Victor Hugo

A to Z Musicals ~ ♬ “L” is for LES MISERABLES


l

Les Misérables, also known as Les Mis, or Les Miz, is a musical based on the same-titled book by Victor Hugo (1862). It premiered in Paris in 1980, has run continuously in London since 1985, and first opened as a pre-Broadway tryout in December 1986, eventually premiering on Broadway in March 1987. After 6,680 performances, Les Misérables closed in May 2003.

The show is set in early 19th-century France, and tells the story of Jean Valjean, a peasant, who is sentenced to prison for stealing a loaf of bread in order to help feed his sister’s starving child. Valjean escapes and is relentlessly hunted by a police inspector, Javert. Valjean and others are swept up into the revolution, where a group of young idealists make their last stand.

Here is a clip from the 1987 Tony Awards program.

At the end of the day you’re another day older
And that’s all you can say for the life of the poor
It’s a struggle, it’s a war
And there’s nothing that anyone’s giving
One more day standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.

Oh! The Places I’ve Been – “P” is for PARIS


It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen Paris. When I look at these photographs, I’m transported back in time. Walking around the city with a paper map in one hand. Envying the French women and their style, so effortless. The scent of buttery croissants. Ghosts of Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, Maurice Chevalier. Painters. Gypsies. Tourists. Lovers.

photo by M. Reynolds

photo by M. Reynolds

Notre-Dame Cathedral (above). The ubiquitous Eiffel Tower (below).

photo by M. Reynolds

photo by M. Reynolds

photo by M. Reynolds

photo by M. Reynolds

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” (E. Hemingway)

And to end with a video. Here is a Spaniard (Julio Iglesias) singing a song about the sea (La Mer), better known to many of you as “Beyond the Sea,” sung by Bobby Darin. This is from 1976, hence the disco vibe. I love it, but then, I belong to a different time.