The Hobby Center Presents: Les Misérables — a Show Review

Written by on February 2, 2024

For one week only, the Hobby Center showcased Les Misérables, inspired by the classic novel written by Victor Hugo. Les Misérables, a highly successful sung-through pop opera known worldwide, has been making its way across America for quite some time now. This epic showcase has been pulling at the heartstrings of theater-lovers for over forty years. With astounding vocals, a flawless orchestra and magical set, this iconic performance is not one to miss.

Set in France in the 19th century, Les Misérables (also known as Les Miz), tells a captivating story of broken dreams, passion, sacrifice, and unrequited love. It tells the tale of Jean Valjean, who, after spending nineteen years as prisoner 24601, breaks his parole and dedicates his life to do-gooding all the while running from Inspector Javert, the rigid policeman who makes it his mission to return Valjean to prison. Filled with death and raw humility, this story also questions the meaning of justice.

There is no spoken dialogue, every line is beautifully sung combined with the near perfect orchestra. The truly extraordinary cast and orchestra of the current Les Miz tour captured the hearts of the audience from the first opening number to the final bow. As the entire ensemble belted out “One Day More,” the finale before intermission, a feeling of hope spread across the theater and the audience roared as the curtain closed. Throughout the rest show, sniffling and soft sobs slowly filled the room. The remarkable set design and exquisite projections transformed the stage into a sort of gateway to Victor Hugo’s own drawings. The sewer scene in particularly beautifully pushes the capabilities of projected visuals and lighting design.

As Jean Valjean, Nick Cartell has seemingly super-human voice control; you sure can’t tell where his falsetto starts and ends. His “Bring Him Home” is the highest highlight of the night — piercingly, painfully pretty. Preston Truman Boyd is an excellent Javert, always at attention, and with numbers sung with such passion that they come off a bit like love songs to his own certainty. The clearest standouts among the excellent ensemble are Haley Dortch as Fantine. Dortch captured the strength of motherhood until her very last breath, you could almost hear the audience’s collective heart break when her arm went limp.

If you have the opportunity to catch the current touring production of Les Misérables, do not hesitate. It is a bittersweet experience that will leave you awestruck and heartbroken yet inspired. From the moment the curtain rises to the final standing ovation, Les Misérables takes you on an unforgettable journey, humbling you and reminding you to always stand up for what we believe in. Find tickets here!

  • Alina Velasquez

    I'm a Junior Graphic Design major at the University of Houston. I am also the Graphic Design Officer of BAMSA as well as a Photo Editor for Coog Radio. I enjoy art in all of its forms and love discovering new music. Photography and Design have been passions of mine for several years.

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