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  1. #181

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    Here are the less major male characters.

    Enjolras (Michael Maguire vs. Ramin Karimloo)

    Vocals: Both are fantastic, but Ramin wins. Even though he’s not pitch perfect a couple times, he makes it look so effortless and never strains to reach those notes. Michael Ball and Ramin Karimloo back and forth at 1:35 to 2:04 here

    Acting/interpretation: Although Enjolras isn’t that major a character, I still saw the biggest interpretation differences among the male characters.

    Michael Maguire’s Enjolras reminds me of the saying, “Today’s revolutionaries are tomorrow’s dictators”. Today he’s driven by passion for equality, but I can totally see him, if he got into a position of power, persecuting those who don’t agree with him. This Enjolras will hold grudges and would intimidate and bully people.

    Ramin’s Enjolras, on the other hand, is more driven by an idealistic fire. Whereas Michael’s Enjolras saw himself as more capable than his friends, Ramin’s Enjolras is one of them. I don’t sense an ulterior motive as I do with Michael’s Enjolras.

    Strictly from an audience member's perspective, it’s easier to get behind Enjolras’s cause with Ramin’s interpretation, charm, and charisma. But Michael’s interpretation is more philosophically interesting. Overall, I don't have a preference.

    By the way, doesn't Michael Maguire look like a combination of Eric from The Little Mermaid and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast? I wonder if he's played either of those characters on Broadway.

    Msr. Thénardier (Alun Armstrong vs. Matt Lucas)

    Jenny Galloway played Mme. Thénardier in both productions, so I’m only comparing the males.

    Vocals: This really isn’t a vocally important part.

    Acting/interpretation: Alun Armstrong’s Thénardier is entertaining, but in a sinister way. Matt Lucas’s Thénardier doesn’t come across as sinister, just as a ham.

    In terms of preference, it depends on the perceived purpose of the role. If it’s an almost purely comedic role, then Matt Lucas does a better job in terms of getting the audience into it. If it’s a sinister role, then Alun Armstrong does a better job.

    Others:

    The guy who played Grantaire (sp?) in the 25th was awesome. He infused so much personality into that role and made that personality seem totally natural, not forced or attention-seeking. He had a minor role but made a big impression on me. I watched the 10th anniversary “Drink with Me” video just yesterday to do this write-up, and I already forget what that Grantaire looks like, nor do I care to watch it again just to see.

    Come to think of it, the students as a group were way better in the 25th than the 10th. The group as a whole became a noteworthy, memorable character rather than a backdrop for Enjolras and Marius.

    The Gavroche in the 25th owns the one in the 10th. He was amazing. Such sass, such spunk, such attitude!
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 02-27-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  2. #182
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    YAY at Taylor Swift NOT playing my favorite character of all time. There was no way she could sing that part. And YAY for Colm and Francis having roles in the film!! YAY YAY YAY!!!

    I was 10 in 1987 when I first saw Les Miserables and it had such an impact on my childhood. I literally grew up being a huge Les Miz fan. The anniversary shows, and seeing the OLC sing one day more, is just so nostalgic for me. I get all choked up. All of those people meant so much to me growing up LOL!

  3. #183
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    Thanks for the analysis, Gazpacho. I found a good recent interview with Ramin Karimloo who is now playing Jean Valjean in the Queen's theatre production and has his first album coming out in March. He mentions “After the warm-up I stop worrying about how I sound, because that’s just one aspect of it. I like to be a little rough around the edges, I guess,” which I found interesting considering the comparisons of different actors' singing and acting in their various parts.

    As an aside, I first saw Colm Wilkinson playing the Phantom in Toronto and had the cast album as well, so I was quite taken aback when I first heard him as Jean Valjean and took some time to get used to the idea and to not only associate his distinctive voice with a spooky type of character. Eventually I grew to love him as Jean Valjean and didn't think I could ever associate another voice so much with the character until I saw Alfie Boe.

