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Jean Valjean Valjean Valjean Valjean
June 5, 2012 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Four Valjeans sing "Bring Him Home". From the encore of the Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert (previously). Another highlight: One Day More from the encore, featuring most of the original cast. The entire show is also available in 12 parts on Youtube: posted by kmz (55 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, was going to link this but forgot... trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of the musical.
posted by kmz at 9:41 AM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


With that cast, the movie better not suck. I am so, so ridiculously excited for it from that trailer.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:44 AM on June 5, 2012


Somewhere in there, you can see Chairman Kaga as the Japanese Jean Valjean. I shit you not.
posted by Madamina at 9:49 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I got to see this shown in a movie theatre last year, and it was absolutely stunning. Growing up, this was one of my favorite musicals, and this rendition of it was beautiful enough to give me chills. Almost everyone else in the theatre seemed to have felt the same way.

Norm Lewis's performance as Javert is almost stunningly good. I'm a bit disappointed that he won't be reprising the role in the movie. Also, I usually wouldn't forgive something as self-indulgent as the encore at the end, but the performance was good enough that they earned every bit of it. It was used to wonderful effect.

If you like it, go out and buy the DVD or Blu-Ray. It's hands-down the best recorded stage performance that I've ever seen.

Also, can we talk about how Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are going to be playing the innkeepers in the movie? I'm pretty excited about that.
posted by schmod at 9:50 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to sit here all day and indulge myself in one of my guiltiest pleasures. Singing along to every single word in every single one of the songs posted here.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 9:50 AM on June 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


You will pry the 10th anniversary DVD out of my cold dead hands, but this one definitely had some beautiful moments, especially the four Valjeans and Frances Rufelle *slobber*.

When I first began the long process of needing passwords for computer things in 1990, I had just seen Les Miz in Boston and listened to the audio recording for the millionth time. Now all of my passwords have something to do with the characters in Les Miz.
posted by Melismata at 9:50 AM on June 5, 2012


Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel singing "The Confrontation"

There is just something about this musical that captivates people from childhood. My brother and I used to perform that song in our living room. He liked to be Javert. It looked basically exactly like this, down to pounding on the table and raising our fists.
posted by muddgirl at 9:53 AM on June 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Every time The Confrontation comes up on my iPod, I have to play it twice. Once so I can sing along as Valjean, once as Javert.

Nobody I know wants to sing it with me, probably because they know I'd demand we sing it every time I see them.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:55 AM on June 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


My 11-year-old self is going to force my 34-year-old self to see this movie, and my 34-year-old self will love every minute.

Also, totally out of date but I love it: Les Misbarack
posted by lunasol at 9:55 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Somewhere in there, you can see Chairman Kaga as the Japanese Jean Valjean. I shit you not.

He was in the encore for the 10th anniversary concert, not the 25th, as far as I know. Sadly, it looks like most of the links in the previous post are now dead. Here's the encore with the international Valjeans, at least.

Norm Lewis's performance as Javert is almost stunningly good. I'm a bit disappointed that he won't be reprising the role in the movie.

Alfie Boe, Norm Lewis and Ramin Karimloo were revelatory to this musicals dabbler. I think in terms of the main musical the 10th is a bit stronger, if only because of Nick Jonas. Poor guy tried, but his singing just wasn't quite there.

I'm a bit worried about Russell Crowe as Javert, but everybody else has me quite excited for the movie.
posted by kmz at 9:56 AM on June 5, 2012


There is just something about this musical that captivates people from childhood.

It's just so dramatic, full of big emotions and confrontations, and battles and romance. And the music complements that. There is absolutely nothing subtle about it.
posted by lunasol at 9:57 AM on June 5, 2012


I'm seein' double here! Four Valjeans!
posted by barnacles at 9:58 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, this is great!
posted by likeatoaster at 10:01 AM on June 5, 2012


Also, can we talk about how Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are going to be playing the innkeepers in the movie?

I don't think they could have chosen better for the Thenardiers. I'm no fan of Cohen as a rule, but I loved his performance in Sweeney Todd, and Helena Bonham Carter is pretty much a professional hag at this point, so it's going to be awesome.

