Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Like You've Never Heard Us Ooh and Ahh: Why Michael Ball Is Epic and Nick Jonas Is Not

{Dearest Lovely Readers, we are warning you in advance.  Prepare for some extreme fangirling.}

In our characters post, we skipped over a major character simply because we wanted to dedicate an entire post to him...

Marius Pontmercy.

We adore Marius and we abhor Marius. We pity Marius and we loathe Marius. We're fond of Marius and we despise the mention of his name.... just in case you haven’t guessed, we have a love-hate relationship with this guy. He falls in love with Cosette after bumping into her on the street for approximately two seconds, he’s a die-hard revolutionary who fights for freedom, he’s oblivious to the fact that a starving, desperate girl is in love with him, he risks everything for those he loves, he considers his reputation more important than loving and forgiving his father-in-law, he holds Eponine as she dies, he falls at Valjean’s feet begging for forgiveness…

Yeah, sometimes we hate Marius. But he always redeems himself, and by the end, we love him again. The character of Marius is a big role to fill. He must be likable, hateable, pleasant, impassioned, pitiable, good-looking and be able to sing exceedingly well. And of course, we have staunch opinions on how this character should be portrayed.  Unfortunately, this character has not always been portrayed in, shall we say, the best way possible.

Cameron Mackintosh (the producer of Les Miz, btw), for reasons best known to himself, cast 17-year-old pop singer Nick Jonas for the role of Marius in the 25th anniversary concert. We were horrified disgusted reduced to puddles of helpless laughter not happy about this.

We don’t have anything personally against Nick Jonas. We haven’t really heard any of his pop music so we can’t objectively form an opinion about his musical abilities.  In all honesty, his voice isn’t that bad.  It's fairly decent, actually. (Shh, don't tell anyone we said that.)   We gag whenever he opens his mouth, but that’s because we’re immature.  But Nick Jonas is a bit young to be playing Marius (he's supposed to be 23), and while he never technically missed a note, his voice just isn't strong enough for the part.  Compared to the rest of the company, his voice is downright weak.  Sometimes we even feel the need to sit back and ponder if the boy can actually hold a note for longer than two seconds: “A heart. Full. Of Love.” No, peoples.  Just no. Nick Jonas does not need a heart full of love; he needs some lungs full of air. And especially when he’s paired with the stellar Samantha Barks... well, that’s when it really becomes cringe-worthy. But we'll get to that later.

See what we mean?
The biggest problem that we have with Nick Jonas is his acting. Oh, our stars and stockings… the boy looks he is suffering from indigestion the whole. entire. time. We’re not kidding; he never changes his facial expression for the duration of the show.  And people, you’re not supposed to giggle through Marius and Eponine’s song “A Little Fall of Rain” (much more on that in a moment), but we can’t help it when Nick Jonas sings it. Now, Samantha Barks as Eponine is stunningly brilliant, but Marius is supposed to sing with misery and pathos and sheer pain in his voice… instead Nick Jonas sounds like he’s pouting because he got grounded.

"I.  Need.  Tums.  Now."
So if Nick Jonas didn’t get the part right (and isn't THAT the understatement of the year...)

The Official Nick Jonas Pout
...then who did?

Well… well, well, well. *Petie and Amy exchange mischievous glances and rub their hands together in glee*

Ladies and gentlemen, we will now introduce you to the sterling individual who completely and utterly OWNS the role of Marius. He speaks Marius, breathes Marius, moves Marius, IS Marius. Not only that, but he has the voice of an angel, blow-your-socks-off amazing stage presence, phenomenal acting, and killer dimples to boot.

Yep, it’s MICHAEL BALL. Ze one, ze only Marius Pontmercy. Applause, please. *Amy and Petie clap their hands over their ears to preserve their poor eardrums from the deafening cacophony of sound.*

We may very well be the biggest Michael Ball fans in the whole entire world. EVAH.   In fact, we most firmly maintain that...

And now you all know what we were driving at with all those hints about puppies.  This has become one of our biggest inside jokes of all time--namely, that whenever Michael Ball smiles, a puppy is born.  (And all the Michael Ball fans said, “AMEN!”)

