Unpopular Opinions

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: Unpopular Opinions

Postby deHavilland » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:35 am

_23623_ wrote: Having spent 3 years in this fandom, I still can't tell who's who in musical Amis. For me they're just unimportant ensemble roles and I don't think directors will put effort in finding perfect match for their book counterparts.


I don't think it's really expected that the production team is sitting at open calls with highlighted bricks that say their ideal Combeferre must have such-and-such specific qualities. Outside of their interests and ideals, Hugo makes a point to be very vague: Combeferre can be wildly overweight, Bahorel can be 4 feet tall, Courfeyrac can be missing an eyeball, it's all relative. The part where the characters are really well-embodied by the actors portraying them falls down to the actor's ability to act moreso than anything else, which is what is usually being sought after in an audition anyway. A good actor will take the time to actually read the novel and pay attention to what Hugo has to say about their character and may make an effort to try and incorporate that into their performance. I always think about Jonathan Winsby as an example, because as Courfeyrac he made a point of showing the audience that he and Marius share a pretty deep friendship, even though none of the scenes from the novel that actually illustrate that have made it into the show.

Fandom's interest in Les Amis certainly overshadows the interest of Cammack and Associates -- but at the same time, when you translate a thousand-paged novel into a three hour show, you have to leave a few details to the audience's imagination.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Acaila » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:09 pm

This thread might be handy for telling barricade boys apart in the versions that there are on the DVD: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2512
The costumes aren't all right for the stage version though, that's the point where you need to remember who sings what line, or start memorising your programme/playbill.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Ursula_F » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:29 am

I really don't care much about what's going on at the barricade. Having spent 3 years in this fandom, I still can't tell who's who in musical Amis.


Oh, wow...I'm the same way, but never dared to admit it because I know the boys are so popular! But since you broke the ice...The characters I'm most invested in are Valjean and Javert. Fantine's arc moves me too, and Valjean getting little Cosette. And in the book, I also really loved Gavroche's chapters, and Marius and Cosette's courtship (which didn't interest me in the musical or movie, but is much better in the book). And the Thenardiers are really fun in the musical, and scary as hell in the book.

But as for the barricade boys...well...I do like Enjolras' intensity and passion, and the priceless "You've GOT to be kidding me" look he gives Marius in the movie when Marius is singing about Cosette, and I love the line "Who cares about your lonely soul?" And I like Grantaire's humor (especially the "I am agog! I am aghast!" verse), and his closeness to Gavroche and devastation at Gavroche's death. But that's about it. And the other boys all blur together to me (and I DID read the Brick, but I still don't really care about them! I'm sorry!).

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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby 23623 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:41 pm

deHavilland wrote:The part where the characters are really well-embodied by the actors portraying them falls down to the actor's ability to act moreso than anything else, which is what is usually being sought after in an audition anyway. A good actor will take the time to actually read the novel and pay attention to what Hugo has to say about their character and may make an effort to try and incorporate that into their performance.

Agreed. I really respect those who spend time studying source materials (and even though their parts are rather minor). What I wanted to say was just that musical amis are not so important to me. They are just ensemble roles with names. I'm fine if they are played by bad actors (usually I won't notice to be honest). A terrible...say, Courfeyrac, is certainly more bearable than a terrible Valjean. :mrgreen:

Acaila wrote:This thread might be handy for telling barricade boys apart in the versions that there are on the DVD: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2512

Thank you, Acaila! This thread is quite helpful. And the CATS idea is priceless. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ursula_F wrote:Oh, wow...I'm the same way, but never dared to admit it because I know the boys are so popular! But since you broke the ice...The characters I'm most invested in are Valjean and Javert. Fantine's arc moves me too, and Valjean getting little Cosette. And in the book, I also really loved Gavroche's chapters, and Marius and Cosette's courtship (which didn't interest me in the musical or movie, but is much better in the book). And the Thenardiers are really fun in the musical, and scary as hell in the book.

But as for the barricade boys...well...I do like Enjolras' intensity and passion, and the priceless "You've GOT to be kidding me" look he gives Marius in the movie when Marius is singing about Cosette, and I love the line "Who cares about your lonely soul?" And I like Grantaire's humor (especially the "I am agog! I am aghast!" verse), and his closeness to Gavroche and devastation at Gavroche's death. But that's about it. And the other boys all blur together to me (and I DID read the Brick, but I still don't really care about them! I'm sorry!).

