Spiritual Themes of Les Mis

Today, I decided to focus on the various spiritual themes in Les Mis and where they are located in the musical. There will be some overlap between these themes so some scenes might repeat sometimes. SO THIS WILL BE A HEAVY SPOILER POST.

Love: in various ways 

Love for God:

1. First is shown in the bishop scene. The bishop clearly loves God. It is shown through how he shows forgiveness, compassion, and mercy on Jean Valjean. The bishop allows Jean Valjean to have a second chance at life.

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2. Another obvious scene is during “Bring Hime Home”. This is the scene where Jean Valjean is praying to God to make sure Marius survives the barricade. Jean Valjean went to the barricade to protect Marius because Cosette, his adopted daughter, loves Marius.

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Love for a Child:

1 Fantine’s selfless love for Cosette- She is a single mother was abandoned by Cosette’s biological father so she is left to care for Cosette by her self. At the time was dangerous to have an illegitimate child so she leaves Cosette in the hands of the Thenardiers, but little does she know how horrible they will treat her child. After getting fired from Valjean’s factory, she literally sells her locket, her hair, and her body in order to care for her child. She is willing to die in order that Cosette has a better life. So she is selfless when it comes to Cosette.

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2. Valjean’s Love for Cosette- Valjean adopts Cosette after her mother dies. Even though Cosette is not Valjean’s biological father, Cosette makes such a huge impact on his life. It makes even more compassionate than before. She allows Valjean to be a kinder person and later because of how much she loves Cosette, he goes to the barricade to protect Marius, the love of her life. He is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s.

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Romantic Love: Love Triangle

1. Cosette and Marius – These two make such an adorable couple. They are perfect for each other and help add hope to the story. They are meant for each because Cosette represents hope and light so these two need to be together.

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2.  Eponine and unrequited love- Eponine loves Marius, but he loves Cosette. But the way she responds to unrequited love is amazing. She will do anything for Marius to make sure he is safe and happy. That is why she makes sure Cosette and Marius end up together. That is why she screams at Valjean’s house to protect Marius even though it means standing up against her father. That is also why she takes a bullet for Marius at the barricade. She is willing to sacrifice everything even though Marius is the only good thing in her life and that to me takes a lot of strength. She falls in love with Marius because of the kindness he shows her.

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Love for Friends:

1. The love found between all the students is incredible. This love found these friends is so inspiring. They have such a brotherly love for each other. They are a group of college students who are a political group who are planning an uprising against France’s weak government. At the barricade, they eventually realize they will eventually lose and die, but yet they still fight.

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Love for the Law:

1. Javert-Love for the law is quite a weird one. Javer does have this love for the law. He strictly follows it. He believes “once a crminal always a criminal”. After Valjean broke parole, which is against the rules, Javert is determined to capture Valjean send him back to prison. But once love for the law is very odd.

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Hope: 

1. Fantine- Yes, I said there will be some overlap. Fantine has hope that her daughter, Cosette, will have a better life.

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2. Eponine- Marius is the light of her life. He is all she has in life. Her love for him is extremely strong and deep. He is the only person in her life that shows her kindness. Throughout the show, she is always true love towards Marius even if it means losing him forever.

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3. Cosette- She represents hope and light. As a child, she was terribly abused. But she still has hope she will be rescued and she eventually is by Jean Valjean. When she becomes a teenager, she falls. in love with Marius.

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4. Marius- His love for Cosette is hope.The love for each other brings hope to the story. If these two didn’t love each other, Marius would have died at the barricade.

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5. Enjolras, Marius and the students- These guys have hope for the rebellion. That is mostly shown in act I. Even in act II< they hold on that hope even when they realize they are going to die and lose. But they still have hope that others will eventually stand up against the weak government. They are so passionate about the cause that they are willing to die.

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Forgivness: 

1. The bishop scene- After Valjean steals the bishop’s steal, the is able to forgive Jean Valjean and shows him an incredible act of mercy. The bishop gives Jean a second chance at life.

