Falling of the Barricade: Les Miserables

By Jacqueline Lee

(*This will include spoilers about the show*)

Since October 8, 1985 more than 70 million people have seen Les Misérables which was a big hit in every theatre. Les Mis performed more than 48,000 times on Broadway and is the longest running musical that ever took place. Translated into 22 different languages and played in 44 different countries, Les Mis is leaving Broadway on September 4, 2016. So, if you haven’t seen Les Mis on Broadway, it will change your life.

Les Mis in 137 words   

(Below) Les Mis Broadway, One Day More

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 9.04.27 PM

Adapted from the 1,488 page book, Les Mis is about a prisoner, Jean Valjean (John Vel-John) who is put in prison for 19 years before he gets his parole. After dining with a bishop, Valjean decides he has to start a new life and breaks his parole. While becoming the mayor of the town, Inspector Javert (Ja-ver) will chase Valjean until he has him in prison. Valjean takes Cosette (Co-set) from the wicked innkeeper, and Cosette grows up with a loving father, Jean Valjean. But since Inspector Javert wants Valjean in prison, Cosette is in danger too. Ten years later, Cosette falls in love with a boy named Marius

(Marry-us), but the innkeeper’s daughter, Éponine, (Ep-e-neen) also likes Marius. The thrilling plot takes place during the French Revolution, and the bitter-sweet ending that leaves everyone crying.

I Dreamed a Dream…of an Amazing Show

Since 1985, everyone has fallen in love with Les Mis. Why? The two main characters, Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert and the lesson that everyone can relate with. The protagonist Valjean is a man that started out as a criminal, hating the world, but by the end of the musical he is kind, loving, and compassionate, and even spares his enemies. On the other side, Inspector Javert the villain of the story is unforgiving and holds a grudge against Valjean, even though he has became good. Javert sang, “Men like you can never change… my duty’s to the law you have no rights.” Javert follows the law to every word. Another reason that Les Mis is fantastic is because of the lessons you learn from Valjean. Even though he made a mistake of stealing, he became a good person again. Les Mis is unbelievable because of the amazing characters and lessons.

(Below) Les Mis musical poster and movie poster

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Musical vs. Movie

The musical and the movie Les Mis are very different in many ways. Firstly, in the film they take out the song Dog Eats Dog sang by Thénardier ( teh-nahr-dyai ) in the sewers, and also in the movie they add the song Suddenly by Valjean. Another difference is the song order. One of Gavroche’s

( GA-gag v-velcro) songs, Little People is shortened greatly in the movie, and Éponine’s song, On My Own is sang in a different sequence in the movie then in the musical. Les Mis varies greatly between the movie and the musical, and even varies between each show.

Don’t “Mis” out

If you’ve read the book, seen the musical, or watched the movie you will know that Les Mis will change your life. With John Owen-Jones as the youngest Valjean and Hayden Tee as Javert, Les Mis has an amazing cast. Les Mis is recommended for ages 12 and up. Les Mis is leaving Broadway on September 4, 2016, so don’t “mis” out.

Click HERE to see a video of 17 different Jean Valjeans singing in their languages. Start at 1:40 (It is absolutely amazing)

Top Ten Best Songs from Les Misérables:

10. Bring Him Home– Jean Valjean

9. Stars– Inspector Javert

8. Do You Hear the People Sing– Enjolras, Students, and Citizens

7. Red and Black– Enjolras, Marius, Students

6. Castle on a Cloud– Cosette

5. Confrontation– Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert

4. Who am I– Jean Valjean

3. Finale– Jean Valjean, Cosette, Marius, Fantine, Eponine, and Company

2. Empty Chairs and Empty Tables- Marius

1. One Day More– Jean Valjean, Cosette, Marius, Eponine, Enjolras, Inspector Javert, Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, and Company









3 thoughts on “Falling of the Barricade: Les Miserables

  1. Nice job Jackie. By the way Les Miserables is awesome! I like your headings, like I dreamed a dream of an amazing show!


  2. Great article Jackie! Because I was in Les Mis, I know the story by heart, and I think you summarized it perfectly. I also love that you chose to write about this. Great job!


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