Can I just say that Les Misérables is a fantastic show? And the Utah Shakespeare Festival definitely did it justice! The story and the music itself-- Fantastic! Especially "One Day More" at the end of Act 1. WOW! And, of course, the ending. Beauty. Tears.
Now for my characters review:
I feel like Cosette and Marius were written a little flat, definitely stereotypes; but Jean Valjean, Fantine, Eponine, and the Thenardiers (so, basically the rest of the cast) are great characters. I feel like even though Eponine and Fantine are kind of flat characters, they have some great songs that make up for that.
Fantine, played by Melinda Pfundstein, was amazing. Her death scene was very powerful. I teared up a little. I have to admit, I would have found the singing to be a little better if I hadn't seen Idina Menzel and Lea Michele do a version of "I dreamed a dream" on Glee. They're powerhouses. Not to minimize Miss Pfundstein, but she came off as more a belter and some of the high notes were a little sketchy. Overall, though, I thought she was a great Fantine.
Barbara Jo Bednarczuk was an amazing Eponine. I wasn't familiar with the the story before I saw the play, so I didn't know what to expect. I actually figured I wouldn't like her after reading the summary in the program, but I liked the character, the songs, and they way Miss Bednarczuk portrayed her.
J. Michael Bailey did Jean Valjean justice. He was a powerhouse. He was tender. He made me tear up at all the right times. That's some good casting right there.
The Thenardiers, played by Max Robinson and Kymberly Mellon, were hilarious! I imagine they had a great time becoming those characters. I mean, I didn't like them, because they're "bad guys" but they were so funny!
And who can forget our revolutionary leader, Enjolaras, played by Joey DeBenedetto? I liked him better than Marius, and his songs just made me want to stand up and join the revolution!! Down with the culottes!!
If you're still reading my fawning over Les Misérables, you can see how amazing of an experience I had in the theatre! It's definitely worth the time and money! Go see it now!!