TUTS and “Les Miz”

We went tonight for the opening performance of the Theater Under the Stars production of “Les Misérables.” This was their own production, not a road show, which means it didn’t have the revolving stage. But it did have a number of cast members who have played their roles on Broadway, including Ed Dixon from the original Broadway cast reprising Thénardier. Rob Evan did a decent job as Valjean, overall, but cracked the final notes of “Bring Him Home.” There were some technical problems, including a spotlight operator forgetting where he was supposed to be shining his light and a few microphones that stopped working (and they seem not to either train singers or create theaters that don’t require amplification). Set design was creative, making use of projection of drawings by Victor Hugo himself as the backdrop.

One bit of staging was awkward. During the barricade scene, with the rebels facing away from the audience, a line of soldiers comes out and faces the audience, their backs to the rebels. Well, this is to compensate for the lack of a revolving stage, so you can see Gavroche gathering bullets from the dead soldiers (during which he meets his own end, singing the refrain of “Little People”–a song you’ll only hear in its entirety on the original London cast album).

All in all, a great performance.