Saturday, July 27, 2013

In Which I Offend Lea Salonga Fans

Yeah.  I'm going to enrage a bunch of people here...;)
So anyway.  I was racking my brains for a good post topic, and since I'm a new Les Mis fangirl (during Barricade Boys Week at Ramblings of a Janeite I got interested in it, listened to it, watched the movie, read the book, saw the 10th and 25th anniversary concerts, and...yeah.  I was hooked.) I decided to do a Les Mis-themed post.  Before I really started fangirling, I decided to let everybody know who my favorite actors/actresses were for each part.  So...
Here's my dream cast!  (I'm not sure if that's technically the right term for it, but it sounds good. :D)
I'm going to start with the obvious...

Jean Valjean
I'm going to go with the obvious here too and say that Colm Wilkinson is definitely my favorite Valjean.  He just seems to...I don't know, to "be" Valjean in a way no other Valjean (to my knowledge of the 25thAC, the CSR, the Original French Recording, the movie, the OLC, the book...yeah.  You get the picture.) has.  Hugh Jackman looks most like I would imagine the brick Jean Valjean looked, and he can sing all right, so he probably gets second, and third is a tie between Alfie Boe (25thAC) and Gary Morris (CSR).

I present to you...
The One and Only Javert!  Aka Philip Quast. :D
But seriously, this guy was born to play Javert.  He's got everything...he looks like Javert, he acts like Javert, he behaves like Javert (on stage, anyway)...yeah.  I think you get the picture.  ;)

This one was harder- Lea Salonga from the 25thAC and Ruthie Henshall from the TAC are both really good, but in the end I had to go with Anne Hathaway (movie).  Her voice isn't what you generally hear for Fantine, but the movie is, well, not on stage and her acting is phenomenal.  Plus, her singing sounds the most like I've always imagined Fantine's voice should sound like.

There has never been a perfect Cosette...until Amanda Seyfried (2012 movie) showed up.  She is really pretty and she makes the character naive while still being likeable.  Cosette is usually such a shallow character and I thought she added some depth to it.  Her singing was good enough- she's an alto and she was struggling during 'A Heart Full of Love,' but elsewhere she did a great job.  Judy Kuhn from the TAC gets second place- her singing is gorgeous.

Michael Ball is the ultimate Marius.  If you want a long, detailed, fangirly post, go here.  That's all I have to say.  :D

This is where I offend the Lea Salonga fans...because although I think Lea Salonga is a phenomenal singer and actress, Kaho Shimada from the CSR is my favorite Eponine.  She was my introduction to Eponine, and I think she got the young, vulnerable aspect of Eponine like no other Eponine has done to my knowledge.  She really made me realize how young Eponine really was, and how pitiable a character she is.  Samantha Barks and Lea Salonga tie for second, and Frances Ruffelle gets third.


Ah, yes.  Enjolras.  I used to have mixed feelings on this guy, but I've now been converted to a total Enjolras fan, which I will probably explain in a later post.  Aaron Tveit is my favorite Enjolras.  For those of you who read this post before, I changed my mind after having seen the movie again. :D  Michael Maguire, Anthony Warlow, and Ramin Karimloo all tie for second. 

This little gamin is one of my very favorite characters from the book, movie, and musical.  My favorite portrayal of him is probably Daniel Huttlestone's from the movie because I though he combined the cute, sassy gamin and the brave, angry little boy very, very well.  My second favorite is a tie between Adam Searles and Ross Mccall (both of whom got the brave, angry little boy better than the cute, sassy gamin :D) and Robert Madge is third.

Colm Wilkinson from the movie was a very good bishop.  Plus, even if he'd done it horribly, he'd still be my favorite because, seriously!  He's coming back to Les Mis!  Which is just awesome.   :)

In my opinion, Killian Donnelly from the movie completely owns this role.  Whenever I read the book, I see his face.  He isn't my favorite Enjolras or Courfeyrac, but he is my favorite Combeferre.  Also, Combeferre is one of my favorite barricade boys (they all are :D).