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2. Valjean forgiving Javert- Javert is Valjean’s enemy but is able to forgive Javert. At the barricade, Valjean lets Javert go and end up forgiving Javert and this takes Javert by surprise.

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Compassion: 

1. Valjean showing compassion to Fantine-This happens in two ways. First shows compassion to Fantine by intervening to protect Fantine from being arrested. Then as Fantine is dying, she is still concerned about Cosette and Valjean promises to raise Cosette as his own and this gives Fantine peace and comfort as he is dying. Valjean stays with Fantine as she his dying.

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2. Marius showing compassion to Eponine- This is mainly shown at “A Little Fall of Rain”, Eponine’s death scene. After Marius realizes that Eponine is shot and is dying, this totally devastates Marius, but he still decides to be with her and comfort her while she is dying. Eponine is dying because she takes a bullet for Marius. Marius totally cares for Eponine and he holds her until she dies. It it hard on Marius, but he shows comfort to Eponine.

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3. Valjean and Cosette- Valjean is able to show compassion to Cosette. He is able to rescue her from the Thearndeirs. When realizing that Cosette is being terribly abused by the Thearndiers, he is thankful that he rescues Cosette. He promised he would raise Cosette after her mother dies. Not only does he keep his promise, but he rescues Cosette from a life of abuse.

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Sacrifice: 

1. Fantine- Like I said, themes seem to overlap each other. Fantine is willing to sacrifice everything including her life in order to care for Cosette. She is such a selfless mother willing to die to make sure her child gets a better life than she had.

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2. Eponine- She risks everything for Marius. Even though he is the only good thing in her life, she is willing to make sure that Marius ends up with Cosette. Everything she does it out of love for Marius. Her love for Marius shows that she has a spark of goodness left in her and that shows she is kind of different from her parents. She is willing to sacrifice her life so that he will survive the barricade.

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3. Students- Due to how passionate these students are, they are willing to die for the cause they strongly believe in. They are college students and they all die for this upswing. Enjolras, the leader of the group, is the most passionate  about this cause, which makes his death very heartbreaking. The students also are willing to die even if they know they are going to lose.

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4. Jean Valjean- He is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s. When he finds out that she is in love with Marius, he goes to the barricades in order to protect Marius to make sure he comes out alive. When Marius gets seriously injured and falls unconscious, he carries Marius through the sewers and makes him strive the barricades. Another scene he shows sacrifice is when he turns himself in when an innocent man is accused of being the “real” Valjean and he can’t bear to see an innocent man get sent to prison because Valjean knows what is like.

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Humanity: From worst to best

1.Thenardiers- They represent the very worst of society. They only care about themselves and money. The first scene you realize they are quite abusive is when you see how they treat Cosette. Then during Master of the House, you realize they are in fact pick pockets. After Cosette gets rescued by Jean Valjean, they start using abuse on Eponine, their daughter. They raise her to be a thief and criminal and they fall into extreme poverty. AT such a young age, they kicked Gavroche, their song out of the house. Then with both Eponine and Gavroche die at the barricades, the Theanrdiers don’t even care. They do not love both of their children.

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2. Javert-He is this obsessive policeman who has a very shady view on the world. He views the world in black and right and believe that no one can change. He is further up in humanity than the Thenardiers. He always tries to do good even if it may not be the right thing to do.

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3. Eponine- She is a young girl who doesn’t have a lot of good things happen in her life. She lives with parents who abuse her and teach her the ways of being a criminal and forces her to participate in their schemes. The entire family falls in to extreme poverty. She falls in love with Marius, but that loves falls unrequited. She falls in love til him because of the kindness she shows her. I think the reason why she has s park of goodness in her is mainly because of Marius. Her love for Marius is quite strong and deep and constantly shows true love towards him. She eventually takes a bullet for Marius and dies in his arms.

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4. Students- they are a group of college students who are planning an uprising against France’s weak government.

