It’s Tuesday night! My predawn blog was abruptly erased into the ether during a brief power outage during the frozen rainstorm over the snow-covered banks of The Fox. So I laugh out loud, “It probably wasn’t very good anyway!” With a meeting scheduled before Les Miz rehearsal, there was no chance of getting back to a rewrite until now. So instead of a cup of coffee, I am accompanied by a glass of wine. Let’s make the most of this!
Monday’s rehearsal yesterday, astonished with a work-through of Act 1. This cast leaves me breathless with their reading of these characters. LES MISERABLES opened on Broadway almost thirty years ago. I remember being blown away listening to the original cast recording and then seeing Trevor Nunn’s staging on John Napier’s set. Unforgettable. As the years pass, as with every great show honored with longevity and international acclaim, subsequent productions can become pretty stock, standard fare and predictable. What has me worked up is how this company will surpass expectation. Every day, I say many times a day, “I never thought of that” as my actors and directing and stage management teams dig into a scene with an interpretation completely fresh and vigorous yet true to the original. The difference is: they are true to themselves as well. This production will feel new and now. Alive. Today we began work on the barricade scenes and our progress maintained a continuum consistent with how we began together last week. For all the predictability of this story, there are surprises and twists that ring authentic and most of all, human. The Human Condition is what Victor Hugo’s novel is about. How class and wealth and power victimize and oppress those without, into a life unbearable and worth dying for to change. Championing rebellion, revolution and redemption, the heroes of this story also accept as essential: one who cannot forgive, cannot love.
Today, Wednesday, we return to The Barricade and complete Act 2. What we have accomplished in two weeks is nothing short of phenomenal. In seven days, we move into the theater and onto Kevin Depinet’s set. It is colossal. The team visited the scene shop Monday morning and the set is so huge it has to be completed on our stage deck. It cannot fit into that hangar of a warehouse. It is epic. Like Victor Hugo’s novel. More later, keep a good thought!
Love & thanks,