Fra Fee from the movie is my favorite Courf as well.  He looks like I always imagined Courf to look like, and his accent is awesome.  So...what can I say?  "What can I say?" sounds like a quote from something, but I can't remember it right now...ah, well.  It will come later.

It's starting to look like all the barricade boys will be from the movie, but hey, the movie's good!  George Blagden fought it out with Hadley Fraser for a long time, but I finally decided on George Blagden because I think he's the closest to Victor Hugo's Grantaire.

Jean Prouvaire
Now, Jehan Prouvaire (I always call him Jehan even though Victor Hugo calls him Jean most of the time) might be my favorite barricade boy.  (Yeah...I can't choose.  I will try...eventually.  :P) He's so sweet-natured and brave.  Alistair Brammer is my favorite Jehan (he played Prouvaire in the 25thAC as well) because he manages to make Jehan Prouvaire courageous and sweet, instead of wimpy and cowardly as he too often gets labelled.

Again from the movie...Hugh Skinner is, hands down, the best Joly.  I haven't listened to or watched a single other Joly who is very much like the Joly from the book.  Hugh Skinner managed to do that.

I could have just summed all the barricade boys (except Enjolras) by saying For Courfeyrac, see Tholomyes that they were all from the movie.  But what fun would that be?  Anyway, Gabriel Vick is my favorite Feuilly.  I didn't notice Feuilly much in the movie, but I didn't notice him at all in the musical.  You may draw your own conclusions.

I didn't notice this guy much either, but at least I noticed him some.  Therefore, Stuart Neal is my favorite Bossuet. :D

This was the only picture of Bahorel I could find.  So, Iwan Lewis is my favorite Bahorel.  I don't think Bahorel is in the musical, so it was great that they included him in the movie.

The Thenardiers
Alun Armstrong and Jenny Galloway from the TAC (Jenny Galloway played Madame Thenardier in both the TAC and the 25thAC) are my favorite Thenardiers.  Finally, a break from the movie!  :)
But seriously...they are the best Thenardiers, in my opinion.  I don't care much for either of the characters, but Alun Armstrong's and Jenny Galloway's singing and acting were really good.  Plus...I don't know, they just had a certain "something" that gave the characters spice.

Update 7/31/13:
I just realized I forgot little Cosette!  *gasps*  So she is.

Little Cosette
 Isabelle Allan was the best little Cosette I've ever seen.  She was adorable, and, except for the brown eyes, she matches the brick's description.  She is really, really good.  And so cuuuute!  Wait...I think I already said that. :D

Annnnd that is my dream cast!  I'm sorry I've been gone so long, I should be less busy very soon.  I would love to hear about your dream casts- please leave a comment or two!  :)
-Miss Jane Bennet


Jack said...

I haven't seen the 10th or the 25th, I've been meaning to look them up on youtube. The ValJean you like seems to be the most popular, I know a lot of other fans pick him as well. I'm going to find a song he sings, he looks like he has a nice voice.

Lucy said...

It seems like my dream cast is almost entirely different from yours! Especially Amanda Seyfried, I thought she was a horrible Cosette :L there was something about her "I know, Papa" at Valjean's death that really got to me, I guess... I think I would also choose Alfie Boe for Valjean ;) this was a great idea for a post! :)

Miss Jane Bennet said...

Ooh, two comments! *rubs hands in glee*
Jack, is the 10th anniversary concert, and is the 25th. Colm Wilkinson is a marvelous singer- you should definitely listen to him! :)

People definitely have widely varied thoughts on who the best singer for each part is. Alfie Boe seemed too squeaky clean for me- he never let me forget that he was acting. However, he has a very good voice and I really enjoy his portrayal. Amanda Seyfried...I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that, since my liking of her portrayal was more of a gut feeling than a reasoned-out thing.
Thanks for commenting, both of you! :)

Xochitl said...

I feel a little creepy just popping out of nowhere and commenting, but I had to say that I like who you picked!
Kaho Shimada was a really good Eponine, it's nice to see someone else who liked her too. :)