I remember the very first time I saw Les Miserables, it was with my sister Katie. I was hooked, I tell you, hooked! The summer before she went off to college and I was starting my senior year of High School, we put our allowance together to buy the soundtrack, and we took turns keeping it (although I think I kept it longer and she eventually bought her own copy... I guess I owe you some money K! *giggle*). My favorite song at the time was Fantine's "I Dreamed a Dream", because the lyrics (I'm a teeny-weeny bit of a lyrics freak) meshed with a very hot and steamy summer romance I was having at the time... though I'm happy to say that although the hot and steamy has mellowed out _a BIT_, my summer romance that year is still by my side 16 years later. And I didn't even have to sell my hair. :-)
It's come through Arizona 8 times now, and I think I have seen it six. Next to a Paul McCartney concert, tickets to Les Mis is something I would sell my children for, if I didn't have the funds (something tells me my summer romance isn't going to like that I wrote that. The NSA probably won't either). Thinking back, each time I've experienced this musical, different relationships have stood out for me, most likely due to all the growing and changing that happens to a person over 16 years' time. Becoming a mother brought out the relationship between Fantine and Cosette, and what a mother would do for her child. I do not need to explain my thoughts on the people dissenting against their government and the revolutionary drive that it brings out in me:
Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!
And always, Love, sacrifice, and letting go:
She was never mine to keep.
She is youthful, she is free.
Love is the garden of the young
Let it be... let it be...
A heart full of love
This I give you on this day.
This time, my focus was on Valjean, and his struggle to make peace with a God he always found to be absent. After all, who does 20 years hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread? Then to have your second chance handed to you by a Bishop you stole from? That's alot to make amends with. But what I saw into it today was a man who, although not perfect by any means, stuck with what was right in his heart, and always made his choices to better the lives and the communities around him. And in the end, his soul was free.
Take my hand
And lead me to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.
Even Javert knew in the end that Valjean was just and true, and a man of honor. The conflict was so great for Javert and his beliefs he had to end his own life. When you believe one thing about a person for so long, it's hard to change your thinking, in either direction. In some ways it's like learning to speak a new language. And, always ending on an inspirational note:
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!
I whispered to Bret that they needed to get these guys over to Washington, pronto! ;-)
I didn't realize until I was looking up links for this entry that this will be the last time the production comes through Arizona. That saddens me, because I had been talking to Bret about someday taking the kids to see this. Now, it heads into the vault of legacies in my mind, that I will look upon fondly, and always be able to recapture a bit when I pull out that CD I bought 16 years ago and listen.
Hey wait- it's on my iPod now! Heh, Cd's are so old school.
So I bid you adieu, Les Miserables. Thank you for bringing something so not your title to a small part of my life.