The 10th anniversary concert was star-filled and was fun for its amalgamation of cast members from countless worldwide productions, including a Japanese singer who needed to learn the English lines phonetically because she didn't know any English. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great "Les Mis" performance.
This is a great "Les Mis" performance.
I kind of wish I'd been paying attention early enough to try to get tickets to the show at The O2, the massive London arena where this was staged. I'm sure I wouldn't have been anywhere near the stage, but it looks like they did a good job of showing the key players on huge video screens, and I imagine the sound was great throughout.
While the earlier concert presentation was mostly people standing around in front of microphones, they've done much more here to provide great costuming and scenery backdrops for the singers. I suspect that's part of why they got exceptional performances out of this amazing cast. They also have what looks like a huge chorus, in three groups wearing blue, white, or red t-shirts, which really gives this the feel of a complete production.
Of course, I realize I'm supposed to be snarky about how Nick Jonas didn't belong among these lions of the West End and Broadway stage, but you know what? I thought he was a great Marius. Monsieur Pontmercy is supposed to be a young, pretty, idealist who matures over the course of the second act, and Jonas certainly has the vocal chops for the role. If he seems to be over-acting or over-emoting, I think he's just fitting in well with the other over-the-top performances, as with M. Thenardier.
My new TiVo grabbed one of the SD showings late last night (it was busy during prime time) and I've asked the bedroom TiVo to record tomorrow's rebroadcast in HD. I'm hoping it actually is in HD. The audio quality is so good that I may try to rip it to MP3s for later listening.
I could have the DVD or Blu-ray of the performance with a $120 donation to WSKG, or of course I could just buy it. For $185, I'd get the two-disc CD of the music, too. Again, I'm not feeling that generous toward public television right now; I'll probably just buy these, and maybe make a small donation.