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Student Gazette

‘Les Mis’ packs powerful performances
Thursday, May 12, 2011

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Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Kelsey Thompson
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After watching the “Les Miserables” 25th anniversary concert movie (filmed at the O2 Arena in London’s West End), I have realized how this performance was anything but “miserable!”

This show featured an all-star cast, including pop star Nick Jonas and Tony winner Lea Salonga. Every actor and actress brought such powerful, raw emotions onstage, and had you truly believing that they were living through these horrendous experiences in Paris. I felt such an amazing connection with these characters, whether it was when Eponine experiences heartbreak and despair or when Marius falls in love with Cosette.

There were moments when I had tears trailing and leaving tracks down my cheeks, as well as times when I simply couldn’t stop beaming at the characters’ triumphs.

However, one of the most breathtaking moments of the movie was the ending, during which cast members from the original and tenth anniversary editions took center stage and performed the show’s finale, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” It literally sent chills down my spine. It was such a stellar and spectacular performance and showed the unity of the show’s casts throughout the 25 years. Being a theater fanatic, I firmly believe this production and these performances are moments I’ll treasure and cherish forever.

One of the biggest, yet most delightful, surprises was Nick Jonas’ raw talent. As a member of the Jonas Brothers, many doubted Nick’s abilities. Even though he portrayed Gavroche in the show’s 2002 Broadway run, he hadn’t done theater since. Yet, his voice was simply stunning. With a little more practice, he could truly become one of the most famous Broadway actors out there.

This musical (based on the spellbinding novel by Victor Hugo) definitely made an impression on me. I can’t seem to get Lea Salonga’s “I Dreamed a Dream” out of my head, or Nick Jonas’ rendition of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.”

Every moment of this musical was a privilege to view. From it my theater horizons have been broadened even more. Without a doubt, this musical deserves five stars. It was an experience I won’t forget.

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