  4. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    The guy who played Grantaire (sp?) in the 25th was awesome. He infused so much personality into that role and made that personality seem totally natural, not forced or attention-seeking. He had a minor role but made a big impression on me.
    That was Hadley Fraser. He played Marius in London back in 2002, and is currently playing Javert. One of my favourite performers ever.

  5. #185
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    Gazpacho, still waiting for your thoughts on the females.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8sue View Post
    Thanks for the analysis, Gazpacho. I found a good recent interview with Ramin Karimloo who is now playing Jean Valjean in the Queen's theatre production and has his first album coming out in March. He mentions “After the warm-up I stop worrying about how I sound, because that’s just one aspect of it. I like to be a little rough around the edges, I guess,” which I found interesting considering the comparisons of different actors' singing and acting in their various parts.
    Speaking of Ramin...If you've got Detroit PBS, it's Pledge Break Time and tonight on Great Performances is Phantom of the Opera. Guess who is playing the Phantom?

    Just mentioning that for those interested who can catch it.

    As an aside, I first saw Colm Wilkinson playing the Phantom in Toronto and had the cast album as well, so I was quite taken aback when I first heard him as Jean Valjean and took some time to get used to the idea and to not only associate his distinctive voice with a spooky type of character. Eventually I grew to love him as Jean Valjean and didn't think I could ever associate another voice so much with the character until I saw Alfie Boe.
    I was lucky enough to see him twice as the Phantom in Toronto and...Sigh!! Did you know that ALW wanted him to be the original Phantom, but Colm was busy w/Les Mis, so couldn't do it. Colm's Music of the Night is far better than Michael Crawford's IMO and the best of the versions I've heard so far.

    Gazpacho, awesome rundown of the male parts in the two Anniversary shows. Can't wait to see your opinions of the ladies.

  7. #187

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    Michael Crawford's "Music of the Night" is far better than Colm's, IMO. But then, Colm's "Bring Him Home" is better than Michael's. (Michael sang the song on his first solo album.)
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  8. #188

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    I am completely bowled over by how great this Phantom production is! (25th Anniversary) From the cast to the staging - it's stellar. I've just ordered the blue-ray.

    My favorite Phantom up until now has been split between Colm and Gary Mauer, whom I saw twice live. However, Ramin Karimloo is outstanding. I should grab some tickets, he's going to be playing a concert in Chicago in September.

    And Sierra Boggess is stunningly beautiful.
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
    ~DC

  9. #189
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    I could add to Kruss' excellent post, but since she pretty much covered it...

    Ramin was awesome as The Phantom. His Music of the Night was gorgeous!!

    Which is downloading from iTunes as we speak.

    Boy though, has Sarah Brightman lost a step or two. She was really fighting to hold those notes at the end of PotO during the encore.

  10. #190

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    I seriously cried a few times, I was so into it. This was amazing, and the performances were do much more emotional and moving than I'd ever seen.
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
    ~DC

  11. #191
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    Considering we had no power from sometime very late Friday night till just mid afternoon this afternoon thanks to Mother Nature's tantrum she pulled, this was such a lovely surprise to find when I was checking out the on air guide at 6pm on our dish. Little did I know just *how* lovely.

    WOW!!

    I also had tears in my eyes a couple of times Kruss. What an outstanding production. I was kicking myself for not popping in a blank DVD and recording it, but then we lost our feed a couple of times (thankfully not for long and *not* during any of the major songs) and that made me feel a bit better about not doing that.

    I'll have to go hunting for this the next time I'm near a HMV store. Still hunting for the 25th Les Mis. Even though I did DVR that off of PBS, I missed the very beginning w/the Chain Gang, Valjean's Parole and the encounter w/the Bishop. Besides, that will end up being the version I take w/me travelling and the "good version" can stay here safe at home.

    Provided I ever find the thing that is.

  12. #192

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    Have you checked Amazon? I was able to order it from there.
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
    ~DC

  13. #193
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    So long as I'm living under my Parents roof, no buying anything online. For me to use iTunes, I need to buy my own gift cards and then redeem them. Just a tad annoying.

