What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

31 August 2016

A Flame that Never Dies

Last one, y'all. It really is. (See what it's like being on the front row here, and many of my favourite things about the show here.) But before I lay this to rest, here's a little thing I did after seeing Les Misérables:

(That was supposed to be "as awkward," but I was in a post-show, met-people-I-usually-only-admire-from-afar, walking-three-feet-off-the-ground fog, and also was headed for Shake Shack, so I didn't proofread very carefully before tweeting.)

Here's how it all went down. Chadwick and I saw Les Misérables on stage twice, once on either side of the 25th anniversary re-orchestrating & other changes to the show (i.e., we saw it once with the turntable, once without). That first viewing was when I realised how great of a character Enjolras is, and how I'd been wasting way too much of my fan-ness on Marius when there were Barricade Boys to be excited about. And just for sake of comparison to how he's staged now: Grantaire in that first show we saw was more or less just comic relief, and I mainly remember him because he sat at a table drinking all through the battle scene, didn't bother fighting, and was finally shot mid-drink.

Fast forward to the most recent national tour--I was excited to see it again on stage, and Chadwick had already sworn that he was not going to Les Mis ever again. This was going to be our last time seeing it together, he insisted. And of course it was, but for the worst possible reason.

Who's my favourite Enjolras? This one. ❤️
From that time I convinced him we should cosplay my OTP,
Enjolras+Eponine. That's a tiny red flag he's holding.
We were both blown away, me by how different Grantaire was from what we'd seen before, and Chadwick by a phenomenal Enjolras. On the way home, all he wanted to talk about was how amazing Enjolras was--my usual thing, just not this day--and I kept trying to break in with "but did you see when Grantaire...?" Never, ever, in all our theatregoing years, did Chadwick ever want to talk about an actor all the way home as much as he did that day.

Last summer, after I saw Les Mis on Broadway and met Jason Forbach at stage door and got his autograph but was really more excited to meet the next person in line, my favourite Grantaire, I went back home and finally read the playbill days later with a little more care, and nearly fell over.

Jason Forbach was Chadwick's favourite Enjolras, and he was standing there right in front of me, and I didn't know it because I didn't bother reading the playbill in the theatre.

So I waited a year to finally get to tell Mr. Forbach how much my non-Les-Mis-loving husband loved his Enjolras, and how Chadwick's final time seeing Les Mis was made much more spectacular as a result, and how much I cherish that. By some miracle, I got it all out without getting even a little bit teary. And for all I had a long list of reasons for wanting to see Les Misérables again on Broadway before it closed, this was a big one--I wanted to thank Mr. Forbach in person.

So, that was the first one, and fortunately I had a few minutes to collect all the emotions again before John Owen-Jones came round. Chadwick was a huge JOJ fan, even more so than me--he may be the one celebrity that Chadwick tweeted to with any kind of regularity (he even got an answer from time to time, making me a bit jealous). So what I had to tell Mr. Owen-Jones, after explaining that my deceased husband was a big fan, was "Somewhere in the afterlife, he is sick with jealousy right now that I'm here and he's not." And we both laughed--no tears required.

Chadwick would have enjoyed seeing Les Misérables on Broadway, if I had been able to convince him to let go of the "never again" and go have fun with me. He probably would have been hoping to meet Adam Monley, the actor playing his own favourite character (the Bishop of Digne), at stage door. But since we couldn't share this, I could at least a little bit see and hear and speak for him. And I imagine that as I heard the people sing, he could hear the distant drums.

Post title is from the finale of Les Mis; the line is, "For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."


Ms. Right said...

Oh my dear Su, this is spectacular! ❣

Su said...

I think so, too. It was a great night.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful.

Su said...

Yes. This show does many things to me, and giving me the strength to tell strangers that their work matters is one of them, it seems.