All tagged Les Miserables

The Best Musical Tony Award Debate: 1987

In writing about these the Tony-nominated Best Musicals of various seasons and making a judgment as to which nominee deserved to win, I take full ownership of my opinion and realize that many of you will disagree. In fact, I invite the debate and am always interested in hearing your opinions as well. Theatre is obviously subjective, and what appeals to me might invite disdain from you. Contrarily, what I detest might be something you are passionate about. When I write these pieces, I do try to keep by opinions balanced, supported with reasoning, while trying to find that good and the challenging in each musical I dissect. That being said, I often find myself at odds with my own determinations, loving one show more, respecting another, while ultimately conceding that yet another deserved to win. 1987, which featured Les MisérablesRagsStarlight Express, and Me and My Girl as the Best Musical nominees, is a year that leaves me so divided, as each of them offered something very different and each excelled in very different ways. 

When the West End and Broadway Came Together for Christmas

This week I was thinking about a holiday special that ran on Britain’s ITV that captured the beauty and spectacle of musical theatre in the late 1980s. Save the Children was the name of the program, and the piece was created as a benefit for the Save the Children Foundation, an organization dedicated to make the lives better for children the world over. It brought together the stars and casts of the West End and Broadway musicals that were the hits of the day, and, with the performers in costume and playing on the impressive sets of their respective shows, they sang beloved Christmas carols with a splendor and glory that stuck with this Broadway enthusiast for three decades.

Collabro: Road to the Royal Albert Hall — Album Review

I cannot get enough of the band Collabro. From the moment I first heard them sing “Stars” on Britain’s Got Talent, I felt plunged into a joy of theatre music delivered in an angelic way that has never been equally captured through four-part harmony. Not long after my introduction to Collabro, I had the fortune of interviewing the four young men that make up the group.  I soon learned that Michael Auger, Jamie Lambert, Matthew Pagan and Thomas J. Redgrave are not only extremely talented, but generous of spirit, kind, industrious, eloquent, and dedicated to their art of making showtunes sing with a special flair. It was a honor to speak to them and if their musical hadn’t already won me over, this interview would make me a fan for life. The announcement of their new album “Road to the Royal Albert Hall” was exciting news to me, but would it live up to expectations? 

Broadway Musicals: The Highest Form of Entertainment

Social media has been passing around a rather caustic opinion piece by Stuart Heritage written for The Guardian. In this article, Heritage asserts that “Musicals are the lowest form of entertainment…” and that “I can’t bring myself to trust people who enjoy musicals. I seem to have pegged them all as cheats, as people who don’t understand subtext and nuance, who don’t want to do the work and constantly have to have everything spelled out for them.”  It’s an asinine and arrogantly written article that draws from one musical example (the movie musical of Les Misérables) as the means by which to indict an entire art form. The genesis of his misguided manifesto is in regards to the recently announced BBC television adaptation of a non-musical Les Misérables. He celebrates how delighted he is that he will be privy to a Les Misérables without music. Heritage is certainly entitled to his opinion. If he doesn’t like musicals, he doesn’t like musicals. I don’t think any of us will miss sitting next to him at the Shubert or the Broadhurst. What I will assert is that his generalized and snarky article does notorious damage to an art form that is arguably the HIGHEST form of entertainment.