Sunday, March 06, 2011

PBS airs 25th Anniversary "Les Miserables"

Sunday night, March 6, PBS stations followed on, one week after the Oscars, with their own “Event”, the re-airing of the recent 25th Anniversary concert  at the O2 in London of the musical "Les Miserables", with a typical link here (for WETA)  

The donations for the show and for WETA support (including DVD’s and other thank you gifts) are processed here at 888-202-2777.  This is becoming important as the GOP is likely to force budget cuts on PBS and arts support.

The musical is based on the famous novel by Victor Hugo. The other details are: book by Alain Boublil, music by Claude-Michele Schoenberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, based on the novel by Victor Hugo (didn't we all read portions of it in high school French? -- one of my high school finals was to write an essay on the book), I did see this musical performed at the National Theater in Washingtonin  Jan 2006, as directed by Cameron Mackintosh .

The plot, of redemption and revolution by common people, is well known enough, but it is the soaring melodies, including an encore finale (“Do You Hear the People Singing?”) where numerous singers play Jean Valjean, that make the musical famous. It’s ironic to see such music from a composer named “Schonberg”, except that the “real” Arnold Schonberg produces his own chills-and-fever with the Mahler-like Gurrelieder, with its brazen closing pages (which are rarely performed well).  For this concert, video of the finale encore was broadcast into the show from the 1985 original.

The new cast tonight featured, above all, Nick Jonas as Marius, and Nick dominated much of the performance. This is Nick’s shining moment so far. For the first time, he appears in public as a fully grown man. Here’s another link on his appearance

Watch the full episode. See more PBS Specials.

I've attended one show on the London West End, "Evita", in 1982 (with clubbing and disco in SoHo afterwards).

Wikipedia attribution link for a West End scene is here

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