Vive la révolution!

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 16, 2013

This is a big story with big emotions thundering across the stage. Of course, the potential impact is somewhat diminished by not having the big stage and production values of Broadway. (If the ill-fated revolutionaries are dwarfed by an enormous barricade they construct, the effect is visceral as well as metaphorical. Not possible here.) There are some deft directorial touches — such as humorously announcing Thénardier’s entrance to a ball by his thrusting his ticket into the doorway — but there are some missed opportunities of timing and character connection. (No eye contact between Valjean and the priest after the latter’s stunning generosity? What an ingrate.) Also, at the end of Valjean singing “Who Am I?,” as he steps toward the court to clear a man mistaken for him, we miss out on the dramatic effect of him opening his shirt to us to reveal his tattooed prison number. Little things like that.

Fine voices all around, though. Inconsistent production, but lovely musical.

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