‘Les Miserables’ returns, full-voiced but short on subtlety

Though I’ve misplaced rely of what number of occasions I’ve seen “Les Miserables” in all its many incarnations through the years, the present’s official statisticians report that since its world premiere in London in 1985 it has been seen by greater than 70 million individuals in forty four nations and 22 languages. And that very probably eclipses the quantity of people that have learn the huge Victor Hugo novel upon which it’s based mostly.

When: Via Oct. 29
The place: Cadillac Palace Theatre,
151 W. Randolph
Tickets: $fifty five – $one hundred eighty
Information: (800) 775-2000
Run time: 2 hours and 50 minutes
with one intermission

Matt Shingledecker (middle) performs Enjolras, the scholar insurgent, within the nationwide touring manufacturing of “Les Miserables.” (Photograph: Matthew Murphy)

Alongside the best way, producer Cameron Waterproof coat has taken no shortcuts in mounting his revivals and touring productions of what, by any measure, is a monumental musical on the size of a grand opera. He additionally has seen to it that improvements, notably in set design, have stored tempo with modern stagecraft. And he absolutely respects the truth that because the many years roll by there’s nonetheless a “first encounter” with the present for a lot of within the viewers. The musical’s lavish rating — the work of composer Claude-Michel Schonberg (with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the unique French textual content by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel) — could also be extensively recognized (and even parodied). However expectations for the reside efficiency stay excessive.

The present touring version of the present, directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, is certainly visually beautiful, with the spectacular units (impressed by Hugo’s personal evocative work) created for the present’s twenty fifth anniversary revival in 2009 and designed by Matt Kinley, with projections by Fifty-9 Productions. And the forged is full of energy voices. However typically the entire enterprise feels extra intent on flashiness, and by hitting the large moments with additional pressure and utilizing much more specific violence than I recall from earlier stagings, the story loses its all-necessary emotional coronary heart. Additionally misplaced at occasions are many lyrics — typically drowned out by an overamplified orchestra, and typically merely sacrificed to lovely tone. Paradoxically, it’s the youngsters within the present whose diction is most exact.

As well as, the passage of time on this epic story of injustice, inequality, greed, redemption and love will get considerably muddled because it strikes via three…

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