See? A puppy!
Okay, so maybe by the time the 10th rolled around, he was a bit too old to play Marius, but we honestly couldn't care less. Have you heard this guy sing? If you haven’t, remedy this situation immediately, you poor dear! (And all the Michael Ball fans said, “AMEN!”)
Oh, and according to Petie, every time he cries a puppy dies.  It's like the whole fairy thing in Peter Pan. 
Michael Ball's voice, peoples, heads the list of “Top 100 Reasons Why Michael Ball Is Better Than Nick Jonas.” When you hold his incredible, powerful, emotion-packed voice up against Nick Jonas’ whiny, strained, hyperventilating tones... is there really any question about it?

There isn't, but just in case you did have a question, watch this:

(You are permitted to squeal over "my world if she's not the-heh-heeeeere...")

The finale to the first act of Les Miserables is a smashing, all-cast song titled "One Day More." And you can literally hear Michael Ball's voice over everyone else's in the entire cast, ringing out loud and true. He's got some amazing lung-power that makes Nick Jonas' voice sound like a half-hearted, withered whisper. (And all the Michael Ball fans said, “AMEN!” ... Hmm.  You're probably getting tired of hearing that.  Should we stop?  Okay, we'll stop.)

And another puppy...
But even though he's capable of belting out the notes so strongly that we suspect a microphone isn't necessary, he's pretty great at doing soft songs too.  Take what is probably our favorite Les Miz song ever, for instance.  "A Little Fall of Rain."  *Amy and Petie hand each other Kleenex as a preventative measure*

In this song, according to the subtitle explanation thingies on the 10th DVD, "Eponine arrives at the barricades and is fatally wounded."  Brief, succinct, and to the point... but allow us to elaborate.  In this song, Eponine returns to the barricades after delivering a letter from Marius to Cosette, but in the process, she gets hit by a stray bullet.  "I took the letter like you said, I met her father at the door.  He said he would give it-- I don't think I can stand any more..."  She collapses and Marius holds her as she slips away, comforting her and promising to stay close by.  She tells him she loves him... and then she dies.  *Petie and Amy tell each other that they are going to be big girls and get through this--YES, THEY ARE.*

Another puppy!  Okay, okay, you get the idea.
Frankly, the 25th “Little Fall of Rain” can’t hold a candle to the 10th. And what’s more, Nick Jonas can’t even hold a lighter to Michael Ball.  You need proof?  We'll give you proof.

10th's "Little Fall" is nothing short of gut-wrenching.  Lea Salonga's voice is beyond gorgeous, of course, but it's Michael Ball's performance that we're here to rave about, and rave about it we will.  We're also here to bash Nick Jonas's performance, and bash it we will.  While Michael Ball is holding Lea Salonga close during the entire song (and that's when we totally lose it), comforting her as best he can, Nick Jonas just stands there, awkwardly making an occasional swipe at Samantha Barks' hair.  Ooh-OOOH-ooh. How sweet.

You can hear the sadness and hopeless hopefuleness (yes, we made up that phrase) in Michael Ball's voice; Nick Jonas sounds like he's in dire need of some Tylenol.  Michael Ball sheds actual tears at the end and Nick Jonas merely screws his face into a grimace not unlike that of a toddler preparing to throw a tantrum.  Our verdict? Michael Ball wins.  (Well, duh.)

Probably one of the most tragic parts of the 10th's "Little Fall" comes after the song, when Enjolras comes over to put his hand on Marius' shoulder.  Though he hadn't seemed like much of a sentimental chap before, at this point Enjolras is truly sorry for his friend and is attempting to comfort him.

*sigh* If only Enjolras would hop through the screen and comfort us
as we sit here blubbering like two baby sea monkeys...
Really, the only advantage that 25th "Little Fall" has over 10th (and we can't believe we're actually saying those words) is that more of the lyrics are included--the song begins with Joly shouting, "There's a boy climbing the barricade!" In 10th, the song doesn't begin until Eponine's first line, "Don't you fret, M'sieur Marius..."

Nick Jonas’ portrayal of Marius is so blah that we can’t even really understand why Eponine (or Cosette for that matter) is supposed to be drawn to him in the first place. Now in the 10th, it’s obvious why Eponine falls for Marius (and we two starry-eyed Michael Ball fans go, “DUHHHH”) but in the 25th, why? Why would a girl as strong and resourceful and, yes, needy as Eponine fall for Sir Twerp-a-lot? She must have seriously been desperate.

