Now playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Les Miserables is a hit among Vancouverites. The widely-acclaimed musical based on a novel by Victor Hugo is directed by Bill Millerd for the Arts Club. On May 31st, CJSF correspondent, Anna Santiago witnessed the tremendous success of Les Miserables.
With most of its evening performances sold out, “the musical that swept the world” is sweeping Vancouver crowds off their feet. As an avid theatre audience, I have never seen people lined up outside of the Stanley stage waiting to get in. It was indeed a sight to behold. I have seen several musical performances around Vancouver, but never have I seen such interest.
Set in the early 19th century France, Les Mis (as its more commonly referred to), is a story of redemption, love, death and living. The plot focuses on the struggles of Jean Valjean, an ex-prisoner who earns a second chance to live a normal life in a society suffering from violence and war. Playing Jean Valjean is Kieran Martin Murphy, a stage veteran whose most notable performance is in The PreTenors, where he plays Luciano Pavarotti. In Les Mis, Murphy showcases his high caliber singing abilities as well, with a moving performance of Soliloquy. Murphy does a good job of securing audience sympathies right from the very beginning.
With an impressive blend of high-impact and emotional musical performances such as I Dreamed a Dream, Master of the House and One Day More, Les Mis upholds its reputation as one of the best musicals of all time. Notable performances by Kieran Martin Murphy (Valjean), Rejean Cournoyer (Javert), Sara-Jeanne Hosie (Fantine) and Emily Matchette (Young Cosette) makes this adaptation truly deserving of praises. Even the ensemble is noteworthy with their musical performances and the war scene, which is one of the highlights of this play.
It is indeed the combination of a touching storyline, the compelling portrayals of its cast and the outstanding musical performances that makes Les Miserables worth your while. I highly recommend this rare experience. While the tickets are a little bit pricey, one can always select a front-row seat for a mere $25.00. This saga can indeed captivate Vancouver audiences of all ages.
Les Miserables is now playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until
July 19th, 2009. For showtimes and/or ticket information, visit www.artsclub.com.