm mad at two things...
...not one mentioned that this production has a history dating back to 2008, which cuts the crap about "all new and exciting blah". It'd be so easy to drop this one, at least for someone proclaiming to know musical theatre (I'm looking at you, broadwayworld). Even the US tour is left out of the picture as if the Broadway revival 2.0 came out of nowhere.
...nothing really is new about this revival which hasn't been seen around the world in the past four years. And I find that deeply disappointing. I mean, come on. Where, if not on Broadway they could have shown a different Les Miz? They went for safe. But why? The material was there, the creative team was there. They could have bettered it, altered it, take in from the movie and as many past incarnations as you can imagine, use what was there, reshape and produce a true revival, a new one exclusively seen on Broadway for the very first time. They didn't even TRY out anything new, not in Toronto, not in previews. Regionals had more guts. Therefore I don't get the hype anymore.
Resident Les Miz prop expert and collector
Non licet omnibus adire Corinthum
Former Roles: Jesus (Jesus Christ Superstar), Dr Orin Scrivello (Little Shop of Horrors), Ensemble Cameo (Fame)

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9974
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Acaila » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:32 pm

Nothing actually exists before it was on Broadway :roll: That's why Les Mis must always be referred to as a *Broadway* musical, even when it's not playing there.
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
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby MmeBahorel » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:33 pm

With the amount of money involved, Broadway has been "safe" for years. Generations, really - it's why everything does out of town tryouts, so if it has to die, it does it without the expense of dying on Broadway.

We're talking orders of magnitude. A regional will cost a few hundred thousand; a Broadway show these days costs millions.

Thus, anything interesting on Broadway has transferred from elsewhere, and it starts to explain the sheer number of "safe" revivals (hello Fiddler and Into the Woods coming back again) and musicals made from popular films - these things will sell tickets and might have a chance to make back their multimillion dollar investment. It's the same problem in the West End, with different contract mechanisms, and I don't know the cost differential there, but the same problem - so expensive to do and thus so difficult to risk a flop. Les Mis started with an agreement with a non-commercial theatre, after all, so some of these issues of an expensive show possibly difficult to sell certainly do go back generations in London as well.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

Fireandwater1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Fireandwater1 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:56 pm

Just saw this today and LOVED it!

I unfortunately saw the understudy for Valjean, Aaron Walpole. He definitely did a great job, though I was disappointed I didn't see Ramin. Still, Walpole's Bring Him Home was truly special. I thought he overacted the beginning of the show, and seemed too "large" for the part, but towards the second act he really was amazing.

The new changes to the show I thought were refreshing and great. The ending to One Day More is better than ever. I liked some of the inclusion of a couple movie changes, such as Éponine saving Marius at the barricade when she gets shot like in the book, and Gavroche's verse in Look Down about liberty and equality. Also Javert having a bit of a moment when he looks at Gavroche's fallen body.

Thenardiers are hilarious, and the wedding scene is the best I've ever seen. They flesh out Éponine and Marius a bit more it feels like through interactions, and Gavroche is the biggest focus I've seen on him, with him and Grantaire's relationship given tons of screentime and being pretty adorable. When Éponine dies, Gavroche watches center stage as Grantaire hugs and comforts him. Really is a great scene, because Joshua Colley who played Gavroche is the best Gavroche I've personally ever seen. Tons of spunk, great voice, seems totally confident, and also gets to do a bit more emotional acting with showing his vulnerability with Grantaire like I mentioned above. (He also comforts Grantaire after Grantaire's verse in Drink with Me...really awesome stuff, and of course after Gavroche's death Grantaire is a focus.) That was my favorite change of the show. Also Gavroche literally flipped off Javert rather than just pumping the fist which was hilarious even if I dunno if it was accurate to the time period.

I thought Will Swenson was strange as Javert. His cadence in his voice is just...distracting at times, as it just seems very random and like he's trying to speak while singing and...I dunno. inflections were just weird. But he plays a very very unhinged Javert who's actually very animated and he nails it (Stars in the end while it wasn't sung as well as Quast he has this great moment where he swings around to the back of the stage and goes to one knee that is so fast and desperate. His reactions to Valjean at the barricade are just so great, and in the Confrontation there actually is a LOT more physicality now...Javert gets strangled by Valjean's chain and knocked down with a punch. Javert's suicide is just so crazy and awesome.) BY the end of the show he won me over.