Near the end of the second act, Marius finally gets his solo, a tearjerking ballad entitled "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables."  And again, Michael Ball completely owns the song.  From the first notes of "There's a grief that can't be spoken, there's a pain goes on and on," to the final strains of "where my friends will sing... no more..." he manages to keep us in perpetual tears.   (It's not really a difficult task, because we're both uber-emotional when it comes to Les Miz, but that's beside the point.)

"Empty Chairs" has become one of Michael Ball's trademark songs, and rightly so.  Nobody, but nobody else can sing, "Oh my friends, my frieeeeeeeeeends!" the way he can.  It's that tremendously strong voice again, folks.

The 25th's version of "Empty Chairs" isn't completely ruined, however.  Nick Jonas did his best to make it awful, but he couldn't succeed entirely because when Ramin Karimloo made an appearance (what more needs to be said?), the song became Awesome with a capital A.  The ghosts of Marius's dead friends appear behind him as he sings in 10th as well, but the effect is not nearly as... effective... because Ramin Karimloo wasn't there.

Truth be told, Michael Ball is the whole reason we even like Marius.  The Marius of the musical, that is.  (We strongly encourage you all to read the book--you'll discover so much more depth in Marius!)  Poor musical-Marius just doesn't get enough stage time to really develop his character, but Michael Ball manages to convey everything that matters about Marius in the limited amount of time he was given.

We've been rather mean to poor little Nick Jonas in this post, however, and we do feel a bit remorseful.  So let's say something nice about him for a change, to wrap up this post.  *Amy and Petie put on their Deep Thinking Caps and use them for a good forty minutes*  Ooh! We've thought of something! Nick Jonas  played dead exceedingly well. In fact, we greatly enjoy the scene where he’s being carried through the sewers, because he has no lines whatsoever and our ears get a bit of a rest.  (Oh, and although Amy doesn't quite agree, Petie wants to point out that Nick Jonas has fabulous hair.)


Michael Ball, if you ever read this, then first of all please leave a comment because you'd make our century.  Secondly, we just want you to know that we love you forever and like you for always and as long as we're living, our Marius you'll be.

So, in conclusion, peoples, Michael Ball is Marius Pontmercy. And don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

~ Petie and Amy

P.S.  Anyone interested in purchasing an adorable puppy or two?  We seem to have an abundant supply on hand.


Anne-girl said...

I heartily agree about the hair! But seriously I agree with everything you said. Except I do think that he did A little fall of rain in way that wasn't to bad. He looks, for only a bit I grant you, like he's going to cry during that scene.The Tylenol remark was UNCALLED FOR!

Go Micheal Ball! Best marius ever!
Sir Twerp-a-lot! HE! hehehehe!

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Nick Jonas in Les Miserables? *Faints and Recovers*. Seriously, I haven't seen Les Miserables (concert or movie version), but even I feel like this is a bad decision.

Now to listen to the song...

Michael Ball's voice is much more powerful than Nick Jonas's voice. Nick Jonas's voice isn't the worst I've heard, but definitely not as good or powerful as Michael Ball's voice.

larkin said...

I completely agree, though I am less of a fangirl of Michael Ball than you are. Nick Jonas...eehhh. Michael Ball... *faints in bliss*. As a huge Les Miserables fan, I'm enjoying your blog! Keep it up! :)


Treskie said...

Loved this post. :)

Michael Ball is the only one who managed NOT to make Marius a complete drip!

Maria Elisabeth said...

You sad girls! You've made me hate Nick Jonas already and I haven't even heard him sing. But Michael Ball has an amazing voice and I'll agree with everything you've said because you're probably right. (Oh, wait, is that a suggestion there's a chance you might not be? *cowers in a corner as far away from Amy and Petie as possible*)

But now I just listened to Nick Jonas and I was bound to not love him when first I heard him sing. :P

Oh, and I wouldn't mind a puppy. Although after A Little Fall of Rain and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, I doubt there are any still alive. Poor puppies.

Anonymous said...

Warning noticed. This is when I pull up the comment box so I can comment while I read. *wink, wink*

Love-hate relationship with Marius. That about describes it!