However, I am so very over Amanda Seyfried. She looks like a fish. Seriously, her eyes are on either side of her head. How she doesn't walk into doorways all the time is beyond me.
posted by Gator at 10:02 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's just so dramatic, full of big emotions and confrontations, and battles and romance. And the music complements that.

My college work-study job was in the administrative office for NYU's graduate musical theater program (which was a writing program rather than a performance one - think "we're training the next Rodgers & Hammerstein" rather than "we're training the next Tommy Tune"). They thus had a lot of musical soundtracks lying around, understandably. And we always knew when one of my co-workers was having a really hard day because he would get the Les Miserables soundtrack, retreat into a private office to do his work, and blast the Overture on repeat; something about the big bombast and minor chords just seemed sufficiently angry and "get out of my way" to cheer him up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on June 5, 2012


I am so totally going to that movie on opening night. And I will weep. The trailer looks so good.

(Helena Bonham Carter OMG!)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:09 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am so totally going to that movie on opening night.

Me too. Dressed as Darth Valjean.

Javert the Hut?
posted by hal9k at 10:20 AM on June 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


There is just something about this musical that captivates people from childhood.
It's just so dramatic, full of big emotions and confrontations, and battles and romance. And the music complements that. There is absolutely nothing subtle about it.

Also, there's a curse word.
posted by inigo2 at 10:25 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You, dear kmz, have just made my day. Thank you!
posted by alynnk at 10:34 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a great memory of sitting in my little apartment fifteen years ago, watching the 10th anniversary concert on PBS (more like "listening to," since I didn't have cable and my reception was dubious). I realized I could still remember all the words, just like in high school. And then suddenly I realized that not only was I still fine with singing "I Dreamed a Dream," but I wasn't struggling when I sang "Stars," that I could actually hit most of the low notes--very unlike high school.

I'd heard that women's voices continued to change long after men's stopped changing (until age 35, I believe), but I hadn't had such concrete evidence until that point. Shortly after I met my husband I said that if my voice really did keep changing until I was 35, by then I'd be Barry White. For some reason he's never forgotten that, even though I'm now past 35 and not quite Barry yet.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:36 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, no. The canonical one-man-One Day More is here.
posted by prefpara at 10:47 AM on June 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I always sneered at stage musicals until I saw Les Miserables. Back when Colm Wilkinson was in it. It helped that the story was great. Good old Vic Huge.
posted by Decani at 10:58 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having been in a high school show that featured several songs from Les Miz, I still love the show, but it's like there's a shadow version that plays alongside with all the goofy inside jokes and parody songs we made up backstage. I still crack up imagining the "phantom faces" we would make at each other in the wings during "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables". There are very few people I can imagine seeing the movie with, and thank God they're from Rhode Island, so none of them have moved very far away!
posted by Biblio at 11:01 AM on June 5, 2012


I don't even like that song, and damn was that version cool.
posted by moviehawk at 11:25 AM on June 5, 2012


I am absolutely in love with this post - thanks for this! I didn't know they're making a movie out of it! I had a friend back in college that loved musicals and Les Miserables was his favorite. I never understood his enthusiasm until I actually saw Les Mis many years later (Sorry Dan, I should have listened to you). I cry shamelessly evertime I see Les Mis, and the movie will be no different. I can't wait!
posted by random thoughts at 11:25 AM on June 5, 2012


Yes! Thank you for posting. So funny, the Les Miserables trailer got me watching the entire 10th Anniversary concert last week (also available on youtube). And I'd already seen it several times before!

I hadn't yet started on the 25th anniversary concert so this is perfect.

Oh, and Colm is the best Valjean. It will always be Colm, hands-down!

(Russell Crowe as Javert??? Ugh. He doesn't have the voice for it).
posted by janerica at 11:38 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, no. The canonical one-man-One Day More is here .

That is amaze-balls. Thank you.
posted by ColdChef at 11:55 AM on June 5, 2012


Goodbye afternoon. Nobody die, I'll be watching this.
posted by ColdChef at 12:00 PM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and Colm is the best Valjean. It will always be Colm, hands-down!