  14. #194
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    The Phantom 25th Anniversary from the Royal Albert Hall is absolutely amazing. Not a concert staging like Les Mis but the whole show, incredibly staged considering the constraints of the venue. There's not a single performance that isn't superb and Ramin and Sierra are out of this world as the Phantom and Christine. Seriously one of the best things I have ever seen. I would seriously recommend getting this on DVD or blu-ray - you'll watch it again and again.

  15. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by AragornElessar View Post
    So long as I'm living under my Parents roof, no buying anything online. For me to use iTunes, I need to buy my own gift cards and then redeem them. Just a tad annoying.
    I'm sure it'll be available at regular stores, too.
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
    ~DC

  16. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by AragornElessar View Post
    So long as I'm living under my Parents roof, no buying anything online. For me to use iTunes, I need to buy my own gift cards and then redeem them. Just a tad annoying.
    You could check Barnes & Noble on line. Then you could call and order it over the phone.
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/phan...rt&store=music

  17. #197
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    Oh, I know it's in the stores. Both 25th Anniversary DVD's, although until last night I didn't realize there was one for Phantom, but that's not that important at the moment. Anyway, the HMV that's nearest to me had sold out and were waiting on the order of new DVD's of the Les Mis 25th DVD and the one at the Eaton's Centre in Toronto I checked last week had one, but it was already spoken and paid for, so...

    I would have gone to the one on Queen St, but by that point I was dead tired, needed to sit and my feet just weren't going to let me do that. Oh well...I'll be headed down for sure in May for CSOI and again for foot surgery sometime this year, plus back over to the one in Sudbury when I have a follow up w/the Dental Surgeon in a couple of weeks, so it's not like I'll be missing chances to look for it. Now, I have *two* 25th Anniversary DVD's to look for is all.

    When it comes to the music of Les Mis, it's so special to me for the obvious reasons. My introduction to this wonderful music was thanks to Underhill and Martini skating to On My Own back in the day. First time I ever got to see them to begin w/, but I just adored the song they skated to, so decided to see if I could try and find it. That was the Fall of 1988, so was a far bit more difficult to do than it would be now.

    And then 90 Cdns and Kurt skated to Bring Him Home and...That song has helped me through so much over the last 22 years. Whenever I was going through another really rough patch healthwise then and now, all I have to do is hear any version of BHH and it takes me back to that very special week and those memories truly do help.

    In 1997 it took on an even more special meaning to me, as I was lucky enough to interview Canada's Jean Valjean, Michael Burgess in College. He was in town to perform in Concert, I got to interview him first and then got a private performance of BHH.

    For stock footage for the story of course.

    Such a nice guy too. I still think the reason I got to do that was because I had to have my appendix out three weeks before that, it was my first story back and my Instructor, knowing my love of Les Mis, took pity on me. Of course, that's one VHS tape that'll never be taped over.

    As for PotO...Those two trips to Toronto were the only times during all my High School years where I got to be just like everyone else for once. I'd already seen some of it thanks to things here and there. Such as Royal Variety Performance or the Tony Awards and adored what I'd seen. So that show's also rather special to me too.

    And now I think I've rambled enough...

  18. #198
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    ^^ Sorry, I thought you were looking for the Phantom 25th. I have the Les Mis 10th Anniversary and the original cast CDs and the 10th Anniversary DVD. I like the 10th the best. I do think that Alfie Boe is amazing, but the rest of the 10th Dream Cast is better (I think).

  19. #199
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    No problem. Until seeing that incredable performance of PotO last night, and this is the reason I adore PBS Pledge Times, I didn't know there *was* a 25th Anniversary Phantom DVD to look for. Now that I do, I have two DVD's of two very special shows that mean an awful lot to me to be on the lookout for.

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by AragornElessar View Post
    No problem. Until seeing that incredable performance of PotO last night, and this is the reason I adore PBS Pledge Times, I didn't know there *was* a 25th Anniversary Phantom DVD to look for. Now that I do, I have two DVD's of two very special shows that mean an awful lot to me to be on the lookout for.
    Good luck, I hope you get them soon.

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