"He MUST be good-looking and able to sing exceedingly well." Teehee. That's RIGHT! "Not been portrayed in, shall we say, the best way possible." That's the NICE way of putting it! (Nice pic below it. A leettle hint!)

B'HAHAHA!!!!!! Love your crossed-out words!!!

Very true. Nick Jonas' voice isn't THAT bad. He's just NOT Marius. (Michael Ball is.) And the poor boy has no lungs. (Poor child...) Heehee...

HA!! Nice picture!! And he DOES sound like he's pouting. No change of facial expressions AT ALL.

HAHA!! Water. Please!!

Thanks for mentioning Michael Ball. Thought this was going to be about how Nick Jonas is so bad and then two sentences at the end - "Go listen to the 10th. Michael Ball is Marius." Heehee... killer dimples. : )

A puppy is born?! HA!!! I'm going to die!! Too funny!!! Look at his EYES! HA!!!

"And every time he cries a puppy dies." Awww...

Oh, my stars, that video. Me LOVES it!! Request permission to put it on my blog!! (And, yes, I squealed over "My world if she's not the-heh-heeeeere..." LOVE IT!!)

AMEN!!! Half-hearted, withered whisper is RIGHT.

Please... don't remind me about that scene... *sob* Argh. So sweet. "It's everywhere!!" : (

*watches video* *sobs* It looked better when she was actually falling down... but it's MICHAEL BALL and Lea Salonga!! So it's okay. : ) Aww... he's such a good friend. Look at Gavroche's little face... *tears up* Why didn't HE get a sweet song like that?! Oh, well. : ( Sadness... Hehehe... he almost looks TOO happy on "And rain!" Teehee.

Rave and bash, that is CORRECT!!! That IS SO RIGHT!!! How pathetic. (Notice, he DOES have a purity ring. Like that means anything to him... didn't notice it when he KISSES COSETTE!!)

Hopeless hopefulness and dire need. Yes. And Michael Ball wins in my verdict, too! (But... I just have to say, my sister and I agree that *our* Marius [Max Quinlan] did better than Michael Ball. That ONE PARTICULAR scene. Cabuz he's really sad, and not happy that she's dying or being hopeful. Anywhoz. Let the war begin...)

Sir Twerp-a-lot!! HA!! But, technically, he's, like, the best guy she's ever known. (Well, I'll stop now. That post is coming later... heehee...)

*watches Empty Chairs* *bawls* "THE VERY WOOOOOORDS!!" *sigh* Nice hand motions!! "Oh, my friends, my FRIEEEEEEENDS DON'T ASK ME!!!" Wow. Yup. He's great. BETTER than Nick. (Soary, Nick. But it's true.)

"Nick Jonas did his best to make it awful..." HA!! And Ramin saves the day. Yes. Teehee... he's so great... : )

Yes, some nice things about Nick. He did play dead very well, and has amazing hair. I agree with you, Petie. : )

But.... Michael Ball is Marius. Nuff said. (Weeeell... maybe. Max Quinlan did a REEEEEEALLY good job... argh. Decisions are hard.)

PUPPIES!!! I'd love a puppy.

Here's a REALLY good version of Michael singing The Impossible Dream. There's a longer version where he talks a lot in the beginning and almost starts crying, but we can't find it. : (

Anyway. Long of my insanely long comment. I TOLD you I had an opinion!!


Hayden said...


You know, my first experience with Les Miz was with Nick Jonas; the
25th was on PBS, and Em and I watched a little of it. The funny thing was, I had always been a little scornful of the Nick Jonas/Disney channel thing :) (since I'd only heard snippets of Jonas Brothers songs that seemed really pop-ish and silly) but then I heard him in that and was like, heh! He really CAN sing!

Fear not, my friend! I then heard the other Les Miserables versions and reaqlized the error of my ways. Yes, Nick Jonas can sing. But he really can't sing Marius.

Anyway, I actually haven't heard much of the 10th version. Our library has a copy of the London
25th perfromance, so that's what we usually listen to and i enjoy it a lot.

Alexandra said...

Do I even need to put a squee?



MB forevah and evah! Ok, so funny story. When we watched the 25th air on PBS, we were all having conniptions over NJ's Marius...and then when the original cast came on we all screamed and cheered just as MB did the "my place is here..." (actually, I had lost my voice, so I just made joyful croaking sounds). But yeah. Good memories.