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5. Fantine- She is a selfless mother who does anything in order to provide for Cosette. Even during her death, she is still concerned about Cosette, but Valjean agrees to raise Cosette as his own.

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6. Cosette- She represents hope and light. After Valjean rescues her, she lives a very sheltered life, but i don’t blame that because Valjean is always on the run from Javert. But Valjean gave her a better life. She is such a sweet person and she falls in love with Marius and their love help provide hope to this tragic tale.

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7. Marius- He is such a nice, sweet, and a little awkward law student. who is capable of an arming amount of bravery and compassion. His bravery comes from being willing to be part of the rebellion. His compassion is mainly shown through how much he cares about Eponine. When Eponine is dying, he ends up staying with her and comforting her and holding her while she dies even though this devastates Marius. He is the only survivor from the barricade and eventually realizes that Valjean is the reason he is alive and ends up thanking Valjean.

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8.   Jean Valjean- He starts out as being a harsh, hateful, and angry man and it doesn’t seem like he will become a better person. But then he meets the bishop who teaches him the ways of the Lord. The bishop shows him compassion and forgiveness and mercy by allowing him a place to sleep and food to eat and forgives Valjean after stealing his silver.  These actions gives Valjean a second chance at life and is determined to become a better person. It is why he rescues Fantine from being arrested, why he turns himself in when an innocent man is accused of being the “real” Valjean. He even promises Fantine that he will raise Cosette.

All of his actions he does after the bishop scene he does out of the example the bishop teaches him. He shows compassion to a number of people. He rescues Marius from the barricade. He raises Cosette. So you see as the show continues he continue to becomes a better person.

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9. The Bishop- Even though the bishop plays such a small role in the musical, his role is crucial. If he didn’t show compassion and forgiveness, to Valjean, there really wouldn’t be a story. Valjean would have stayed a hateful and angry and harsh man if it wasn’t for the actions the bishop does. He shows compassion by allowing Valjean a place to sleep and food to eat and is able to forgive Valjean.

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So you see , Les Mis deals with various levels of humanity. You have the the very worst and the very best and those in between.

Redemption: 

,1. Jean Valjean- Valjean goes on a path to redemption after the mercy shown to him from the bishop. By the end, he become a very saintlike and compassionate person despite his years in prison.

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Because Les Mis deals with so many areas of these spiritual themes, it makes Les Mis so much more than just a tragedy. It has this beautiful underlying spirituality, which is what I am able to relate to. It is why this tale is so inspirational. It is why it is not too depressing and why I am not sick and tried of it.

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A Selfless Mother’s Journey

Major Spoilers Ahead:

Another character I love from Les Mis is Fantine. Of all the Les Mis characters, her story is the hardest story to watch. Most of my love for Fantine comes from her selfless love for her daughter. She is a struggling mother who was abandoned by her love who left her to care for her and her daughter, Cosette alone. But at the time, it is dangerous that you had a child out of wedlock so she has to deal with difficult situations. She has to leave her child in the hands of the Thenardiers, but little does she know how poorly they will treat her child and that they will scam her out of money.

She finds herself in Jean Valjean’s factory and she sends a weekly sum to the Thenardiers for the sake of her child. But the Thenardiers never use it to provide for her child. One day she gets a note saying that her child is deathly ill but her secret comes out. She really believes the note. She is fired by the factory and she is devastated. She realizes her dreams are shattered and has to find another way to get money. So she has to sell her locket and hair and herself to provide for her child. So she literally has to become a prostitute. This might sound like a bad idea, but she does it out of love for her child. So she is mother who has quite a selfless love for her daughter. It is the whole prostitute scene that makes Fantine’s story the hardest storyline to watch.

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In the next scene, Fantine’s situation gets even worse. She was sexually harassed by a customer and in self defense she attacks him. But Javert seeing her lower in society than the “gentlemen”, he tried to arrest her and sentence her six months. Valjean comes to her rescue and realizes she has gotten very sick. He realizes that he indirectly fired her from his factory so he feels quite guilty, but shows her an incredible act of compassion. As she lays dying, she is still worried about the care for her child. So Valjean promised to raise her child. So my love for Fantine comes from how selflessly she cares for her child. Her storyline is even more heartbreaking after seeing it a 2nd time because after you realize that the Thenardiers are horribly abusing Cosette so it adds the more heartbreak to Fantine’s story.

