Yeah, I know, I promised you other New York things. And you believed me? That was just silly. It's still coming, but I'm trying to get my photos off my phone and into a more usable spot, and in the meantime it's always a good day for more Les Misérables. Yes, believe it or not, I left things out yesterday and still have more to say.
Saturday night, Keely was reading Broadway news or something and mentioned that Kyle Jean-Baptiste had been Valjean just a couple of nights before (making Broadway history as both the youngest and the first African-American man to play Valjean). And to think of all the times that I've wondered if Ramin Karimloo wasn't a bit of a young Valjean... never mind about that, then. (Since the character ages 20 years in the course of the show, I suppose there's a wide range of right ages to be to play Valjean, after all.)
Incidentally, the people next to us in the theatre had tickets for Saturday's show without knowing anything about the cast, they didn't know Ramin is leaving soon and Alfie Boe is joining the cast--they just love Les Misérables and were able to enjoy the show without all the obsessive whatever it is that I do. While we were chatting, the guy said, "I really wasn't expecting to see a 30-year-old playing Valjean," and it took everything in me not to correct him with Ramin's actual age. (I swear, I only know it because he and I were born in the same year. I've no idea how old anyone else on Broadway is.) (Except Kyle Jean-Baptiste, but that's because it's been in the news for a couple days. I'll forget soon.) Instead, I just agreed that Ramin is young and we moved on to talking about other stuff.
Anyway, Keely said it was a good thing we hadn't gotten tickets for Thursday, I said I wouldn't have done anyway since I knew Ramin always has Thursdays off, Keely might have said something about me being a weirdo stalker. (Just kidding, I'm the one who says that. But she wasn't surprised that I was so well informed.)
After the 25th anniversary of Les Mis in 2010, the show has been re-orchestrated, re-imagined, and re-whatevered so that there are significant differences from what the show is now versus what it was the first couple of times I saw it--the characteristic turntable, for example, is gone. (See more changes through the years in this article.) I noticed the Broadway version also has a couple lines from the 2012 movie that I've never heard on stage before. Every show is in a constant state of tweaking, obviously, because that's how you get an amazing product night after night-- by refining what's not working, changing things as needed, etc. But the changes as the show gets older are one reason I keep going back to see it every couple of years--it's literally never been the same show twice.
One final thought before I really do leave this alone for a while. In the 2012 movie, as well as the book, Courfeyrac is Gavroche's big brother among Les Amis. In the stage version, it's usually Grantaire who looks after Gavroche. I don't know if this is a change from before-- the first couple of Grantaires I saw were comic relief, with hardly any emotional swings (although "Drink With Me" was always a low point). At least one of them sat at a table drinking throughout the barricade scene, and that's where he was shot, so there wasn't a lot of time for noticing whether he interacted with the smallest Ami. For that matter, there's not a lot to distinguish movie Grantaire from the other Amis, except that he climbs the stairs at the end to be killed alongside Enjolras. (Sob!) So for Grantaire and Gavroche to have that connection on the stage does make Grantaire more interesting, more emotional and less comic, even if it does leave Courfeyrac without a lot to do except take the watch since they might attack before it's light. (And by the way, it was in part Grantaire's interactions with Gavroche at Saturday's show that made me go looking to see if this was the same actor I'd seen before.)
And with that, I really am done. Other New York adventures still coming, once my phone starts to cooperate.