Les Mis Fans ~ Keep An Eye Out During PBS Pledge Break Times

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by AragornElessar, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Our PBS East station on our dish is the Detroit one and it's Pledge Time!! Since it's when we usually get some awesome concert specials shown, I checked out the on air guide yesterday afternoon to see what was on last night. To my delight, starting at 7 was...

    Les Miserables ~ The 25th Silver Anniversary Concert from the O2 Arena in London

    It's four hours w/the various breaks for pledge requests and all that, but what an enjoyable four hours it is. The guy who plays Jean Valjean in this is *amazing*!! His first name is Alfie, but I never did catch his last name. Regardless, I now have a brand new all time favourite performance of Bring Him Home thanks to watching this last night. :)

    Also the character of Fantine is played by Lea Salgona (Sorry for the butchering of that), which was a lovely surprise since I haven't heard much from her the last few years. She did a wonderful job of I Dreamed A Dream too. Which I'm rather jealous over. That is the one song I just can't sing for some odd reason. Never fails, I'll be doing okay w/it and then I go off key and can't get it back. Drives me nuts!!

    The Encore though...Now that's one heck of a treat, as the Original Cast from 1985 comes on stage and there's some *very* special performances to close the Concert.

    My only complaint is we're still trying to get the new DVR hooked up and working, so I wasn't able to get this on DVD last night. :(

    Anyway...Since I know some areas are just starting their Pledge Periods or it's coming up fast for their PBS Stations, I thought I'd post a Heads Up about this. Really do try to catch this, as it's just a wonderful, wonderful way to spend an evening if you're a Les Mis fan like me. :)
     
  2. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    The best thing about the Pledge Periods is that these very special programs are shown more than once.
     
  3. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    No, that's the worst thing. They're repeated to the point that you feel like phoning up the station and offering them money to *not* show that program again :lol:
     
  4. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    To each their own.
    I don't mind seeing something that's really special more than once.
     
  5. CarolineL

    CarolineL Member

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    Alfie Boe played Valjean. He is well known in the U.K. He will be reprising the role in London this summer.

    LOVED the original cast at the end. Loved Lea. Adored Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras.

    Nick Jonas was awful. Could not even get through his solos. Terrible, terrible miscasting.
     
  6. CDANN1013

    CDANN1013 Active Member

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    Loved the show. Just wished Nick Jonas wasn't in it. He was the weakest part of the whole show. Alfie's last name is Boe.

    Carol
     
  7. CarolineL

    CarolineL Member

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    Heh I think we posted at the same time. And neither of us are JoBro fans
     
  8. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    I was a Les Mis DIEHARD a few years ago...I've tapered off a bit since, but I still love the musical, of course. I didn't even know they'd made a 25th Anniversary Concert special until one of my sisters mentioned that it was going to be on last night (the main appeal of seeing it was Nick Jonas, apparently. :p ). So of course I had to watch it; I mean, it's Les Miserables!

    I didn't read up on the casting at all before hand, so aside from Nick, I didn't know who'd be playing who. So I will say that during the entire show, it was one happy scream after happy scream. LEA SALGONA! JENNY GALLOWAY! MATT LUCAS! SAMANTHA WHATSHERNAME! (lol...I don't know her name, but she was on that ALW show "I'd Do Anything" a few years ago, and I'd always loved her singing...so exciting to see her as Eponine).

    Nick Jonas was definitely the weakest link of the cast...such a shame too, because I think he has a good voice. Pop singing gave him a lot of bad habits, I think. Did you know he started out on Broadway when he was a kid...played Gavroche at some point or another, actually. Musical theater singing is definitely a far cry from pop singing though. It definitely showed when he sang alongside some of the top musical performers in the industry. I didn't think his "Empty Chairs" was bad; my ears didn't bleed so that's good. ;) But he definitely has a LONG way to go if he wants to make a career out of musical theater.

    I'll probably be buying the CD and/or the DVD later on...definitely one to keep in my collection.
     
  9. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. We'll have to catch this when it is repeated on PBS.

    BTW, it's Lea Salonga! What a gorgeous voice she has! ;encore:
     
  10. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

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    Loved the show! I caught it while channel surfing Sunday night. The cast (with one notable exception) I thought was amazing. Thank heavens they brought the 1985 cast onstage at the end. What an encore!

    Seeing this makes me want to finally go to London to see the show. I'd love to catch Michael Ball in Sweeney Todd next fall as well, if I can get tickets, that is.

    Even though the show is in the past, thanks for the heads up, AragornElessar. I do hope one of the other PBS stations shows it too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  11. CDANN1013

    CDANN1013 Active Member

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    Meredith,

    Check your local listings. My PBS station is showing it again on Wednesday, March 16.

    Carol
     
  12. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoyed this program. I thought Nick Jonas did a good job- he was actually in the London cast for awhile, it wasn't just stunt casting for this program.

    Having not seen the show in like 10 years, but constantly listening to the CDs of the OBC, I kept thinking they were making stuff up. Apparently there OBC recording skips a few songs that are more narrative (annoying) and the broadway version is a little different than the London version. No wonder some of it sounded strange :)

    I was very very happy to happen upon this on Sunday- I even skipped TAR until it was over.
     
  13. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    So much word on this. I had to turn it off because I couldn't stand Nick Jonas' singing. He's not bad, but he's clearly not a musical theater singer as has been pointed out. The other cast members were singing circles around him, and it was painfully evident that he was the only one who couldn't sing his part properly.

    And then they bring Michael Ball on to show Jonas how it's really done. Just no comparison. I also wasn't really moved by the girl who played Eponine in this; her emotions were slightly flat. But I loved ValJean and Javert.