I used to think that.

Then I saw Alfie Boe sing it in this anniversary concert. Colm who?
posted by dnash at 12:10 PM on June 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


True story: I planned to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" at my 6th grade choir tryout (although I think I was sick that day). That is a pretty cynical song for an 11 year old.
posted by muddgirl at 12:44 PM on June 5, 2012


schmod: "Also, can we talk about how Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are going to be playing the innkeepers in the movie? I'm pretty excited about that."

Really? Really? OMGI'msoexcitedIcouldbarfrightnowIfyouarelyingtomeIswearIwillhuntyoudownandhurtyou!

(googles...)

SQUEEEEEE!
posted by IAmBroom at 12:48 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to think that. Then I saw Alfie Boe sing it in this anniversary concert. Colm who?

I gave him a listen (since your comment was quite persuasive), but I think my ear has been permanently trained to need to hear Colm's voice singing that part! Too much listening to the Original London Cast CD...my parents used to play it constantly when it was first released, then my dad played it whenever we were in the car.

I think Alfie Boe has the better classically-trained operatic voice though--it's beautiful.
posted by janerica at 1:03 PM on June 5, 2012


That is a pretty cynical song for an 11 year old.

♪♫ He slept a summer by my siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide... ♫♪
posted by Gator at 1:03 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well we can't talk about the 10th Anniversary concert without discussing when the light fixture exploded toward the end of Castle on a Cloud (direct link to 1:41) and Hannah Chick flinched ever so briefly, but TOTALLY KEPT IT TOGETHER! And it was on "...crying at all is not allowed." Such a pro!
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:37 PM on June 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


I remember being an 11-year-old paying daily tribute to the Original Broadway recording and finally one day breaking down and asking my mom to PLEASE explain what the hell, "It's because Fantine won't give him his way/take a look at his trousers, you'll see where he stands," meant.

Ah, sweet mists of memory.
posted by superfluousm at 1:41 PM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


My best friend in college and I would do Fantine's death scene at parties. We were super cool!!
posted by pearlybob at 1:47 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "precious Valjean" can easily become the "shameful Valjean".
posted by Trurl at 2:37 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap! Is that Christopher Hitchens in the encore singing Javert?
posted by ColdChef at 4:01 PM on June 5, 2012


muddgirl, I sang "On My Own" at mine!
posted by nonasuch at 4:33 PM on June 5, 2012


When I heard about the Les Misérables movie, I thought it was another book adaptation - now that I know it's the musical, I am so excited. So excited! The karaoke place I go to has "A Little Fall of Rain" but not "On My Own," which makes me sad, but is probably good for everyone else because otherwise I would sing "On My Own" every time.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:43 PM on June 5, 2012


My God. I've never been that fond of "Bring Him Home" until now. That performance with the four singers was stunning.
posted by dlugoczaj at 4:59 PM on June 5, 2012


as for the movie version, you have to realize there are always going to be compromises between who is a big name star and who is ideal for the part. ideals are always going to be the broadway actors, yes, but nobody knows them; they won't sell tickets.
Russell Crowe as Javert seems about as spot-on as you can get: a big name star who audiences expect to be tough and disciplined. the same with the Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers; they're the top of their game for character parts, although not necessarily fitting the character types we're used to.
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean is a bit of a stretch if you ask me. They're going for strong, likeable and humble, which works; but i think it moves too far away from what we expect of the Valjean character, middle aged and peculiarly strong. going that route bob hoskins or michael chiklis would have been closer to the part. but of course, they're not as famous, and maybe not as appealing to a general audience. and of course Jackman has done musical theatre, which tips the balance in his favor.
as for singing voices, that's anybody's guess. i imagine most of the actors have enough experience and voice training to pull it off, for those who don't, additional training and autotune can work wonders; and if they bring in a singer ringer for the odd passage i'm sure no one will be the wiser.
posted by camdan at 5:10 PM on June 5, 2012


Colm fans - he's playing the Bishop of Digne in the movie. :')
posted by sarahsynonymous at 5:37 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


There was a pretty interesting BBC feature about Matt "Little Britain" Lucas preparing for the role of Thénardier. It's annoyingly missing part one, but here are the remaining three parts of the show: 2 3 4.
posted by hippybear at 6:10 PM on June 5, 2012


if they bring in a singer ringer for the odd passage i'm sure no one will be the wiser.

