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Good night, Akshully

We drove home in the snow tonight from Norwich after seeing page Grant in Les Miserables, the high school edition. It's most of the music, with big holes in the plot.

I was...apprehensive...geez, it's a show most professional touring companies can't pull off. I have to say it was truly good. Good sets, good production values (except the guy on the sound board--grrrr), better than high school acting in many of the parts.

And Javert, Marius, and Enjoiras (the latter appearing to be about twelve--okay, maybe fourteen--with a full double set of shiny braces) had positively stunning voices. Genuine baritone and tenors, strong tops, full middles, convincing bottoms. In the case of Javert and Marius there was genuine acting ability, and Enjoiras shows promise. Fantine and Eponine were rich and fluid, and could act. Mssr. and Mme. Thenardier were everything you could ask for, though his enunciation needed a bit of work--but the physical delivery was spot on--menacing and campy, usually at the same time. A neat trick. And Portia, my love, you have a doppleganger.

Valjean, I fear, has been getting good press through all of his high school years, and so tends to rely on his natural gifts (including an amazing range) and good looks (rock star), but that wasn't quite enough here. Nonetheless, in this production, surrounded by so much strength, Valjean coming across as a Deus machina wasn't altogether a problem.

The only genuine disappointment was Cosette, who was a pretty face, with a coloratura soprano range, but a reedy, unreliable voice. Oh, and she was rather wooden in her performance.

The male students at the barricade were full voiced, tuneful, and some were positively convincing. They were, some of them, EXACTLY the right age for the parts they were playing, and that made it all the more heartbreaking, and, strangely enough, believable. And Grant died valiantly.

We're very glad we went. I just can't help but wonder what they're putting in the water in Norwich to have all that talent in that little school.

BRAVO!

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papaboris
Apr. 10th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC)

I just can't help but wonder what they're putting in the water in Norwich to have all that talent in that little school.

I have noticed this also at the Phoenix productions.I think that in being from a smaller group to draw from they can not hide in the crowd. Their talent is not allowed to go unnoticed . In larger schools the shy ones get lost.Just my opinion.

Glad you enjoyed it. We often go to the productions here and have a blast.
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