    I did catch the end and saw the great surprises. It made me sad that I can't afford the show when it's here this month and next in Chicago. However, I won't be running out to buy this DVD even though the majority of the performances were great.; I'll stick with my 10th Anniversary Dream Cast for that.
     
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Actually I think Cosette was the weakest link. (If anything Jonas Bro was giving things like "A Heart Full of Love" way more acting try than the flimsy "love" story really deserves. Yeah, he got upstaged by the Theandiers and by Alfie Boe as Valjean, but so did everyone else.) She was rather blankly pretty but otherwise a manequin (which, well, with Cosette might be the point) and while she had the upper range, she was REALLY straining for the low notes, way more than she should have been.

    Lea Salonga was a nice surprise, especially since when last seen in Les Mis she was Eponine!

    The "battle" scenes really, really don't work with a static cast and set. It looks like a cheesy laser show.

    Anyone else know what the actor singing Javert has done besides this? Because he is REALLY familiar.

    As for PBS pledge breaks, I am always tempted to call in and say "I will send you real money if you SHUT UP and go back to the program." Seriously, just put the number on the bottom of the screen or a scroll bar instead of having people who flunked tenth-grade speech trying to sound sensible for twenty minutes.
     
  15. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

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    When I saw Matt Lucas I was like "HEY! THE GUY FROM LITTLE BRITAIN!!!!" :rofl:
     
  16. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Didn't they do one of these concert performances about 10 or 15 years ago? I remember enjoying that one. And IIRC, at the end they brought out about a dozen Valjeans who'd played the role on various stages around the world.
     
  17. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    That was the 10th Anniversary Concert that Kruss and a few others have mentioned Artemis. :)
     
  18. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    You got me all excited for a moment...I was like, Les Mis is coming back to Chicago?!? And then I looked it up, and they JUST ended their run. :( :( :( Super depressing.
     
  19. CarolineL

    CarolineL Member

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  20. Latte

    Latte Well-Known Member

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    I have such a crush on Alfie after watching this show!
    I watched it twice that night 8 hours in all! LOL:D
    I really must look him up on the web and find out more about him.:scream:
    Oh and add my vote to Nick being a mess. Not only could you not hear him most of the time, but, did you notice how he frowned all the way through it?
    He looked like he was in pain.:eek:
     
  21. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was over already. :( I knew that I was looking into tickets and seats awhile back, and decided I couldn't afford it this time.
     
  22. CarolineL

    CarolineL Member

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    I saw Alfie Boe in Kismet in 2007. The show was kind of a hot mess, but he was divine. I had not heard of him prior to that (I went to stalk Michael Ball) but was delighted to see him in Les Miserables. His performance saved it for me, as I was underwhelmed by most of the casting (loved Lea, Ramin, Matt Lucas, did not love the Javert). It saddens me especially that what are usually my favourite songs are the ones I skip now because Jonas is butchering them
     
  23. venja

    venja New Member

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    Cosette sounded whiny to me - at times it was like fingernails on a chalk board for me. Nick Jonas sounded constipated every time he opened his mouth. Why on earth was he chosen for this???

    I had the opportunity to watch this a while back (it was my first time watching Les Mis), and I was in awe of Alfie Boe. His performance moved me to tears, and I am not one to tear up easily. One of the advantages of seeing the whole thing, and not just the main program from the pledge, is the encore:

    Here's an encore of "Bring him home." I love Colm Wilkinson's reaction when Alfie Boe starts singing.
     
  24. AnnieBgood

    AnnieBgood Active Member

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    I think Nicks voice was just fine, it was the way he kept moving that bothered me. Any singing teacher will tell you, "don't sing with your eyebrows", "don't touch your diaphragm too much", and I can guess "don't stand on your tiptoes!". They're all a sign that you're not comfortable and in turn makes the viewer uncomfortable. I'm surprised the director didn't call him on his nervous habits.
     
  25. Parsley Sage

    Parsley Sage Well-Known Member

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    My PBS station (Buffalo) is broadcasting this tomorrow night at 7pm. (March 12)

    As an aside, one of my online friends in Florida was surprised that I get PBS in Canada.
     
  26. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I thought he was moving in the nature of his character. Lifted eyebrows to me mean "concerned about serious situation".

    I'll have to rewatch to see if I notice the diaphragm touching/lifting from the tiptoes
     
  27. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Yeah, I really think he was trying way harder than the situation warranted. It's also hard to be in what's more an "acting" show being presented in a static format. (I would bet if the camera didn't pull WAY back in the "battle" numbers they'd all look a little bemused, as they're just supposed to stand there staring.) Plus, he probably was nervous as everyone else was, AFAIK, musical-theater people (or "insane tenor" in Boe's case) and he's, well, a Jonas Brother, and unless he lives in a bubble when he's off stage he HAD to know there'd be people just waiting for him to screw up.

    ETA: When Boe starts singing in the "Bring Him Home" encore I honestly thought right there "I would NOT want to be one of the other Valejans up there right now."
     
  28. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Glad you guys over there got to see this. What a pity Nick Jonas can't sing more than two words without a sharp intake of breath. :rolleyes: It's a shame he was in it becasue the rest of it is really the highest quality. I'll never know what Cameron Mackintosh was thinking with that bit of genius mis-casting!!
     
  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Why was he cast in something as apt to be saved/preserved for future viewing as this?

    I'm so glad that Colm Wilkinson got the final phrase in the Encore.
    He is a joy!
     
  30. venja

    venja New Member

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    I think that WNED gets more support from Ontario than New York (hence the logo paying tribute to Toronto: "WNED Buffalo-Toronto"

    I'm fighting the flu, so I guess I'm going to be watching it again tomorrow. :) Thanks for the heads up.