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Quite a performance

May 4, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
This past weekend, my sister and I traveled to the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, Neb. to watch the stage musical, Les Misérables. Les Mis (as it’s called for short) is a show that Trish and I have been wanting to see again for several years. We first saw it as ignorant high school juniors who were just happy to be on a class trip. Little did we know that the show we were going to at the Civic Center would change our music tastes forever.

First of all, I would like to say that I liked musicals before going to Les Mis, I just was completely unaware of any beyond Rodgers and Hammerstein. Guess that can happen when you grow in small-town Iowa with a brother who hates movie musicals, but I digress.

It was exciting to go to Les Mis the second time knowing the music and understanding the roots of the show. I have the original London cast CDs, and Trish and I enjoyed listening to our “favorites” CD on the way to Omaha. It really got us ready to see the show again.

The downside about cast CD, however, was it doesn’t have everything on it. The entire production is done in song, so; we have the important group songs and big soliloquy numbers but it leaves out some of the transitional lyrics to get from one song to another. As I mentioned before, the first time I watched Les Mis, I was young and wasn’t fully invested at the beginning. It was hard for Trish or me to recall how certain things came about. We remembered what happens, just not specific details. So the main thing from the second viewing was to get the full effect of the story as a fans.

The Omaha production delivered on all fronts. The cast was amazing, singing with all the power and emotion that I remember from the Des Moines show. It enjoyable to watch the story unfold on the stage below. Even though I knew what was coming this time around, I was fully enraptured by the scene in front of me.

As this blog is not intended to be a review, I don’t want to get into the storyline of the Les Mis. I don’t want to spoil it for those interested. The official tour site is http://www.lesmis.com/home_usa so those who want more information can get it here.

Another thing worth mentioning is the beauty of the Orpheum Theater. It has the style of an old fashioned opera house that set a brilliant tone for the show. I had never been to a stage performance that wasn’t at Civic Center so it was nice to see Les Mis in a different setting.

I spoke with my sister before posting this, and after she read it, she wanted me to mention that we have been other musicals since Les Mis junior year. Most notably, we went to Phantom of Opera while we were in college. Also, thanks to our music major roommates, we have listened to several other musicals without actually seeing them live. So Les Mis truly was a “spring board.”

Final point, I said it kind of as a throw-away line earlier, but going to Les Mis did really change our tastes. I grew up country and went pop back in late-elementary/junior high (thank you N’SYNC) then found my country roots senior year through college. While I am still a country fan at heart, I consider myself a lover of all music. You can check my iPod to prove it.

 
 

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