MB is so incredible that you don't care that he's too old. His voice, his voice, his voice! While he may not technically be my FAVORITE singer ever (NOT that he's not a gorgeous voice. Just that he's not my Top Favorite :-P), I can say pretty firmly that he's one of the most amazing, POWERFUL voices in creation. Empty Chairs, people?!?!?!! "Oh, my friends, my frieeeeeeeends" gives me CHILLS every. single. time.

Little Fall of Rain...SOB.

I love the puppies. Although I agree with Maria. Poor puppies. :-P

He was an AMAZING Raoul too, btw. Just pointing that out. :) His All I Ask of You - EPIC.

NJ? Gahhhhhhh. TOO YOUNG, people!!!! He looked almost too young for Katie Hall! You're right, his voice isn't TERRIBLE. but it's so WRONG for this role.

And the reason it all of a sudden got great when Ramin came on is that Ramin's Lightburst of Complete Aweomeness burst forth and the awfulness was lost in the blaze of glory. Thereby rendering everything in a 20,000 mile radius Halfway Decent. (nods)

He drove me INSANE during Little Fall of Rain. Absolutely bonkers. One of my favorite songs...and I couldn't wait to get through it. ugh. :-P


And all the MB fans say, Amen.

PS. LOL about playing dead. SO TRUE. I think it's funny that Alfie can carry him in his arms like that. Heheeeee.

Anonymous said...

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, Maria Elisabeth, your comment made me laugh sooo much!

"I doubt there are any still alive. Poor puppies." =) Heehee!!!

Miss Dashwood said...

All right, all right, I already told you that I do think he looks pretty sad at the end... BUT DON'T TELL PETIE I SAID THAT.
And the Tylenol remark was too called for because 'twas funny.

Miss Elizabeth Bennet,
*offers smelling salts*
Exactly. Not the worst ever (I mean, come on, they could have picked Justin Bieber, right?) but definitely nothing when held up against the incredible Michael Ball.

Well, I'm even less of a fangirl than my dear friend Petie is, and I'm still a major fangirl. If that made any sense. :P Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Ooh! And thanks for following, too!

Heehee, yeah, Marius can be a complete drip in some productions... though I have to say, I did rather like him in the book. Despite his occasional drippiness. :P

Maria Elisabeth,
Hahahaha, to each her own opinion, you know. We won't do anything to you if you insinuate you're wrong... after all, I nevah came at you with a guillotine when you made that unprovoked and dastardly attack against my beloved Jane, now did I? Heeheehee.
Hahahaha, was that line about being bound to not love him a paraphrase of something?
Poor puppies indeed. Call the ASPCA at once! :(

Molly said...

Oh, dear! Now all the puppies are dead! I LOVE how Michael Ball draws out "Oh my friends, my frieeeeeeends don't ask mw!" So wow!

Miss Dashwood said...


*pulls up second comment box because there wasn't room in my first comment*
Hahaha, I'm glad you liked the crossed-out words-- I always get a kick out of those. Ooh, please do put that video on your blog! It's not mine, by the way. We just hooked it off YouTube. :D

I know, I wish the 10th had included the beginning of the song so that she could actually come over the barricade and then fall down... it would be more dramatic that way and I likes me my drama. :D

Awww, I'm glad I'm not the only one tearing up at Gavroche's adorable little face in the corner... it's kind of a shame that the musical left out the whole sibling relationship thing there. When Eponine says, "Don't tell my brother I'm here!" in the book, I completely choked up.

I think I'm beginning to be won over to the Nick Jonas' Hair Fan Club, hahahaha.

Oooh, I love it when MB sings The Impossible Dream! Have you heard Alfie Boe's version? Best ever, IMHO.

Exactly. Nick Jonas isn't a horrible singer. He just can't handle Marius. He might have been okay as a random student at the barricades with just one or two lines or something.

Ooh, do lay hands on a copy of the 10th if you possibly can! The whole thing IS on YouTube, you know...

Nope, but the squee was appreciated anyways. :D

Awww, I always scream and cheer with the original cast too-- I can't imagine how cool it would have been to see it for the first time on PBS (that was a live broadcast, right?).

