Friday, January 14, 2011

clones, icicles, a chandelier, and France

1. Melissa and I were blessed to go and see Les Miserables at the Academy of Music this week. Courtesy of my husband who has been an usher there for 30 years. It was my third time seeing the show, and it is my favorite. The story is beautiful. After I saw it the first time, I went and got the book, by Victor Hugo, and read it--all 475,294,505 pages. (It was one thick book). And liberally peppered with French italics. Fortunately, I took three years of high school French. If you think that helped you would be wrong. But I did get the gist occasionally. The story was worth it, though. I am still amazed that anyone could fit all that into a musical (all dialogue is sung) and convey it well. I was a little distracted by thinking that the actor who played Jean Valjean looked a lot like Juan Williams, from my vantage point, anyway. It made me think I may be watching too much Fox News.

<--this is Lawrence Clayton, who did an excellent portrayal of Jean Valjean, above, with Andrew Varela, who played Inspector Javert.
                                                                  Juan Williams

                                               and come to think of it, Larry Elder, too!

Well, however many clones he may have, he was good.

This is where we were sitting, lovely box seats. This was the backdrop before the show. At the right lower corner, it says "victor hugo" in that Les Mis. script. It looks like it says "victor hugs."   Who knows, maybe he did?

I found out that this newer staging of the play used backdrops painted by the author. I did notice a few other updates. Some were really good, like the sewer tunnels, and the suicide scene, both used moving graphics that were very well done.  The Thenardier's Inn scene got a little TOO bawdy, though,and had tasteless elements. Seems every show is throwing in stuff like this. It's like that movie you love, always having to have that one gratuitous scene. Well, folks, this musical was doing didn't need the help, really.

 Here is the famous chandelier in the Academy. It's HUGE. It was kind of right in front of us, and gets raised and lowered during intermissions. Bob knows a bunch of facts about it, from giving tours there. All I remember is that it got all taken apart and shipped overseas, I think France? to be cleaned. Wow, more France today. It made Melissa a little nervous. But then again, so does crossing streets.

                  In this picture it looks like it's got little dangly lights. Maybe that's why she was put off.

Looking up from where we sat, there is the guy holding up the ceiling. I wanted to get a zoomed in pic, but my camera wasn't cooperating. If you squint just right you can see him. He's gold.
Somewhere between the giant chandelier on a rope and the roof being supported by a big gold guy, yeah I guess the Academy can seem a bit chancey.

But all the wonderful singing and acting helped distract us.

                                                          Hooray for Les Mis!
oh and the Thenardier character looked a lot like a happy version of Sweeney Todd....uh oh, here I go again...


One last thing. Malaika and I were walking down the street and saw this. We thought it was cool.

1 comment:

  1. Malaika has quite the eye for photos!

    Wow, you read the book. I never have, even though (gasp) I was an English major (English meaning literature). Also, my high school graduation was at the Academy of Music and our wedding reception was held in its ballroom. It's a beautiful place to behold and it has a lot of sentimental value to me. Thanks for shaing.