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Steps of becoming Obsessed with a Musical

This can happen in life. You can become obsessed with a musical. I am obsessed with Les Mis. I fell in love with Les Mis around 2012/2013. At this point, I have already seen it five times.

  1. See the musical in some way- well, I first saw the movie musical of Les Mis December 2012- I already knew Les Mis existed in 2009 through the whole Britain’s Got Talent Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream” thing so I already knew one song. I was a bit unsure coming in, but still unsure after the movie ended. After the first death, I was so shocked and confused because at that point, I realized Les Mis was a tragedy so I had no idea how to respond. I had interpreted ALL musicals as HAPPY growing up so I was shocked that Les Mis was a tragedy. At the end, I had “Do You Hear the People Sing” stuck in my head. But I had no clue if I liked it or not. Despite not knowing if I like it or not, I still started researching the musical. 

  2. If you have to, give it a 2nd chance. That is exactly what happened with me. I had to give the movie a 2nd chance. I decided to give it a 2nd chance because I had no idea if I liked it the first time. I still don’t know what prompted me to see it a 2nd time. With the 2nd viewing, I was able to calm down and see so much more. I began to see there was something special about Les Mis. I started to research even deeper about the musical. I just wanted to know why it makes me feel uplifted since it was so heartbreaking.
  3. Have a desire to see the stage show. By this point, I already researched it a lot. I really knew a lot more about the characters. I even already owned the movie. When I heard it was coming to community college, I badly wanted to see it. So my mom and dad took me to see this production and then I saw it twice as an usher. Just by seeing it at community college, I wanted to see the musical in the West End. It was my dream to see it there.                                                              1450047_10202059520557133_349234801_n
  4. Understand why you love it (started after seeing the movie 2nd chance and on)- I really began to understand many reasons why I love it. I did start to love the character of Eponine the 2nd time I saw it, but failed to know why. It took the entire year of 2013 and part of why in 2014. I also began to understand why I love some of the other characters. By having an obsession, you see a lot in the musical. Les Mis after all is so complex. and there is so much to be explored. I began to understand how the characters’ lives are so interconnected and how they directly and indirectly impact each others’ lives. I eventually noticed the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette, which is interesting to explore. I started to really see more of the spiritual themes, which proves why this heartbreaking tale is so inspirational. I began to love Valjean’s journey and love the passion the students have for the uprising. Etc

Well, by the end of 2013 I became officially obsessed. So this obsession is why I developed a passion for musicals. I saw it in the West End in 2015 so literally two years after I developed a dream for seeing it in the West End, finally was able to. I already seen a phenomenal production of Les Mis, but this was basically ten times better for 1) sitting nine rows back from the stage, 2) the staging, and 3) the cast. One member in the cast was an understudy, who was Adam Bayjou for Valjean.

 

2017: I already was obsessed, but seeing the musical a 5th time shows that you still aren’t tired of the musical. It was touring the US and I had a decision to make. Gardner Webb was taking people to see it in Greenville or I could see it in Charlotte with my mom. I choose seeing it in Greenville with my school. So seeing the musical another time shows how you are still impacted even after already seeing it four times. This production was my 5th time and my 1st time on tour. It also was the 1st time seeing the 25th anniversary. My other professional time, the West End, and an understudy, but what was a bit coincidental is that I had an understudy for this production. In this production, I had an understudy for Eponine.