I don't know how much doctoring they will be doing the vocals after the fact, but I do know that the vocals are going to be filmed live, not pre-recorded and lip-synched for filming. It's supposed to allow the actors to give a more actorly performance. It's worked well in other movies (Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Across The Universe, parts of Moulin Rouge!).
posted by hippybear at 6:13 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you watch the trailer for the movie, with Anne Hathaway's vocals, it seems clear they're going for "movie" singing as opposed to "Broadway" singing. The original Fantine in London was Patti LuPone, and if you listen to her on the original recording, she belts the hell out of that song. That kind of singing doesn't work as well in cinema, and I just hope people remember that before ragging on Hathaway and Jackman for not sounding the same. (The film of Sweeney Todd is a good comparison - Depp and Bonham Carter sang nothing like George Hearn and Angela Lansbury, and the film cut a lot of the singing in favor of the dialogue, but as a film it totally worked in it's own medium.)
posted by dnash at 7:42 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Matt Lucas is a genius and should probs be sainted.
posted by prefpara at 8:32 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


dnash: "If you watch the trailer for the movie, with Anne Hathaway's vocals, it seems clear they're going for "movie" singing as opposed to "Broadway" singing."

For whatever it's worth, the director (Tom Hooper) has stated that all of the songs will be recorded on-set. Though it's true that the actors and actresses won't be belting them out like they were preforming in front of a large audience, it's a different medium, and one that I would argue requires a bit more subtlety. The decision not to record in a studio should definitely preserve most of the 'raw' element of the stage performance (which, IMO, is crucial to this particular show; even though it is a massive production, it's not supposed to look or sound overproduced).

On a realted note, I imagine that most of the rooms on the sets of the movie will have four actual walls.

Really, Hooper's decision to record and use the 'raw' performances from the set is far beyond what any of us could have hoped to reasonably expect in this day and age. It's not going to sound exactly like the broadway show, and that's okay, because we're getting something that's going to be more suited to the medium — not the Glee version.

This decision is hopefully a good indication of the amount of commitment that Hooper's putting into this project, and the confidence that he has in the cast. I have really high expectations for this, and I actually think that they might be able to pull it off.
posted by schmod at 9:44 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have really high expectations for this, and I actually think that they might be able to pull it off.

As long as it is the complete opposite of whatever that was they passed off as the Phantom Of The Opera movie, it will be totally awesome.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


as for the movie version, you have to realize there are always going to be compromises between who is a big name star and who is ideal for the part

Yes, we will get people who can't sing. Even worse, the actors are too well known and will never be believable in the parts. So they'll slap together some nice cine and art direction and make the soundtrack nice and shiny. I'll ask you something: watch the trailer again - doesn't it seem like a blase attempt by hollow-heads? I don't think this movie has IT. The shots look very empty. But we shall see in theatres.
posted by niccolo at 10:51 PM on June 5, 2012


DAMN IT PEOPLE I'VE GOT THINGS TO DO TODAY YOU CAN'T BE POSTING GREAT STUFF LIKE THIS!
posted by magstheaxe at 5:36 AM on June 6, 2012


Yes, we will get people who can't sing.

Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Sasha Baron-Cohen, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Banks, Aaron Tveit, Colm Wilkenson... who amongst this cast do you believe cannot sing?
posted by hippybear at 5:57 AM on June 6, 2012


I love this musical so much. The first thing I bought on my first credit card was a ticket to this show. What a revelation. So incredible. Thanks for this post.
posted by h00py at 6:19 AM on June 6, 2012


Weeks later and I'm still enjoying this fpp. Thanks, kmz.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:07 PM on June 21, 2012


I think I'm getting kind of obsessed with Ramin Karimloo as Enjorlas. If I was 13 I would probably put his picture up over my bed.
posted by muddgirl at 2:22 PM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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