Five months ago, I booked a ticket to an experience that I know I will never forget. Marking the 29th of March, I got to watch one of the longest running musicals, Les Miserables. Two days later, I’m still hungover with the fact that I actually got to watch what I dreamt of. The musical was held at The Theatre at Solaire. It was actually a decent venue for me. It was small, and just perfect for musical since as an audience, you wouldn’t want the stage to be so big that you cannot almost see the actors faces.
To be honest, I just got interested to Les Miserables because of the 2012 movie that starred Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. I did not read the book nor did I have knowledge on French Revolution. Probably what got me engaged to it was how the story was told since the songs were very catchy plus Hugh Jackman’s and Anne Hathaway’s performances were superb in the movie. Though I often read that Les Mis fans were quite disappointed with how the movie turned out, I personally think that the movie still set the bar high for people who have zero knowledge of the story.
If the movie set the bar high, Les Miserables Manila just made the bar higher.
Simon Gleeson is the perfect Jean Valjean. The first time that I set my eyes on him was when I watched their rehearsals of One Day More. I was astounded by his powerful voice which really meets the expectation for Jean Valjean. He is just perfect for the role. My favorite part was when he sang Bring Him Home. It was full of emotions, that I can really feel him begging for God’s help to spare Marius’ life from the revolution. (Also, who sings high notes while sitting?!! You’re crazy Simon Gleeson. I love you.)
I was actually saddened by the fact that Rachel Ann Go was not able to perform when we watched the show. Nonetheless, the whole cast’s performance was great. One Day More finale of Act 1 actually went beyond my expectations. It was so surreal that I cannot believe I am actually watching the show. I don’t know where to look, I try as much as I can to look around the stage and see what every cast is doing because I do not want to miss anything from this show.
One more surreal moment during this experience was that everyone was so engrossed in the moment. There were no flashing cell phone lights. There were no chitchats heard which you can barely witness nowadays where cell phone charges are longer than people’s attention span.
If there’s one take away from this show, I just want to say that the Les Miserables Manila cast is perfectly assembled.
I would love to watch this musical again. I’ve read that they have extended their run until May 1. You may book your tickets now at TicketWorld Manila. It will be really worth your time and money. Actually, IT IS WORTH MORE THAN your time and money.
Now, time to read the book.