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Jean Valjean

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NEWS
May 1, 1998 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
Since winning the Oscar for his performance in "Shine," Geoffrey Rush has apparently been working diligently on the nasty sneer he has perfected for the role of Javert in the latest adaptation of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables. " This is important, since the sneer has to stand up to some of the all-time greats - Charles Laughton's in the 1935 version, Bernard Blier's in the 1957 French version and even Tony Perkins' in the 1978 TV version. Rush is at least the seventh Javert, not counting Ken Starr, so there is great competitive urgency to his performance, especially since this adaption offers no new perspective on Hugo's story.
NEWS
March 13, 1987 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Vive Les Miserables! Vive 19th-century taste! Vive everyone from Victor Hugo to the Royal Shakespeare Company to the ushers at the Broadway Theater! They are all part of this. The pop opera that New York has been waiting for has arrived to an $11 million advance sale, and it is a splendid thing to behold. Originally a sensation in Paris, then a blockbuster hit in London, it is the Gone With the Wind of the musical stage. One might add, Vive le peuple! - for Hugo's epic novel about redemption among the downtrodden poor of France makes an ideal people's musical.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2006 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
If you haven't seen Les Miz, wait no longer. Even in the first preview performance, it was, simply, flawless. And thrilling. And gorgeous. Billed as the "final Philadelphia engagement," the touring production at the Forrest is making its eighth appearance here, having run on Broadway more than 16 years. A historical melodrama adapted from Victor Hugo's gigantic 19th-century novel, Les Mis?rables centers on Jean Valjean, who, when the story opens, has spent 19 brutal years in prison for stealing bread for his sister's starving son. When he is released, he steals silver cups from a priest.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Like a grand diva who can't get enough farewell tours, Les Misérables , the stage musical version, is again on a tour stop in Philadelphia against many odds. This time, it arrives amid formidable competition from the current film version that faithfully follows the musical about oppressed masses and idealistic uprisings in post-revolutionary France. By now, the touring stage shows have a fraction of the scenery seen in the Broadway original. The film is lavishly produced with major stars and has a smaller admission fee. Yet Wednesday night's opening at the packed Academy of Music clearly justified itself, thanks to a bright, unjaded cast at the top of its collective game and exercising a freedom of interpretation not always seen in touring companies that typically seek to reproduce the original-cast experience.
NEWS
January 4, 2013
REJOICE! THE barricade is back on Broad Street and parole-breaker Jean Valjean is once again being hounded through the decades by the pious zealot Inspector Javert. "Les Miserables" has returned to the Academy of Music. The revered "sung-through" musical, which opened Wednesday and runs through Jan. 13, couldn't come at a better time, as it follows by a mere eight days the release of the ballyhooed film version. As such, it is a potent reminder - with all due respect to Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, et al - that nothing beats seeing the musical adaption of Victor Hugo's sprawling, 19th-century novel about love (reciprocated and unrequited)
NEWS
October 28, 1988 | By Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
A lot of words have passed over the dam since the original English-speaking production of "Les Miserables" opened three years ago in London. And here come some more. There is no gainsaying the fact that "Les Miz" is an extraordinary piece of theater. It is put together on a grand scale; the word "sweeping" is used frequently in writing or speaking about it, and that pretty much says it. It carries a heavy spiritual message, as did the Victor Hugo novel from which it was adapted, and not only does no one seem to mind, but they gobble it up like hot buttered popcorn.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1993 | By Julia M. Klein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Now on its fourth swing through Philadelphia, the Tony Award-winning musical Les Miserables has both its fervent proselytes and its equally committed detractors. Having seen the show for the first time Thursday night, I find myself with a foot in each camp. There's no denying the appeal of the rousing ensemble numbers, John Napier's expressionistic rendering of urban despair and the comic antics of the Punch-and-Judy couple of Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. This touring production also boasts exceptionally fine voices and enough energy to propel us through its three-hour-plus length with a minimum of ennui.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2000 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
"Look," my editor said, "you have to do it. I know the show is here for the sixth time. I know it's been touring since the Coolidge administration. But people keep calling to ask when your review will run. Man cannot survive on Sondheim alone. So get to work and stop sniveling. " My editor is a hard man. But I like this job, all in all, so off I trot to the Forrest Theatre, where the road company of Les Miserables is in residence for a run through June 4. Still, I wonder, what can anyone conceivably hope to learn from me?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2006 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The passion, really, is what keeps us coming back. I'll bet that every night, the audience at the first Broadway revival of Les Mis?rables, which opened Thursday, will be filled with recidivists. They just can't help it. They have to see it again. They will not be disappointed. Les Miz, as we've come to call the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, is a sprawling, sung-through celebration of the human spirit. I've never read the novel; my second bet is that neither has much of the audience at any performance.
