Tag Archives: Les Miserables
There’s a reason the music of your youth is the music that follows you throughout your life. When you’re stumbling through the transition from adolescence to adulthood you make strong, immediate connections to things around you. It’s the reason your first love is always so intense. It’s the reason you feel invincible when you’re out with your friends. It’s the foundation that leads to that nostalgic look back at “the good old days” in later years. Those moments and memories that surround you during that time of your life become an integral part of who you are. For me, one of those moments was with “Les Miserables”.
I came of musical age during the 80’s – hair metal, the birth of MTV, The King of Pop, and the advent of the “mega” Broadway musical. For my money (and with no apology to “Phantom of the Opera” fans – I just never liked that show), there was none bigger than “Les Miserables”. Debuting on Broadway in 1986, it became one of the most successful musicals of all time.
During my senior year in high school, we did a musical review. The closing number was a medley of songs from “Les Miserables”. I played the part of Marius. We defended the barricades, Eponine died in my arms, and everyone dreamed of one day more. It was the perfect exclamation point to that year and, in many ways, it was a much larger, if more subtle, metaphor for my entire high school experience (but that’s a story for another day). It made a deep impression on me, and the music from the show would follow me and continue to fill me with wonder for the next 20 plus years.
Nineteen years ago I had the chance to see a musical on Broadway for the first time. (I know – It would sound much better if I could say it was twenty years ago. Twenty is such a nice round number – but it was, in fact, nineteen years ago, and I don’t feel like waiting an entire year to write this, just so it has a nice clichéd opening. But I digress.) As I was saying – nineteen years ago I had the chance to see a musical on Broadway for the first time. Not only was it great show, I also learned a few things along the way: I really can do anything I set my mind to, young love is almost always misguided, and my father has a serious deficiency when it came to hotel nicknames.