As I said, Thenardiers were great. Tons of great physical comedy. Cliff Saunders is a riot and SOOOO physical. Crawling and stepping all over Marius in the sewer scene and amazing at the party scene. The wedding scene is again, the best rendition I've seen in my limited viewings. Tons of off the wall stuff, and it is so full of life. Really well done here.

Andy Mietus looks the part of Marius, and sings well but doesn't really reach any GREAT levels. Same with Levy as Fantine. I thought it was very strange having a black Éponine and black Enjolras, especially Enjolras because of how dark-skinned he was. Don't get me wrong, Kyle Scatliffe has a VERY strong voice, but....I couldn't get over how strange it was for that time period. But he really was great. Nikki James was the weak spot of the cast. Strong voice, but very grating and honestly annoying. On My Own was good but I felt no real emotion. If you like Lea Salonga though you'll probably like her I guess. Little Fall of Rain was very good...I liked the focus on Gavroche and the other students.

Anyways, a great show, and by the end, despite some of my problems with it I thought that it was amazing and would love to see it again. Highly reccomend it

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:12 am

It isn't at all strange for that time period. For over a century prior, and still at that period, and far later as well, French planters (both white and mixed-race) sent their children (both legitimate and illegitimate) to Paris to be educated as free men, and many, particularly illegitimate children who were technically slaves in the sugar islands, stayed because this was a very easy way to emancipate favoured bastards. Moreover, many families who owned lands in the colonies acted as absentee landlords, so one could very easily send a favoured bastard to be educated in France, he would be emancipated by default, and be able to inherit and run the lands from the metropole rather than coming back to a deeply and very complicatedly racist culture in the islands. In mainland France, race was not a significant factor and generally came up as a physical descriptor or a way to severely insult someone you hated for other reasons. Alex Dumas was an outlier not in his race but in his military career, and even that was a factor of the times in which he came to France. His son, Alexandre Dumas père, was not an outlier in the least.

Enjolras, or any of the students - even Marius - are the most obvious characters who could have been black in that period, largely because you don't even have to consider whether you want family members to "match" when casting. Valjean, not so much only because of the way the plot functions, and same with Fantine, because of Cosette - with Valjean and Cosette on the run, they'll stand out less. Thenardier family, Javert - could work. Would probably have come from a port city originally, have been sailors or descended from sailors, or from servants brought home to the metropole by landholding families. These are the major inroads for working-class black population in this period.

But considering all the other ways in which the musical makes it a little difficult to believe that Valjean can't be easily found out (brand or numbers on his chest? Numbers, especially, wth, original lyrics?), it doesn't matter if Valjean is white, black, or Iranian. Race never comes up in the source material (the novel has one black character, and he's just part of the list of Patron Minette members), so race has nothing to do with the show and can be ignored in the casting.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9974
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Acaila » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:02 am

You know, that is actually an interesting point. I've not seen a single person complaining "period inaccuracy" about Ramin.

Has there ever been a non-white Thenardier out of interest? I know all the other principals have been played by persons of colour before, but I couldn't think of a Thenardier.
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
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:37 am

Not on Broadway or in London, but Ken Page did it at MUNY in St Louis the first time around (2007).

My big concern for years has been with all the Kim to Éponine or Fantine hiring, why has no Engineer been hired for Thenardier? Why was no Thuy ever hired in? The casting of non-white males was terrible for years. Even when the last Broadway revival hired non-white male ensemble, only one of them was an understudy (Nehal Joshi - of Indian descent - for Enjolras). They had two black guys in the role of Montparnasse, but Parnasse understudied nothing. And when Nehal left, he was replaced by very blond Anderson Davis (this is not a complaint about Anderson - he was fantastic as a vacation swing and the hire was well-deserved). The hiring of Adam Jacobs for the tour back in 2005 was tremendously important because it was the first time one of the young male leads, not as understudies, was not white. (Ramin had been cover, and so had Clifton Hall with the tour back in the mid/late 1990s.)

