Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sometimes you just have to sit in the sun.

And no, that's not actually a metaphor for anything. Although I suppose it could be...something about living optimistically or in God's light or being your best self or, you know...something.
But really, I'm just cold this morning.
So I found this piece of sun splayed out across the carpet in my living room and I'm sitting in it. It feels good. Even if it's making a glare on the laptop screen.

I saw Les Miserables at Hale Centre Theatre last night. It packed such an emotional wallop that even this morning I tear up when I talk with anyone about it.

The movie didn't make me cry.
Frankly, the movie bugged me. (I know that's unpopular to say.)
But no....I didn't find it to be the great and mighty movie viewing experience that most of the masses did.

Oh, I liked it fine. There was a lot of good in it. Things even, that I was really impressed with and quite enjoyed. But overall, it was a let down.

Why, oh why, why, WHY did they not hire real singers? Big names with star power to bring in the audience? It was Les Mis, for heavens sake! Of course people would've come regardless of if Wolverine was in the show or not! And while I appreciate the fact that Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and the like could actually hold a tune in a bucket, they did not have anywhere close to the vocal depth to pull off and do justice to those songs.
I got in a bit of a tiff with someone on-line over this. It's a movie, she said. Not a musical on the stage. Of course they're going to hire actors over singers.
To which I scratched my head and said, Ummm....huh??
The movie is 99% SINGING!
Ever hear of Broadway? Those folks can sing AND act! (And they do it all in one take, every single day of the week! A little nod there to the "impressive" feat of having the actors in the film do their songs "live" on camera rather than in multiple takes.)

So last night at Hale Centre Theatre I figured I'd get a good performance. I'd seen the cast list and knew they had some stellar talent. But being that Les Miserables is quite a demanding show...could they really pull it off in their "theatre in the round?"

Oh boy, they could and how! What I got was more than just a good performance. In my opinion, it was one of their best. Ever. And I sat there and wished mightily that all the masses that raved about the movie could see THIS show and understand what Les Mis truly can be.

Oh, it wasn't perfect, certainly. But that show, those actors with all the feeling and emotion they packed into their singing, their facial expressions, their entire performances....I felt like I understood the story more than I had ever before. I've seen the movie. I've seen the Broadway version. I've been listening to the soundtrack since high school. I know the story and its message well. Except, last night showed me that maybe I didn't. At least not as well as I thought. Tears streaming down my cheeks, I felt like I had gone beyond knowing the show to finally, really getting it.

Justice and mercy. Light and darkness. Grief and heartache. Forgiveness and love.

Maybe sitting in the sun is an appropriate metaphor after all.....


Julie DeMille said...

I was extremely disappointed in the movie, too. I'm not musical in any way, but I've been listening to the original broadway recording since my mission (a LONG time ago) and I fully expected stellar singing in the movie version. I've seen high school versions with better singers.
I wish I could see the Hale Center play, sounds amazing.

Chellie said...

I would really, really like to share this with my friends at the Theatre. You have such a way with words, and as an actor it is so nice to not only hear "good job" but that you affect someone in some way.

Shauna said...

Kevin and I agree about the movie. He calls is a really well shot high school musical. We haven't seen Hale's version though I've heard good things.

Josh Richardson said...

I'm so glad you liked the show! We've put a lot of heart and soul into it, and it's so gratifying to hear about the impact it has on people. Thank you so much for coming to see us, and for saying such nice things!