A celebratory 25th anniversary concert performance of the hit musical at The O2 in London.A celebratory 25th anniversary concert performance of the hit musical at The O2 in London.A celebratory 25th anniversary concert performance of the hit musical at The O2 in London.
My exception to that rule is Matt Lucas and Jenny Galloway. As the Thenardiers they were a joy to behold. So talented and witty. Their tongue in cheek portrayal of those two scoundrels was right on target. They deserved at least a 20 out of ten.
What can I possibly say about Lea Salonga as Fantine that has not already been said by just about every critic since her career began? I place her on a par with Mr. Boe in this production and always have loved her in anything she has done. As far as I'm concerned she can do no wrong.
Norm Lewis was wonderful as the always threatening antagonist Javert, hell-bent on hunting down Jean Valjean to the ends of the earth. He has a huge presence on the stage here, as he has on Broadway and television. Very talented and powerful performer.
Now, we come to why I did not give this production a solid 10 stars. First, let me say I take no pleasure in making negative comments. I prefer to accentuate the positive whenever possible, BUT the absurd choice of inserting boy band 'singer' (and I use the word singer loosely) in such a pivotal role baffles the mind. In my opinion Nick Jonas doesn't have the singing chops, the acting chops or the physical appearance this role begs for. If he didn't have his pre-teen fan base and had auditioned to be one of the hundreds of singers in the massive chorus, I don't believe they would have selected him even for that!
Every time I became immersed in the experience of watching and listening to this production, this miss-cast kid would pop up and *poof* the spell would be broken and I would think WHY would the producers of this monumental, prestigious event prostitute themselves and the integrity of this masterpiece of musical theater, a tribute to the artists who created the words and the music and those who so brilliantly participated in it over twenty-five years, by casting this role so badly? Bottom line; I would rate his performance minus 100 stars and bestow (if I could)a minus 1,000 stars for those who cast him in it.
So, there you have it. But for Nick Jonas, I would have given this production a solid 10 stars and the only reason I didn't rate it lower than 9 stars was out of respect for everyone else involved.
- Jul 5, 2013