 

I still don’t know why I am obsessed with it. I  only know why I love it. A lot of it had to do with the passionate, epic, highly moving and powerful score. It complements the characters perfectly. The characters are quite complex and believable. You have the very compassionate ex-convict Jean Valjean, the obsessive policeman Javert, the selfless mother and prostitute  Faninte, the funny, abusive, and greedy Thenardiers, the brave and loyal Eponine, the sweet, compassionate, and a bit awkward and brave Marius, the beautiful and orphan Cosette,and the hopeful and passionate students. There is so much going on it Les Mis. So that was a bit rundown of me becoming obsessed with Les Mis.

What I Love about Jean Valjean

Jean Valjean is the protagonist in Les Mis. He is an ex-convict unfairly sentenced for nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family. He is one of the best protagonists in the world of musicals.

Major Spoilers:

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He is a character that goes through a wonderful transformation. When he is released from prison, he is stuck on parole forever. Being in prison has hardened him to become a hateful and angry man. It is his transformation that makes him such a wonderful character in so many ways.

It wasn’t until he meets that bishop that he realizes he needs to change. He feels like society will always hate him. The bishop showed him an incredible act of mercy by inviting him to eat and sleep at his house. But Valjean hardened through prison repays by stealing his silver. But the bishop forgives him and gives him the silver. He has taught Valjean the ways of the Lord.

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It is in this particular moment, Valjean has realized just how much prison has hardened him and realizes that he needs to change his ways. He notices the compassion the bishop has shown him. In order to change his ways, he needs to break parole.

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So Valjean has become mayor and starts to show compassion to those of others. He opens up a factory. He helps the less fortunate. So his transformation has truly begun. He was given a second chance at life and starts to live by the ways of the bishop. He indirectly is responsible for the firing of Fantine. He shows compassion to her by promising to raise her child, Cosette, on her deathbed. So Valjean understands the value of compassion at this point. In addition, when an innocent man is accused of being the “real” Valjean, Valjean turns himself in to protect the man.

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Valjean discovers just how broken Cosette is. She has been abused by the Thenardiers. Valjean has become a father in the most unexpected ways. Jean Valjean has never known love and neither has Cosette. So the two form such a special bond. Cosette is the main happiness in Jean Valjean’s life. She helps him with his transformation to becoming a better person. You might think he is sheltering and protecting Cosette too much, but let’s remember he is an ex-convict on the run and knows that Javert is after him.

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In act II, Valjean realizing that Cosette loves Marius, he does an amazing act of courage. He realizes that his daughter loves Marius. He picks up on the fact that Marius might die on the barricade so he ends up going to the barricade to protect Marius in order to make sure that he lives. Marius and the students eventually realize the uprising is a lost cause. After “Drink With Me”, Jean Valjean prays to God to make sure Marius lives. So Jean Valjean has learned to love God and it is clear that he has such a strong spirit.

During the final battle, Marius seriously gets injured and he falls unconscious so Valjean carries him through the sewers and eventually rescues him from death. This act of courage shows just how much he loves Cosette. It shows that he is capable of both compassion and courage.

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Valjean dies at the end. But he gets to die with Marius, his now son-in-law, and Cosette by his side. He has finally redeemed himself. He has become such a compassionate and saint-like man. He has lived a tough life of being an ex-convict, but he learns to love through Cosette. He has learned a lot of lessons through the bishop and that is why he was able to become a better person.

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So his transformation makes him such a well-loved character. To start out as a hateful, harsh, and angry man into a compassionate and saint-like man is so inspiring. He has developed a wonderful love for God. Due to being to prison, he rescues an innocent man from being sentenced to prison. He also rescues a man trapped under a cart. So he does many moments of risking himself for the sake of other people. Cosette has taught him how to love and he would anything for her even if it means losing her forever. That is why he rescues Marius. So his transformation and his actions make me love him so much.

Les Mis Collection (Part 2)

Earlier in Christmas Break, I wrote a Les Mis post about my Les Mis collection. Well, a couple weeks after, I realized I left part of my collection off so I am doing a new post. I will still talk about the things I already explained and will bring up the stuff I never included.