Heehee, you don't have to put the disclaimer about MB's voice, dear. I know your fanship belongs to another Michael and I'm okay with that. :D

And YES. TOTAL chills at "oh my frieeeeeeeends." Talk about extending the notes! Yeah, you show the little boy how it's done, Mr. Ball!

Oh, I KNOW-- I adore his version of All I Ask of You. Have you heard Hadley Fraser's, though? I think it might be my favorite. (Hahaha, though it is funny to hear Enjo and Grantaire being the Phantom and Raoul...)

Oh my word... so I just about screamed when I read your comment about the Lightburst of Complete Awesomeness, and I started squee-ing and laughing hysterically and my sister was like, "WHAT WHAT WHAT?" So I was reading it out loud to her and we were both laughing insanely... excellent description. Sink me, I couldn't agree more.

Hahahaha, I always laugh so hard at that part in 25th when Alfie just scoops up NJ like a baby... heh, heh, heh. Too funny.

Yep, MB rules forever. AMEN and AMEN.

Jemimah C. said...

First of all, I belong to the group with a love-hate relationship with Marius Pontmercy. His character was baffling in a way. He was fine at the start, then he decided to play the rather annoying role of a stalker, then he was fine again, then he turned a cold shoulder to Jean Valjean (how can anyone possibly do that?! and to Jean Valjean?!)...and it's pretty much a cycle of that sort. He's definitely not a favorite Les Miserables character of mine--there are a lot more characters that I prefer better than him.

Now, concerning the concerts, I already mentioned that I've only seen one, and that was years ago. (Amy and Petie, I think I'll take your advice and watch them really soon.)

But this post elaborates the very reason why I dread to watch the 25th anniversary concert. Nick Jonas as Marius?! That's like saying Zac Efron as Raoul from The Phantom of the Opera. You get the picture. To be honest, I am not a big fan of Disney stars. No, not a fan at all. Long story, but we shan't delve into that now.

Without a doubt, Nick Jonas is too young for the role. Still too immature and under-experienced for a role like Marius in terms of acting and even the singing. Why, he's a pop star! He goes rockin' out in movies like Camp Rock. How can you watch and hear him without remembering that? At least that's how it is with me.

And you know the picture of him an Samantha in A Little Fall of Rain? It spells a-w-k-w-a-r-d. The end. Well, give him a few (or many) more years, and maybe he'll improve.

As for Michael Ball, I've forgotten how he sounds. Which is really heartbreaking, so off to hear him sing I go! Besides, I'm in need of some puppies.

And on a side note, we have yet to see Eddie Redmayne take the role of Marius. Let's just pray he doesn't ruin it.

PS. By the way, Amy, I couldn't help but notice your sidebar picture of Enjorlas and Eponine. If only, if only! Why didn't Victor Hugo make it that way!

Miss Melody Muffin said...

The whole 10th anniversary concert is on youtube?!! If only I didn't have to go to bed right away! *Meditates staying up until the wee hours of the morning; then decides against it.* After all I do have to leave at a fairly early hour in the morning and I need some sleep so I have full command of all my wits. Oh, well. BUT, I AM GOING TO SEE IT SOON. VERY SOON.

More about Les Miz coming from me later. Suffice it to say that I have been listening to more songs off your playlist and saw a few more on youtube. If I hadn't already been converted, I would be now!! And, I've been singing Do You Hear the People Sing ALL DAY!! :) :)

Christine said...

Yes, Marius was annoying at times, but not nearly as bad as all that! After all, he did make it on to My Favorite Characters from Les Misérables list! The only time I was seriously exasperated with Marius was when he was being so insensitve about Jean Valjean's confession. But he redeemed himself shortly thereafter, and was forgiven.

I have not watched a film/musical version of Les Misérables, but there are few things that annoy me more than a badly cast actor and a poor singer, so I can sympathize with your rant (?!). :)

Doesn't anyone beside my family and friends think Éponine is a villianess? Yes, I know she was nicer than her parents and most her associates, but I have never liked her.

And, as for the puppies, I already have four at home. :)

Miss Dashwood said...

Jemimah C.,
Heehee, I actually found Marius' whole stalking Cosette thing to be kind of cute... although it did get annoying. And his behavior to Valjean in the book? HORRID! I couldn't forgive him until literally the last page. At least in the musical that part is made more likable.