This is mostly me being personally bitter because Joe Foronda and Thom Sesma would both be excellent Thenardiers and I want to see that.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:52 pm

Let me rephrase that Marius comment. It was the first time I'd seen either of the young male featured roles played by a visibly ethnic minority actor (other than the Ricky Martin stunt casting that we all tried to forget about) on a regular basis rather than as an understudy. And even the understudies had v. white features: Clifton Hall is hapa, but he understudied Chris in Miss Saigon. Ed Juvier as understudy Marius looked pretty much like Josh Young as Marius. John Haggerty (also hapa - much more Asian in appearance than Clifton Hall) was in and out of Broadway and 3NT but he never understudied a proper role - when he was Claquesous, the not-Lesgle Thenardier cover was Scott Logsdon, who was a swing, and when he filled in as Feuilly, Matt Clemens ended up listed as Enjolras cover (Matt was also a swing).

Other than Ricky Martin's stunt casting, Marius and Enjolras were always white in appearance, even down to the understudies until the previous revival. And even then, we're looking to Adam and Nehal. While on the female side, discounting the Melba Moore stunt casting, we began to see visibly asian and visibly black casting both as regular and as understudy (thus fairly constant visible presence in the ensemble) since c. 1993. What makes for a nasty racial imbalance is that the female characters have little agency and two of them die horribly (and are the most likely ones to be cast with visibly minority actors), while the male characters who do have agency and who "win" (Marius and Thenardier are still alive at the end, having gotten precisely what they want) are very rarely cast with visibly minority actors. That imbalance may not be intentionally racist, but I think it does say something when certain characters have been permitted to non-white actors earlier than others, probably because those characters are more "acceptable" to audiences when non-white.

On the West End, Cornell John and Shaun Escoffery were brought in a few months after Adam Jacobs was hired. Adam came in late 2004 or very beginning 2005 (I saw him in January 05, but I don't remember his actual hire date); that cast change in London came later the same year.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
Prisoner 24653
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:32 am

The Tony Award nominations were announced today, and the new revival is up for 3:

Best Revival of a Musical (Les Misérables)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Ramin Karimloo)
Best Sound Design of a Musical (Mick Potter)

Hope it wins some! :D

And you can check out the full list of nominees here:
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/20 ... 1_T0F5rErw

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9974
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Acaila » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:36 pm

The following is a comment exists despite the best efforts of several burly men and women to physically restrain the commenter:

What? No best directing nomination?! Oh, how surprising!





(I do hope it wins Best Revival at least I suppose)
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
deHavilland
Posts: 4843
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:21 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby deHavilland » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:40 pm

Without having seen Hedwig and Violet, I can't really speak to how I think it should do in the category, but to be honest, I really wouldn't be all that disappointed if Les Mis lost. If the Toronto cast was up there, I'd be campaigning in the streets, but despite the fact that there's some very talented cast members that I really enjoy in the current Revival, it's not a production or a cast I necessarily feel is Tony-worthy on the whole. Which is a pity, because obviously I love Les Mis, but I feel like it could have been so much better.
"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!"

User avatar
Prisoner 24653
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:24 am

Is it just me, or have none of the premiere casts of this show on Broadway been all that great? They've all had some superb performers, but the cast overall seems to have been pretty mediocre all three times. And one of the major weak points has always been Javert and/or Fantine, it seems.

There's a Japanese-language TV station in my neck of the woods that I watch quite often. On the news today, they had a feature on Broadway musicals, mainly focusing on the new shows. They showed clips from the LM revival, as well as Beautiful, Rocky, and Aladdin (as well as The Lion King, for some reason). No mention of the Cabaret revival, though. But still, it was quite interesting to see a news program from another country highlighting an American production of the show.

User avatar
deHavilland
Posts: 4843
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:21 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Contact:

Re: The New Broadway Revival - Starting March 2014

Postby deHavilland » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:20 am

It's funny that you mention the lack of Cabaret, because I noticed that in the Tonys this year as well. There's maybe less buzz because it's always been viewed as a vessel for the Emcee, and Alan Cumming having already won for the role in 1998 was ineligible to be nominated again, but the Best Revival category easily had space for Cabaret to get a nom and yet...
"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!"


Return to “Les Misérables”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest