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Written by Tracy Y
(12/28/2012 2:43 a.m.)
I can't believe there isn't a thread for this, yet. Ok, I'll start it! As a huge fan of the musical (as are so many other people), I was a little nervous. I am pleased to say that the production surpassed all my wildest dreams and I can't wait to own the DVD to watch whenever I want! A few random thoughts:
1. When Anne Hathaway was cast as Fantine, my response was, "Really?" Now, I really like her and think she is a terrific actress, I just couldn't picture her as Fantine. WOW! I was absolutely blown away by her performance both in her acting and her singing. Her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" is gut wrenching and truly devastating. She totally deserves an Oscar for this performance.
2. Hugh Jackman was terrific! I'm a huge fan of his so I may be a bit biased, but I thought he did a great job! His delivery of "Valjean's Soliloquy" was excellent. So much feeling and emotion in both his acting and singing.
3. Russell Crowe was probably my only disappointment. The role of Javert really needs a strong voice and Crowe just doesn't have the ability. His acting was fine, but his "big numbers" ("Stars" and "Javert's Suicide") fell short of what I'm used to.
4. When I first saw Eddie Redmayne as Marius, I was very skeptical. He did not look anything like the Marius in my mind (or the actor's I've seen play the role). However, I thought he was very good.
5. For me, the most devastating moment was when Marius sings "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables." As he was singing, I was thinking about survivor's guilt and how difficult it must be to be the only person who survives a situation. This led to me thinking about the recent incidents in Connecticut and the correlation of the words to both situations had me practically sobbing. It is a very powerful song.
6. I was thrilled to see Colm Wilkinson's name come up in the credits. I didn't know he'd be in it and even though I didn't recognize him (or his voice), I was thrilled to know he got a part. The new song, "Suddenly" was fine. Nothing spectacular, but I did really like the placement and theme of the song. It just wasn't memorable to me (yet anyway).
There are so many more things I could comment on, but I'll stop here. :-) Overall, I was very pleased. Amazon has the MP3 download of the "highlights" album for $5 (much cheaper than other online places).
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