Most theatre junkies know the epic story of Les Mis, but I'll quickly run over it. A man named Jean Valjean stole bread because his nephew was starving, and for his crime, he was sent to prison. The actual performance starts with him finishing his time and being released by Javert, a law-obsessed officer. Valjean is disgusted with the law system, so he evades his bail and becomes a new person. However, troubles seems to follow the man, who is only trying to do the right thing. A revolution breaks out in France as well during his life causing more problems for both himself and the small family that he has built. I don't want to give away too much if you want to see it, and on another note, I would not recommend the most recent movie because Russell Crowe. Enough said.
This particular performance was literally amazing. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I honestly didn't even want to blink. There was some mind-blowing talent on stage because it is, of course, Broadway. In addition, the set changes were so seamless that you always had to pay attention. One minute you would be in jail and the next you would be in the barricade. As always on Broadway, the actors and actresses on stage enchanted me with their heartfelt portrayals of age-old characters that musical theatre enthusiasts like me have always loved.
Valjean himself is played by Ramin Karimloo, and his performance was spectacular. If you know the work, I'll tell you that "Bring Him Home" was breath-taking. The use of Karimloo's falsetto was perfectly arranged, and by the end, I most definitely had chills. Throughout the entire show, though, I was always excited to see what was up Karimloo's sleeve. He had a unique take on the role and songs that just kept me guessing.
Adam Monley, starring as Valjean's nemesis Javert, made his debut the night I had the pleasure to attend the show. I never would have known, though. "Stars" was delicate yet strong, and it was lovely to hear someone other than the infamous Russell Crowe sing the classic.
Christianne Tisdale and Cliff Saunders played the comedic Thénardier couple. The pair made "Master of the House" hilarious and a perfect deviation from the sadness shrouding the rest of the performance. Despite the grim theme of the show, whenever I saw the two of them, I had to smile. They were equal parts mean, sarcastic, and goofy.
My personal favorite character in the show is Éponine, so I was excited to see who was portraying my beloved revolutionary. Erin Clemons is actually the understudy for Nikki M. James, but if I hadn't known from the program, I would have assumed that she was the real deal. Also, I heard through the grapevine that she's actually better than James. Of course, I can't really compare since I only saw her, so don't take my word for it.
Cosette, also known as my least favorite character, was played by Samantha Hill. She was definitely solid, but some of her notes were a little flat. I just didn't think her voice was as effortless as Cosette's is really supposed to be. I mentioned before that I don't really like the character, though, so I may have just been holding a grudge.
The leader of the Revolution is named Enjolras. Kyle Scatliffe's voice was perfect for a strong, driven man, and I found myself to be excited whenever he was on stage. I literally thought to myself "wow" every single time he opened his mouth. During the "Talk Back" after the show, he mentioned that he just came off vocal rest from an injury, and needless to say I was shocked. His voice sounded so powerful that I never would have guessed that anything had been wrong.
Last but not least is Marius, the hopeless romantic of the story. Andy Mientus, yes Kyle Bishop from Smash, portrayed the sensitive yet strong character. I found myself to be utterly infatuated with Mientus, and I thought his stature and voice were both perfect for the role. He played the role innocently, yet curiously, and I loved the way that little quirks came through.
I, of course, am biased because anything on Broadway is bound to take my breath away. Maybe there's something in the air on the famous NYC street, but I couldn't care less. I would most definitely recommend this musical to anyone who enjoys theatre. If you're in NYC, put the show on the top of your bucket list, and happy kommenting :)