Friday, October 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 49 

Cougar Comics Online
Movie Review: The Little Vampire

'Thriller' event should be one of the top raves of the year


About the Cougar

'Les Miserables' lives up to large hype

By Aron Anderson
Daily Cougar Staff

As I had expected, one of the most successful musicals in theater history, Les Miserables, packed Jones Hall to capacity Tuesday night. It would have been hard to believe anything less from this, the opening night of a short six-performance Houston run.

There wasn't an empty seat within view and the lines to all accommodations were endless. But all that attention by the theater-going denizens of Houston didn't go unrewarded, as the prize winning musical was performed with tear-conjuring splendor.

Director Cameron Mackintosh has presented a true triumph that this city's patrons are not soon to forget.

Les Miserables is a musical by Alain Boubil and Claude-Schonberg based on Victor Hugo's classic novel by the same name.

Photo courtesy of Houston Broadway Series

Cast members sing "One Day More," the first act finale of the classic musical Les Miserables, now playing at Jones Hall.

It is the epic musical tale of Jean Valjean and his struggle for peace and vindication that spans three decades in 19th century France. It stresses the value of individual devotion to what is right, and even more, the sacrifices that are made for love.

The show's final lyric, "To love another person is to see the face of God," encapsulates that theme of lucid, honest simplicity.

Having only read the book and seen the nonmusical screen version starring Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman, I had no true foundation to judge whether this was a groundbreaking performance of the musical. But based on how much I enjoyed the acting and set manipulation, and the way the crowd seemed relentless in its torrential applause for each scene, I could call it nothing but a success.

The lead roles of Jean Valjean (Ivan Rutherford) and Javert (Stephen Bishop) were played with enough conviction to bring tears to the eyes of many in the audience. And with this, the entire cast did the most fantastic a job I have seen on stage in Houston or the Big Apple.

With theater season just getting started in Houston, and our city having some rather magnificent places to experience it, if this performance was any indication of what is to come, we are in for a tremendous treat.

The Houston Broadway Series has other treats lined up for the season: Annie Get Your Gun with Marilu Henner and Tom Wopat will hit Jones Hall in December.

Les Miserables plays through Sunday at Jones Hall, Louisiana at Capitol. Curtain is at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and a final Sunday show at 7:30 p.m. Call (713) 629-3700 or log on to www.tiketmaster.com for ticket information.

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