Same thoughts here about Eddie Redmayne-- I'm hoping and praying that he does justice to our Marius! I was SO NOT pleased with that casting choice at first, then I heard a recording of him singing and was won over (partially), then saw him in the trailer. And though I still think he looks like a monkey (and Marius is supposed to be the kind of guy that makes women swoon in the street...) I'm thinking now that he's actually going to be pretty good. We Shall See.

Miss Melody Muffin,
It is indeed. :D Do let me know when you get a chance to see it-- it's incredible!

I can't stay mad at Marius for long in the musical, though I did hate him with great intensity (for a little while) in the book.
You really should see them musical! Marius unfortunately just doesn't get enough "stage time" to fully develop his character, but he's much more likable in the musical, IMHO (at least as far as the whole Jean Valjean thing goes).
Now, I have to very strongly disagree with the whole Eponine-being-a-villainess thing. (I definitely respect your opinion, but I have to defend my heroine, you know!) Buuuuuuut... I have so much to say on that subject that I think I'll just save that for a post of its own. So do come back either this afternoon or tomorrow and you can see my thoughts on the matter! :D

Christine said...

I once read that Victor Hugo intended for ‪Éponine‬ to be a Cinderella's-Wicked-Stepsister character, but that ‪Claude-Michel Schönberg‬ disliked the old-fashioned feminity and innocence of Cosette, so he cast ‪Éponine‬ as the sympathetic character. Even subsequent translations of ‪Les Misérables‬ have been tranlsated under that influence.

You must remember that ‪Éponine‬ was a criminal, a prostitute, and the mistress of Montparnasse. She was extremely mean to the vulnerable child Cosette. In my copy of ‪Les Misérables‬, which is the original English translation, the last sentence of Book Eight, Chapter Nine reads: "The elder Jondrette girl had retreated behind the door and was looking upon that velvet hat, that silk dress, and that charming happy face, with an evil eye." She still "had it in" for the grown-up Cosette. She was not the selfless heroine that the musical paints her.

beastsbelle said...

Brilliant post!! You captured my feelings exactly! :)

My first visual exposure to Les Mis was the 10th anniversary concert (I found a copy on VHS for $3 at Salvation Army!). :D I loved it (aside from a few songs that I fast-forwarded), but "On My Own" and "A Little Fall of Rain" were my absolute favorites. I can't even count how many times I rewound "A Little Fall of Rain" and re-watched it, blubbering the whole time. :} Michael Ball and Lea Salonga were perfect together. So many subtle little facial expressions, and the way he held was just perfect!

Then I heard they were doing a 25th Anniversary concert, so I tuned into PBS. Pretty much the only thing that really impressed me with that version was RAMIN KARIMLOO!! Need I say more? :D

I watched Nick Jonas's performance with growing disgust, but when "A Little Fall of Rain" came, I could barely stand to watch. Your comparison was spot-on!!! Who would prefer poor squinty Marius with indigestion when they can have Michael Ball's wonderfully brilliant Marius?! The 10th Anniversary version of "A Little Fall of Rain" moved me to tears. The 25th Anniversary version found me begging for mercy. No more mediocre acting and pitiful attempts at making us care, please!!

Anyway, thanks for the post! I highly enjoyed it and laughed out loud several times. :D

Anonymous said...

Alexandra - Ramin's Lightburst of Complete Awesomeness?! HA!!! LOVE IT!! And the 20,000 mile radius of decentness - yes. I agree. "Red and Black" was made better because of Ramin's presence.

Amy - Okay, thanks! : )

I know!! I like drama, too. My friend and I were laughing the other day because we think she puposefully sat down, then stood up again just to fall into Marius' arms. Heehee. Again, I like drama, too.

*sob* And he... argh, dies later. Makes me so sad. Anyway. I know, right?! I didn't know they were siblings until I looked up the musical/book differences on Wikipedia. I can't wait to read the book!

HA!! Good. : D

I listened to Alfie's version and love it!! Wasn't he one of the guys who sang it on Alexandra's awesome TSP video?

Now that I read your comment to Alexandra about the PBS special, I think I must have seen it then, too. At my grandparents' house. (Except we went over there right at the beginning-ish, and "Master of the House" was on. Then we left before it got much farther. : P I'm GOING to watch the entire thing someday, just watch me!)


