Friday, October 06, 2006

Les Mis in a Minute

Gin and tonic. Man in prison for 19 years for stealing bread gets parole. Bloke in charge marks his card. Man steals from kind bishop. Bishop takes pity. Man's life is changed. Ten years on. Man is mayor and factory owner. Factory lady exposed as having illegitimate child. Lady sacked and becomes prostitute. Lady dies. Man's life is changed. Man buys lady's daughter from comedy bar owners. 10 years on. Boy falls in love with daughter. Revolution in air. Girl dressed as boy brings letter from first boy professing undying love for daughter. Man reads it. Man's life is changed. Interval. Revolution. Many die. Boy marries daughter. Man leaves. Comedy bar owners return. Make boy realise man saved his life. Man led to heaven by factory lady and girl who was dressed as boy. Finale.

The Guardian 10/6/2006.

The article is on Les Misérables becoming the world's longest running musical. You either like musicals or you don't; some of the most sublime moments of my life have come in connection with The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady. But there is nothing quite like the experience of Les Mis, which I saw three times on Broadway. As The Guardian notes the show is an exercise in moral philosophy: it pits Christian forgiveness, in the person of Valjean, against the arid Legalism of Javert, and yet still makes Javert a fully human figure.

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