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Les Miserables Reviews

Broadway ShowsMusicalsTrue-life HistoricalDramaClassic

Average customer review: 3.5 star rating (3.7 Stars)

Number of reviews: 178

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2.0 star rating Adam Patterson from Birmingham, Alabama

DISAPPOINTING

I went to to Birmingham, Alabama show on January 10th. This was my 8th time seeing Les Miserables in person and was by far the worst. While the set was impressive, the dark lighting made it difficult to see what was happening. I know the show pretty intimately, so I could forgive that. The pacing and voices of certain characters is what was most disappointing. The whole production was rushed and the tempo was much faster than it’s supposed to be. This led to the more emotional key moments falling very flat. It became quite boring, so I found myself distracted and looking around the the theatre quite a bit where I noticed quite a number of people leaving early. By the end of the final battle, I was considering joining them. My date had never been and walking out she said, “I don’t understand why everyone loves that so much”. I could only apologize and explain that that production did it no justice.

2.0 star rating Kyle Y from Kalamazoo, Michigan

POOR SOUND, UNDER-LIT ACTORS AND SET

This adaptation’s run at Miller Auditorium has an excellent cast with amazing voices. However, the technical aspects (sound, staging, and lighting) leave much to be desired: Thin, weak sound by an underpowered PA system at times literally makes lines unintelligible, and an awkwardly quiet mix of the pit orchestra shuns away the detail and nuance the musicians work hard to produce. From the middle of the orchestra section, I’m pretty sure we were hearing most of the show from 1 or 2 small front fill speakers way down at the front of the stage. Shadowy, spotty lighting inconsistently illuminates lead actors and leaves extras in total darkness throughout the show, while overbearingly-bright TV confidence monitors for the actors on the balcony literally light up the theater more than the dim, murky stage. SO much set and costume texture was unseen due to the lack of accent lighting and basic backlighting fundamentals... not to mention a digitally projected backdrop so dim it was nearly invisible and added no aesthetic value to scene changes. The Miller’s grand stage is choked by a claustrophobia-inducing set design, limiting stage blocking to only a small area in the middle for any and every scene. This greatly limited the audience immersion of the show and created an impression, overall, that the show is better played to a crowd of no more than 300-400 tops.

2.0 star rating Betsy from Bloomington, Indiana

I WAS MISERABLE!

My daughter and I had first row balcony seats and were so excited for the show. The first scene was dark and the men had great voices but right away I felt a lack of connection to the characters. None of them were singing to me. The tempo felt rushed and the actors seemed to be going through the motions. It was hard to understand the lyrics sometimes. The solos lacked passion, at least for us. It is too long a show for me. We left at intermission. The sets were fantastic! Just disappointed.

2.0 star rating Mary Droder from Cincinnati, Ohio

LES MIS

I was so very disappointed. The performers had NO passion. NONE. I was expecting to be pulled in and crying by the end, just as the movie had me. But these singers were just showing up and not feeling the part. Jean ValJean was terrible. Absolutely NO passion. How did Cosette have dark hair and was Asian as a young girl and then become a blonde as an adult? This had to be the worst performance out of all my seasons being at the Aronoff..

2.0 star rating Oberon from Sarasota, Florida

WAS THIS THEIR FIRST DRESS REHEARSAL?

Let's put it this way, 1/3 of the way through the first act I wanted to leave. The entire 1st act seemed to be on 1.5 fast forward speed. Songs were all rushed. Valjean would be a good JC in JC superstar. He seems to have PTSD with jerking movements the entire first act and kept sliding on his notes. Fantine seemed to be breathless all the time. The Thenardier's WERE HORRIBLE. WHO CAST THEM?? could barley understand the husband, the wife kept ending her notes in growls. Enjorlas seemed like a starved Fabio who kept reaching for his notes. The stage was too dark and the music was not loud enough (and I'm 36). Eponine tried so hard to sing...but just failed miserably. The only scene she did good on was the "I'm gonna scream, I'm gonna warn them here" - but constantly out of harmony with Marius and Cosette. Javert was excellent Cosette was 8 out of 10 Marius - a baritone did actually well. Pulled at some note but enjoyable. There were some cast members who sang better than the leads.

2.0 star rating Anita from Atlanta, Georgia

UNINTELLIGIBLE

Saw it at Peace Center SC 8 March. I have seen Les Mis 4 times, and this was probably the most disappointing. I actually really liked the singing/voices, particularly Valjean & Javert, but the lyrics were unintelligible for many characters. Having read the book and seen the production I could infer my own understanding, but my family did not fare as well, I spent a lot of intermission trying to catch them up on the story so far, but it did not help and they did not attend the second half. In my view the orchestra was too loud and at times drowned out the more softer singers, it was only Valjean and Javert that were singing louder than the orchestra. The second issue was diction, specifically I am going to call out Thendadier and most of the students. It is also true that the really dark lighting exacerbated the issue, making it really hard to follow, if you were not familiar with the story. It is baffling to me that having seen so many similar reviews that the production has not made any tweaks??

2.0 star rating Greg Kaster from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

DISAPPOINTED

The Milwaukee production was the sixth time I have seen Les Miserables (my favorite musical). I was disappointed. Though the performers were all very talented, I did not feel the passion or experience any " uh wow" moments during this performance like I have with other Les Miz productions. It felt like the performers were just going through the motions performing their without extra passion especially on the popular 'high impact' songs (On My Own, Dream of Dream, Bring Him Home).. On a more positive note, I thought the performer who played Marius was excellent!

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