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This picture gives a general idea of my love for Les Mis. I have three tickets from the community college production (2013), the West End production (2015) and the current touring US production (2017), which was seen in Greenville. So have happened to see 3 productions ever two years. The community college production was seen 3 times due to going once with family and twice as an usher, which is why my total number of times I have seen Les Mis is 5 times. In relationship to those productions, I have the three playbills and what surprised me in London is that I had to buy the playbill, which doesn’t happen in the United States. My London playbill was signed by Adam Bayjou, my Valjean, and he was an understudy and he made me forget I was watching an understudy so that says something about how brilliant he was. I have a filer for the community college production and a filer for the London production.

As some know, I went to Les Mis party last year where I dressed up as Eponine, my favorite female character in the musical. Well, my first Les Mis party was in 2015 where I was surprised and my mom hid it by saying that one of her closest friends, who is also a big Les Mis fan just wanted to see the movie with me. So in my 2015 party, I was not able to dress up as a character, but I was called Eponine all night long just because I sang “On My Own” during Karoke. One of the people who attended knew a friend happened to know one of the Valjean’s and so she got in contact with that former Valjean and he signed a souvenir program and I did not see that part of my collection coming.

Obviously as any Les Mis fan, you would have the soundtrack. It took a lot of debating over which one I wanted. My mother eventually bought me one of the soundtracks and it ended up being the original broadway cast. Even with the soundtrack alone, I am reduced to tears. As a big Les Mis fan myself, I own the unabridged book, which I actually finished in less than one summer and that book is my favorite of the classics. The last of that picture is the page to screen book. It talks about how it made its journey to London stage to its creation of the school edition all the way to the musical movie. It has pictures and several facts in relationship to Les Mis.

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My first Les Mis bit of my collection was the movie. The movie was the first full experience of Les Mis. My first viewing, I couldn’t tell if I loved that movie or not. I was a bit shocked and confused as it is a tragic musical, a musical theatre genre I really had no clue existed so I didn’t know how to respond to Les Mis. Despite the confusion, I started researching the musical until I decided to give the movie a 2nd chance and I was able to calm down and get more out of it. I watch the movie each time I come home for break and I am not tired of it yet. I also own the 25th anniversary concert DVD. I watch that version less than the movie because it is longer so it is hard to find time to watch something of 3 hours. So these two are my easiest access to Les Mis if I am in the mood to watch it.

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I got the gray T-shirt at the Queen’s Theatre when I saw it in the West End. The red shirt is quite special. Some of my friends at Gardner Webb made that shirt for me for a birthday present. Literally the shirt says “keep calm and talk about Les Mis”. It appears as if those two friends know me quite well. It is unique in the fact that a) college friends it for me and b) no one else can own it.

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This poster is hung above my bed in Charlotte. This is yet another souvenir I got at the Queen’s Theatre. The only posters that belong on my wall in my room are musicals that hold an important part of my life.

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These two paintings do deserve a part in my collection as well. In my first semester of college, one of the RAs of my floor made these two paintings for me. Those two are hung in my dorm room. Even though the French flag is not in the right order, I still love the painting.

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Last time, I did this post, I cannot believe I forgot about my Les Mis piano book. In 2014, I was going through a rough time in my life and to get through that, my piano teacher taught me the Les Mis songs on the piano. Because I knew the songs so well, I was able to add emotion into the songs. I knew when the songs got louder or got softer. The colored pencils were found as a stocking stuffed. They have words on them like “one gray more”, “do you hear the purple sing”, “blue4601” and other things like those.

I will leave with pictures from when I saw Les Mis and when I dressed up as Eponine along with a painting I made at Pinterest night, which has Eponine on it.

 

‘So based upon my collection and the number of times I have seen the stage production, the movie and the 25th anniversary concert DVD combined shows just how big of a Les Mis fan I am. It also is shown through the number of times I listened to the soundtrack. So I have listened to those songs so many times and not yet tired of them and shows just how amazing of a musical Les Mis. Despite the number of times, I still get emotional listening or seeing it, which has led me to tear up, get goosebumps, and laugh along with something else that I can’t describe and that sort of feeling is something that rarely happen in a musical world.