I. Totally. Agree. With. This.
I was introduced by the movie and then watched TAC. For a loooooong time I didn't even know Enjolras' name because it is never stated in the movie! :shock: I finally started paying attention to him after discovering CSR (because Anthony Warlow is just impossible not to pay attention to) but I still can't get attached to him. Don't know why. *sincerely apologizes to the whole fandom*
One more thing about the Thenardiers. I hate them so much that I want to kill them in the most merciless way (same with Tholomyes if he made an appearance in the musical). I think it's really unfair that they don't get any notable punishment in the musical. That's why I really appreciate badass Valjean being as badass as he can to Thenardiers while taking Cosette away! :D

Prisoner 24653 wrote:- 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.

Wait, is he an unpopular Valjean??? I refuse to believe this. While searching for Christian Müller's phantom videos I by chance came across an audio of this guy singing BHH. I'm not kidding: this is the best BHH I've ever heard. I used to hate this guy as der Tod but his BHH totally changed my attitude about him. Haven't seen his acting though...well there may be some videos but seeing him means also seeing Kroger...urgh...
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:02 pm

23623 wrote:
Prisoner 24653 wrote:- 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.

Wait, is he an unpopular Valjean??? I refuse to believe this. While searching for Christian Müller's phantom videos I by chance came across an audio of this guy singing BHH. I'm not kidding: this is the best BHH I've ever heard. I used to hate this guy as der Tod but his BHH totally changed my attitude about him. Haven't seen his acting though...well there may be some videos but seeing him means also seeing Kroger...urgh...


Yeah... When I posted that, I was remembering one forum thread in which a few folks said they disliked his Valjean, and so I assumed that was the popular opinion and couldn't understand why! Don't even remember what forum that was -- might've been MdN, but hey. Glad to know there are others who appreciate Olegg! :D

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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:02 pm

I'm quite new to the fandom, so I'm not sure which of my opinions are considered unpopular.
I actually like Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. The soft quality in her voice works really well for that character and for film, although she wouldn't be ideal in a stage performance. My favourite Les Mis song is the ABC Cafe. I wish they'd kept the full length version in the movie. I think the kid who plays Gavroche in the 25th anniversary concert is annoying beyond belief, altough I love Daniel Huttlestone. Hadley Fraser is one my favourite Grantaire's, and Aaron Tveit is my favourite Enjolras (With Ramin as my favourite as far as stage versions) *prepares to be stoned*
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby 23623 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:14 pm

Not sure if it's unpopular, but, in defense of the movie, I really like Anne as Fantine. She's still my favorite Fantine. Yes I'm serious. *also prepares to be stoned*

Samantha used to be my favorite Eppie, but that was when I had only watched the movie, TAC and 25AC. And now my favorite Eppie is the girl from CSR. Even more unpopular. :oops:

I don't like the Gavroche in 25AC either. Ramin is one of my favorite...Valjeans. I assume this is unpopular because my friends are all like :shock: when I tell them so. I'm (not) sorry. 8)
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby CC21106 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:49 pm

23623 wrote:Not sure if it's unpopular, but, in defense of the movie, I really like Anne as Fantine. She's still my favorite Fantine. Yes I'm serious. *also prepares to be stoned*

The hair's all wrong! Just like in every production. She's supposed to have thick blonde hair that reaches to her knees. Nobody would pay for Anne's skimpy locks. The hair cutting scene is impressive but really, I'm just not happy with a black-haired Fantine. And she's supposed to wear it up. All grown women wore their hair up. As for the acting, well, I need to watch the movie again.

