Reviewed byMary AndersonVote: 10/10/10
I saw this at the cinema three times and I am counting the hours untilI get the DVD.
If you are a fan of Les Miserables, this is not to be missed.
I believe it is even better than the 10th Anniversary Concert. More ofthe actual musical is included, such as The Robbery. Lovely Ladies isin a more complete form. A lot of the little verses between songs isincluded, for example, Garvoche's introduction of the Thenardiers andthe conversations between Maruis and Eponine. It isn't complete,however, some verses have been cut, most noticeably, Dog eat Dog, whichin my opinion is no great loss as it is my least favorite song anyway.
The performances are all fantastic, although, Marius is a little weak.The little urchin who plays Garvoche is very impressive. The look ofcontempt on his face when he exposes Javert is priceless. Matt Lucusbrings humor as Thenardier. Jenny Galloway reprises her role from the10th Anniversary Concert and I think gives a better performance in thisversion. It is hard to limit discussion, as everyone was brilliantright from Jean Valjean to Jarvert to Cossette (Collette?).
I cannot recommend this enough.
Reviewed bygradyharpVote: 10/10/10
Les Misérables has been around for a long time, pleasing audiencesaround the world - its songs are recorded by an vast array of singersand its impact on audiences is justifiably powerful. Though thisfilming of the concert production of the musical as performed atLondon's O2 Arena in January 2010 is hailed as the 25th anniversary ofthe musical, it is too frequently forgotten that the show, based on theVictor Hugo novel, was originally written by Claude-Michel Schönbergand Alain Boubil with Herbert Kretzmer and Jean-Marc Natel and producedin Paris, France in 1980 (it closed after 3 months). This EnglishAdaptation is by Trevor Nunn and John Caird (with additional materialby James Fenton) was brought to England and the world through theefforts of Cameron Mitchell in 1985.
The concert version is performed with orchestra and chorus in the topof the platforms in O2 Arena and the characters in the musical are incostume standing before microphones at the edge of the performingstructure. The light crew performs spectacular effects with theenormous facilities at this 23,000 seat arena. Some action is projectedon screens above the performers (the lifting of the cart by Valjean,the barricade, etc) and at other times the screens offer the audiencehuge close-up view of the performers. It works well under the directionof Nick Morris. The celebration of the birthday of the show isaccompanied by prolonged appearances by past members of casts of theshow, a light show, and much confetti and self congratulation speeches.
As for the production itself it is populate by a generally strong cast.Alfie Boe, a 37 year old British tenor who studied opera but now singsthe big demanding musicals, is a very fine Jean Valjean. Norm Lewis,and American actor/baritone is one of the strongest Jauverts on record:he is a talent to watch. Lea Salonga brings years of experience to herinterpretation of Fantine, Samantha Banks is a very strong Eponine, theIranian-born Canadian musical theater singing actor Ramin Karimloomakes a striking impression in the role of Enjolras (he has beenplaying the role of Phantom in the 'Phantom of the Opera' in Englandfor years), but the performance of Katie Hall as Cosette soundsstrained, the Monsieur Thénardier of Matt Lucas is completely unfocused(Jenny Galloway fares better as Madame Thénardier), and it is obviousthe producers elected to play to the young audience by miscasting popstar Nick Jonas as Marius: he tries very hard but is out of his leaguehere.
In all this is an entertaining memento of a birthday celebration -heavy on audience screaming and special party effects - and rewards thecreators of this lasting fine musical with due respect.
Reviewed byKRicanVote: 10/10/10
Every performance was impeccable. Many of the performers rival and insome cases surpass those of the 10th Anniversary Dreamcast. Seeing theshow on the big screen with a bigger sound system really make thenuances of the genius score come to life. What is so great is the waythey made use of soft split screens to be able to watch multipleperformers' reactions and "dialog."
Norm Lewis, whose subtle facial expressions and genuine passioncommanded the stage/screen, sang Javert with such power and depth thatI actually, for the first time, empathized with his character. AlifeBoe's Val Jean was brilliant, with an operatic quality. Samantha Barksshined as Eponine with a stunning vocal performance. Ramin Karimloo wasa standout with his brilliant portrayal of Enjolras. I didn't quiteunderstand the decision of casting Nick Jonas as Marius. He really gaveit his all and had some nice moments in the sweeter songs, but lackedthe vocal fullness and attack for the more powerful songs. It wasadequate but uncomfortably contrasted by his much stronger, seasonedcast mates.
The occasional cut to various instrumental highlights was a wonderfuladdition and seamlessly included the orchestra as an important part ofthe ensemble. The encores with the original cast, backed by a chorus ofhundreds was breathtaking. If you're a Les Mis fan, this movie is amust.
A celebratory 25th anniversary concert performance of the hit musical at The O2 in London.