 

Where is Hope for Les Mis Characters?

Yesterday, I talked about my Les Mis collection. Today I thought I would mention more about the concept of hope in Les Mis. It is hard to find, but it is there. Some characters I still do not know where their hope is.

Possible Spoliers:

  1. Jean Valjean- first through the bishop due to him teaching Valjean the ways of the Lord so Valjean found hope for a second chance at life. His second aspect of hope is through Cosette, the first person he loved since he was released from prison.

2. Javert- I honestly have no idea where hope from him is coming from

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3. Fantine- her hope is for the sake of her daughter. She has hope that her daughter will have a better life than she did. She found hope when she realized her daughter will be well cared for after Valjean promised to raise her daughter on her deathbed.

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4. Cosette-she represents hope and light. Even when she was abused by the Thenardiers, she still had hope she will be rescued. Valjean does come for her. Her love for Marius brings hope to the story.

5. Marius-I guess his hope is coming from his relationship with Cosette. They are in love and they are two of the only characters who survive Les Mis. Both have faced some kind of trauma in their life, but they still bring hope to the tragic tale.

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6. Eponine- the light in her life is Marius. He is the only good thing in her life. Her life is dark and scary and a world without love. She grew up by being taught the ways of being a thief. She is forced to participate in her parent’s schemes. Marius is the only person who shows her kindness and that is why she loves him so much.

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7. Monsieur and Madame Thenardier- I cannot seem to see any kind of hope in these two. They are the villains of the show and full of so much greed and neglect and don’t love their children.

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8. Enjolras, Gavroche and the Students- they have hope for the rebellion and a strong passion for it as well.

So hope is a part of many of the Les Mis characters. It takes time to get to know Les Mis. It is the kind of musical you have to grow into. Due to it being very heartbreaking, you have to learn to see beyond the heartbreak and find the spirituality in it. Les Mis has this beautiful underlying spirituality so you end up leaving the theatre filled with hope. The show isn’t too depressing because if it was, you would leave the theatre feel quite sad and not hopeful. The musical makes you leave with hope. Tragic stories work as long as it goes beyond the sadness that they consist of.

How do the characters show hope in Les Mis?

Ranks of My Five Les Mis Casts

This post will rank the actors from the movie, 25th anniversary concert film, the community college production, West End production, and Greenville production. It may not be accurate because I don’t remember some of the actors. About the community college one, I can’t put the actor down since I don’t know the names.

  1. Jean Valjean- Hugh Jackman, community college, Alfie Boe, Nick Cartell, Adam Bayjou (understudy)- hard to pick between Alfie, Nick and Adam.
  2. Javert- Russell Crowe, community college, Norm Lewis, Josh Davis, Jeremy Secomb (only actor where I found an emotional connection to Javert)
  3. Fantine-community college, Lea Salonga, Melissa Mitchell, Anne Hathaway, Rachelle Ann Go
  4. Monsieur and Madame Thenardier-community college, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, Jenny Galloway and Matt Lucas, Allison Guann and J. Anthony Crane, Kathy Secombe and Phil Daniels
  5. Eponine-community college, Talia Simone Robinson (understudy), Carrie Hope Fletcher and Samantha Barks (tough call between the two of them)
  6. Cosette-community college, Zoe Doano, Amanda Seyfried, Katie Hall, Jillian Butler
  7. Marius- Nick Jonas, community college, Rob Houchen and Eddie Redmayne, Joshua Grosso
  8. Enjolras-community college, Aaron Tveit, Matt Shingledecker, Ramin Karimloo, Bradley Jaden- tough call between all five

This list is the way it is is 1) due to not remembering some of the actors and 2) some there was no way I could pick. Enjolras was a very tough call and so was Jean Valjean because I loved all of them. Even two of the Eponine’s were tough calls so they were placed together. This is just the best I could do. All of the casts were incredible in different ways. But the ones that stand out the most were the Greenville cast and the West End cast.