Sorry, picky about the wrong things. :oops:
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby deHavilland » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:47 pm

23623 wrote: Ramin is one of my favorite...Valjeans. I assume this is unpopular because my friends are all like :shock: when I tell them so. I'm (not) sorry. 8)


This is actually not that unpopular. But I think you get the eyerolls because Ramin has for a long time been so popular and his fans so loud, that it's kind of annoyed everyone who prefers someone other than Ramin. Having seen his transition from the West End, to Toronto, to Broadway, his performance has definitely evolved and he's certainly not a bad Valjean.
"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: Unpopular Opinions

Postby 23623 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:50 pm

CC21106 wrote:
23623 wrote:Not sure if it's unpopular, but, in defense of the movie, I really like Anne as Fantine. She's still my favorite Fantine. Yes I'm serious. *also prepares to be stoned*

The hair's all wrong! Just like in every production. She's supposed to have thick blonde hair that reaches to her knees. Nobody would pay for Anne's skimpy locks. The hair cutting scene is impressive but really, I'm just not happy with a black-haired Fantine. And she's supposed to wear it up. All grown women wore their hair up. As for the acting, well, I need to watch the movie again.

Sorry, picky about the wrong things. :oops:

Haha it's fine. I'm really picky about musical Fantines. Though usually ainging is not a big problem, I haven't seen anyone who can act as the Fantine I've pictured and is physically convincing. And what I like most about Anne is exactly her acting. Her singing is obviously weaker than professional musical theater actresses, but her amazing acting has made up for that. Have to say that I don't really care about hair color though. But it's indeed weird that in the movie Fantine is black-haired while Cosette is blond. It's not like that in the book, and not biologically possible either. :mrgreen:

When it comes to Enjolras though, there was a time when I actually prefer him dark-haired. Terrible though he is, that TAC guy does look like a leader type. He's much more mature and collected than Tveit. I was a bit surprised to find that in the book Enjy is indeed blond and is only 22 (i.e. closer to movie than TAC). :shock: No offense to all blonds here btw!
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby 23623 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:53 pm

deHavilland wrote:
23623 wrote: Ramin is one of my favorite...Valjeans. I assume this is unpopular because my friends are all like :shock: when I tell them so. I'm (not) sorry. 8)


This is actually not that unpopular. But I think you get the eyerolls because Ramin has for a long time been so popular and his fans so loud, that it's kind of annoyed everyone who prefers someone other than Ramin. Having seen his transition from the West End, to Toronto, to Broadway, his performance has definitely evolved and he's certainly not a bad Valjean.

Glad to know that I'm with the majority! :D

But the thing is, my friends are not really that into musical theater as I am, and Ramin and Colm are probably the only actors they know. They seriously think Ramin is incapable of being Valjean without actually seeing anything of him in Les Mis. And yes, it was POTO 25AC that started all of this. :roll: I know I shouldn't have taken them as the mainstream opinion but considering Ramin's popularity...there are probably more people who will think like that. :oops: Popular fallacy I guess?

This also reminds me that I used to think Sarich would be a terrible Valjean but ended up liking him. On the other hand, I have hardcore Colm fan friends who always Enjy-stare me because he's not my favorite Valjean. My life as a mizzie is really hard. :lol:
Last edited by 23623 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby deHavilland » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:58 pm

Honestly, the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom was just so bad all around that I'm impressed anyone involved in it is currently anywhere other than a bread line. Especially whoever thought casting Hadley Fraser as the world's most dispassionate Raoul was a good idea.
"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: Unpopular Opinions

Postby 23623 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:02 pm

Haha exactly. It was my introduction to POTO (bad enough, lol) and to some extent it affected my overall opinion of this show. The acting was just unbearable. :roll:
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby CC21106 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:27 am

23623 wrote:.... On the other hand, I have hardcore Colm fan friends who always Enjy-stare me because he's not my favorite Valjean. My life as a mizzie is really hard. :lol:

I have a dirty Mis secret: I don't like Colm at all.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions

Postby CC21106 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:42 am

23623 wrote:.... It's not like that in the book, and not biologically possible either. :mrgreen:

What's not in the book and not biologically possible? I missed something here.

When it comes to Enjolras though, there was a time when I actually prefer him dark-haired. ... No offense to all blonds here btw!

Likewise no offense but I never thought of blonds as leaders in general. I guess I just never think about guys being blond. Women, sure, because half of them bleach their hair, and I've known a natural blond or two. I think of leaders as dark. But blond Enjy in the movie was ideal. He looked the part. I really have to watch that movie again!
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