SPORTS
August 7, 2013 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
Javert: You are a thief. Jean Valjean: I stole a loaf of bread. Javert: You robbed a house! Jean Valjean: I broke a window pane. My sister's child was close to death. And we were starving. Javert: And you still starve again unless you learn the meaning of the law.     WHEN ANTONIO Bastardo stepped onto the mound at Turner Field on April 3 for his first appearance of the 2013 season, the Phillies reliever had already pocketed more salary than most of his countrymen will in the entire fiscal year.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
December 12, 2014
IT'S FOUR days until Hanukkah and almost two weeks to Christmas, but a pair of local theater companies have already unwrapped their presents to us. Though profoundly dissimilar, Media Theatre's rendition of "Les Miserables" and 1812 Production's latest installment of "This Is the Week That Is," share a crucial trait: Both are top-shelf efforts that speak to the immense professionalism and talent in our regional theater landscape. Tickets to either (or both) definitely qualify as can't-miss gifts for theater-lovers on your list.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
If I could change one thing about the Media Theatre's spectacularly sung production of Les Miserables , I'd give them $20,000 to spend on sets. After seeing Friday's opening, I'd wager they devoted most of their budget to the talented cast of local performers, Broadway veterans, and seasoned professionals that delivered a thoroughly smashing account of Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyricist Herbert Kretzmer's songs. As the convict Jean Valjean, John Smitherman unleashes a heartrending falsetto to vocally parry the chilling baritone of James Zanelli's Inspector Javert.
NEWS
August 9, 2013
WHEN IT first crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America in 1985, "Les Miserables" was arguably the greatest spectacle Broadway had ever seen. With its groundbreaking, turntable-driven staging, space-dominating barricades and brilliant, reality-altering lighting schemes, "Les Miserables" provided a powerful visual experience that matched the sonic intensity of the score. But during the past decade, the venerated "sung-through" version of Victor Hugo's classic 19th-century novel of love, deceit, despair and redemption has been shrinking.
SPORTS
August 7, 2013 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
Javert: You are a thief. Jean Valjean: I stole a loaf of bread. Javert: You robbed a house! Jean Valjean: I broke a window pane. My sister's child was close to death. And we were starving. Javert: And you still starve again unless you learn the meaning of the law.     WHEN ANTONIO Bastardo stepped onto the mound at Turner Field on April 3 for his first appearance of the 2013 season, the Phillies reliever had already pocketed more salary than most of his countrymen will in the entire fiscal year.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Like a grand diva who can't get enough farewell tours, Les Misérables , the stage musical version, is again on a tour stop in Philadelphia against many odds. This time, it arrives amid formidable competition from the current film version that faithfully follows the musical about oppressed masses and idealistic uprisings in post-revolutionary France. By now, the touring stage shows have a fraction of the scenery seen in the Broadway original. The film is lavishly produced with major stars and has a smaller admission fee. Yet Wednesday night's opening at the packed Academy of Music clearly justified itself, thanks to a bright, unjaded cast at the top of its collective game and exercising a freedom of interpretation not always seen in touring companies that typically seek to reproduce the original-cast experience.
NEWS
January 4, 2013
REJOICE! THE barricade is back on Broad Street and parole-breaker Jean Valjean is once again being hounded through the decades by the pious zealot Inspector Javert. "Les Miserables" has returned to the Academy of Music. The revered "sung-through" musical, which opened Wednesday and runs through Jan. 13, couldn't come at a better time, as it follows by a mere eight days the release of the ballyhooed film version. As such, it is a potent reminder - with all due respect to Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, et al - that nothing beats seeing the musical adaption of Victor Hugo's sprawling, 19th-century novel about love (reciprocated and unrequited)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 25, 2012 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
A version of this review appeared in Sunday's Arts + Entertainment section. When last seen, British director Tom Hooper had just overseen a historical biography about a stammering monarch, someone who felt ill-equipped to take the throne, a chap who couldn't get a sentence out without scrunching up in agony. The King's Speech , a runaway success. There is certainly no stammering to be had, or heard, in Les Misérables, Hooper's sweeping adaptation of the Broadway musical, and destined, one suspects, for box-office glory, too. Based on Victor Hugo's hefty classic, and given an operetta treatment that can be soaring and glorious - or, when the lyrics slip into anachronistic vernacular, wincingly lame - this big-budget movie musical summons the mighty forces of CGI to create vast tableaux of castles and monasteries, shipyards and slums, France in the tumultuous first half of the 19th century.
NEWS
December 24, 2012 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
DURING MY almost-four decades as an entertainment writer-critic, I have covered every popular-arts beat, from film and TV to theater and pop music, and everything in-between (Disney ice shows, anyone?). And nothing - make that absolutely nothing - I have ever seen has thrilled, delighted and moved me more than the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's epic novel, "Les Miserables. " Since the touring version of the worldwide smash first hit Philly in the late 1980s, I have seen "Les Miz" (as it's affectionately and universally known)
NEWS
May 21, 2008 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Let's do something completely different, said the celebrated British producer Cameron Mackintosh - in fact, let's make sure we do something different. So in 2006, he chose a handful of American theaters, including Philadelphia's Walnut Street, to produce their own versions of his Les Mis?rables on the condition that they completely restage the wildly popular but increasingly weary musical. Other than school drama groups that used a cut-down version, no one has been permitted to mess with the look and feel of Les Miz - until now. Overnight, an iconic piece of theater is open to reinterpretation for the first time since its 1985 debut by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2006 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The passion, really, is what keeps us coming back. I'll bet that every night, the audience at the first Broadway revival of Les Mis?rables, which opened Thursday, will be filled with recidivists. They just can't help it. They have to see it again. They will not be disappointed. Les Miz, as we've come to call the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, is a sprawling, sung-through celebration of the human spirit. I've never read the novel; my second bet is that neither has much of the audience at any performance.
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