Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Anything But 'Miserables'

Les Miserables - Cadillac Palace Theatre - Chicago

While it may not seem newsworthy, or even blogworthy, to extol praise upon Les Miserables, which has been one of the most popular, successful and acclaimed stage musicals for nearly 20 years, the fact is, there are other shows with similar pedigrees -- most notably Phantom of the Opera -- that fall far short of the enjoyment that Les Miz provided yesterday on the opening night of its latest run. I have seen the show twice before, most recently in 2002 with the same performer (Randal Keith) in the starring role of Jean Valjean, and even in the second to last row of the Cadillac Palace, on a night when I was plenty tired and a tad bit sick, I still found the show to be nothing short of superb. In addition to the impressive Keith, all of the singing was excellent.

Supposedly, this might be the show's last Broadway-level tour that brings it to Chicago. While it will likely always be around in some form, whether at the Marriott Theatre or a la Sweeny Todd a few years back, done as a Lyric Opera production, the scenery, orchestra & performances make this rendition one that any appreciator of musical theater simply should not 'Miz.'

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