Miss Dashwood said...

That's interesting about Victor Hugo's intention for her. I'd never heard about that before, but I'm not very well-versed in the Story Behind The Story. :D
You are right that Eponine was a criminal and that she was cruel to Cosette when they were little (but was she really Montparnasse's mistress??? I don't remember THAT in the book!). But people can change, you know. Jean Valjean was a criminal too! Eponine may have been a less-than-worthy character in the beginning (and yes, she was quite jealous of Cosette) but at the end, she gave her life for Marius and gave him Cosette's letter. And THAT's what makes me love her so much. Plus, she brought Marius to Cosette in the first place and she totally didn't have to do that!
More coming on that subject this evening. :D

Yay, another 10th Concert fan!
I can't help advising you to give the 25th concert another try, though. Ramin Karimloo is beyond awesome, of course, but there are some other great performances as well and that smashing finale-and-encore gives me goosebumps every time!
So glad you liked the post! :D

Miss Dashwood said...

Hahahaha, purposefully sitting down and then standing up again just to fall into his arms... LOVE IT. Hahahahahahahaha!
And yes, the guy singing on Alexandra's TSP vid was Alfie Boe! Doesn't he have a lovely voice?

Anonymous said...

Amy - I know, right? That's what it looked like!! I would have thought she was doing it on purpose if she didn't look so hurt!!

OOH!! Okay. Wow, yeah he does!! (But that song will forever remind me of Sir Percy... : P)


Miss Dashwood said...

Oh, definitely. It is Percy's Theme Song, world without end, amen.

Anonymous said...

Amy -
Amen and amen. : )


Anonymous said...

Yes! This is the post all Jonas fangirls need to see. Because of Nick Jonas I can barely watch the 25AC anymore which is upsetting. The rest of the actors playing students made him look even more like a little boy. When he & Ramin came on stage at first it looked like a big brother taking his little brother (who is so in awe of him that he copie his dress sense) out for the day.
I wrote a blog about the character of Eponine and how she isn't the lovestruck puppy fangirls assume. Take a look and see what you think :)

An Old-Fashioned Girl said...

Dear Amy- though I'm not a Michael Ball fan, I do agree with this post!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered Les Mis recently through the 25th Anniversary concert, and I thought A Little Fall of Rain was a rather blah song and one of the lousier ones in the musical.
Then I watched A Little Fall of Rain from the 10th, and found it so heart-wrenching and amazing.

cleo c said...

I have always been a great fan of Les Miz and I agree that Michael Ball IS Marius. I watched and listened to both the 10th and 25th Anniversary concert and Nick Jonas really didn't do justice to the role. His voice just gets lost in the sea of amazing voices. Super agree with the lungs. I'm not saying he doesn't have a nice voice but I think it's not just made for musical theater. I hate to compare but when he was singing with Ramin Karimloo I got an idea maybe they should have given the role to Ramin...hehehe! And leave Nick J. to do his teeny-bopper songs...

Joyce Climaco said...

I also HATED Nick Jonas on Les Mis. It basically ruined the CD, which is really sad, becausa Ramin Karimloo and Samatha Barks' performances were fantastic. (in particular, Ramin's part in "One day more")

Also, I wanna say Hadley Fraaser was an outstanding Marius! Just listen to him on Youtube. His voice is beutiful, and so is his interpretation of the role. Not as sentimental as Michael Ball, but gave me a new perspective about Marius, and is definetely my favorite singer for the role (ok, maybe sharing the position with MB). Anyway, it's worthy to see!

Melody said...

I will try not to be scared off by the warning. ;)

Some lungs full of air... SNOOORT.

But but... puppies can grow into large and annoying dogs. Or small and annoying dogs. And I do not like annoying dogs. Which most of them are.

Ehee, I have to say I reallyreally liked it when Enjolras came over to comfort Marius after ALFOR. It just... pleased me. ;)

Personally I found it A Bit Strange when all the people who are supposed to be dead started creeping up behind Sir Twerp-a-lot. They have returned... to haunt him. MUWAHAHAHA.

I don't quite agree that NJ has fabulous hair, either. Hahahaha.

I had fun reading this... even though I have no gushing to add. :P