Remember a few posts ago, when I went off about the 25th Anniversary Les Miserables? You don't remember? Go scroll down, then come back.
Okay, ready? So, I Netflixed it and... well, Nick Jonas was terrible, but he wasn't alone. After the butchering of dearly beloved songs, they bring out the original cast. Then I scream, "They were listening to that!? Poor them."
This is not how Les Miserables should sound. Go Netflix the 10th Anniversary edition. I know I will. "Must. Get. Crap. Singing. Out. Of. Head."
My favorite of the cast was Enjolras, (Ramin Karimloo). But, if you don't have a good Enjolras, there's something wrong with you. I find I'm usually able to depend upon the talent of whoever's playing Enjolras.
Alfie Boe's Jean Valjean was all right.
I find it hard to believe that THAT was Lea Salonga as Fantine. 1st, why wasn't she playing Eponine, like a good Lea Salonga? 2nd, why was she going flat all the time?
Norm Lewis, along with most of the cast, didn't seem to have a great grasp of their character, (in his case, Javert.) While nothing was lacking in their talent except a sense of urgency, they needed to up-the-stakes. Javert's torment was non-existent, (as was his fabulous note at the end of "Javert's Suicide". The best note in the entire production and he yelled it. Could you not find the new key, Norm?)
Now a word about the villains you love to have, The Thenardiers. If you watch the 10th Anniversary edition, you'll see a delightful performance by Jenny Galloway (also a SPAT member in About a Boy). Jenny revises her role (albeit, with a less than awesome M. Thenardier this time. Sorry, Matt Lucas.) Only, Jenny's heart doesn't seem to be into it this time, as her performance in the 10th Anniversary edition is much, much better.
Perhaps this is all the director's fault. There are many directorial choices that are cheesy, and take away from the MUSIC of this musical.
I do so love Les Miserables, and I'm grateful whenever ANYONE puts it on. But go rent the 10th Edition and pretend you've never heard of the 25th. Let's hope the next one is much better.