Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:
Les Misérables is back in Seattle with a totally exhilarating production at The Paramount Theatre. This epic musical, based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, is magnificent in every way possible.
In its 32nd year, currently the fifth longest-running Broadway show, Les Mis’ staging and scenery have recently been revamped. Inspired by Hugo’s paintings, Matt Kinley has created extraordinarily masterful sets and image design. In perfect tandem is Paule Constable’s magically stunning lighting that exudes brilliance throughout the stage.
The gifts, strengths, and energies of everyone in this most demanding, heart-wrenching production are remarkable. Emily Bautista (Eponine) and Joshua Grosso (Marius) are perfection in their hauntingly beautiful duet, “A Little Fall of Rain” – reminding this reviewer of Hugo’s agony over the drowning of his beloved daughter.
You won’t want to miss a beat of this dynamic Les Mis production – it may be awhile before we Seattleites have an at-home opportunity to again catch it in all its glory. Playing at the lovely Paramount Theatre now through June 17. Tickets here for the Tony-Award winning Les Misérables.
Photo by Matthew Murphy
I saw the US touring production back in November in Greenville with an understudy as Eponine. It was incredible. Nick Cartell was such a well-cast Jean Valjean. Joshua Grosso was one of the true stand-outs of this casts and brought something fresh to Marius. Jillian Butler had a beautiful soprano voice and matched perfectly to Joshua Grosso’s Marius. The ensemble was brilliant. This touring cast was incredible. This was actually my 5th time seeing the stage show of Les Mis.
Saw this tour November 5th, 2017. My cast would have been slightly different: Nick Cartell (Valjean), Josh Davis (Javert), Melissa Mitchell (Fantine), Jillian Butler (Cosette), Joshua Grosso (Marius), Talia Simone Robinson ( U/S Eponine), Matt Shingledecker (Enjolras), J. Anthony Crane (Thenardier) and Allison Guinn (Madame Thenardier)- that was my cast.
The ensemble was epic, powerful, and passionate- the cast as a whole- I ended up with goosebumps and was an emotional wreck and ended up laughing at moments.
The love triangle was a bit surprising- it was between Talia, Jillian and Joshua- well, in my case, I was surprised at who was the strongest actor. I always expect Eponine the strongest actor, but this wasn’t the case. In my situation, Joshua as Marius was the standout actor in the love triangle- from my perspective- his Marius was charming and awkward- he ended up making Marius almost one of my core favorite Les Mis characters- this is based off of the three actors I saw.
Nick Cartell- his “Bring Him Home” was his standout moment. I was in the 4th level up of the theatre. That song to me was quiet enough, but strong enough for what it required. It sounded exactly like a prayer.
Considering the fact that I was in the 4th level up in the theatre, I could hear everything even when they were quiet. That was incredible. I loved the staging in this- the backdrop with the paintings- added a bit more color- the candles during “Turning” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”- loved the use of that. .
I saw this US Tour- on Nov. 5th in Greenville. Loved it.