Call me ignorant but I only learned the play of Les Miserables after I watched an episode of Dawson’s Creek in 1998. Joey Potter (played by Katie Holmes – the wife of Tom Cruise) sang On My Own. I fell in love with the song right away so I searched the lyrics and other information about it. Voila, Lea Salonga actually sang it in the musical play in 1995 where she played Eponine.
Then I saw a video of her performance in Youtube but it was only last week that I watched it full-length, thanks to a friend who’s a fan of Les Miserables and appreciates Lea’s talent. Mabuhay!
I’m not aware that Broadway is different from other plays that I know. It’s more of singing than acting. I’m little bit stunned at first, but anyway, I really want to watch so I went on.
A friend gave me two copies, the 10th (1995) and 25th anniversary special of Les Miserables. I’m more familiar with the first one or the Les Miserables: The Dream Cast in Concert (Royal Abert Hall), where Lea played Eponine and sang Own My Own. Even it was done long time ago, I still like it. It had useful stage props, lively costumes and unforgettable performers. Apart from Lea, Colm Wilkinson (Jean Valjean), Philip Quast (Inspector Javert), Ruthie Henshall (Fantine), Jenny Galloway (Madame Thénardier), Alun Armstrong (Thénardier) were all very fantastic. Even if Armstrong didn’t sing, he was already performing for me. He and Galloway made this heartwarming musical, so cool.
In the 25th Anniversary concert, I noticed that instead of props they used lighting effects. It still good though I prefer props (I’m sort of fan of visual arts than technology) and I also like Lea in 10th anniversary version than here, where she played Fantine. Don’t get me wrong, she also did her best and was marvelous at that. In fact, from now on it is my assignment to memorize I Dreamed a Dream (the song that popularized Susan Boyle). Like On My Own, it’s one of the songs that tell reality of life and love.
Also in 25th, I noticed the other character specifically Enjorlas because of the natural and superb performance of Ramin Karimloo.
Compared with Wilkinson, Alfie Boe’s Jean Valjean was little subtle but touching. At first I didn’t like him, but I realized that he actually did the right thing. He didn’t copied Wilkinson; instead he performed his own rendition of this character and he’s voice was soothing to my ears. Anyway, the whole cast in 25th anniversary gave justice to their roles.
I don’t’ know why there are people who find happiness by making someone else lives cruel. When you are with them, you may wonder why God allows them to do such thing and why you’re living miserably. I, myself, ask this many times, but thanks to people and circumstances I encountered. I cope up and always believe that after a trial there’s positive thing that will come out.
Here are the beautiful bible verses I often read when I’m down and angry:
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.- 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12