The 2019/2020 Fairwinds Broadway series at the Dr. Phillips Center kicked off with the classic, Les Miserables, on October 22, 2019. Seen by millions in 44 countries, Les Miserables is one of the most famous musicals ever. And it is playing in Orlando for a limited time – October 22-27th, 2019. Read on for my Les Miserables review and find out how you can get tickets!
I was an invited guest of, Angie Rumpf (This is the Motherhood) and we received complimentary tickets to attend opening night. All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I attended my first Broadway tour show last season and fell in love. And I was so excited when I saw the schedule for the 2019/2020 Fairwinds Broadway series included Les Miserables.
Les Miserables has been on my bucket list since I was a young teenager when my mom took my cousins to see it. And while I can’t complain too much as I got to see David Copperfield on the same night – I was still jealous of them.
Les Miserables rich history
Les Miserables is based on the 1862 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo. The original French musical premiered in Paris in 1980. The English language version produced by Cameron Macintosh made its way to London in 1985 (until July 2019) and finally premiered on Broadway March 12, 1987.
After the original run, Les Miserables saw two Broadway revivals with the final one from March 2014 to September 2016. There have also been multiple US Touring productions throughout the years.
The current touring production and the one performing at the Dr. Phillips Center, has been together since 2017 and features much of the staging, lighting and digital backdrops from the 2014 Broadway revival.
The cast of Les Miserables
Leading the cast is Nick Cartell who dominates as Jean Viljean. He brought the character to life with emotion and gave an outstanding performance. And Cartell’s vocals were on point and the audience awarded him with long applause after each song, especially after “Bring Him Home”.
Fantine was played by understudy, Olivia Dei Cicchi, a fact I never would have known. She went above and beyond in her portrayal. Her voice was magical as she stunned with “I Dreamed a Dream”
Javert was also played by an understudy, Andrew Love. Who did a fabulous job of meeting the vocals of Nick Cartell when it was needed.
I adored Paige Smallwood who brought Eponine to life with her unique tone and emotional rendition of “On My Own”. It was by far my favorite vocal performance of the night.
But my absolute favorites were Madame Thenardier and Thenardier, played by Allison Guinn and Jimmy Smagula. They offered timely comedic relief in an absolutely loveable way. The dynamic pair had the audience belly laughing many times and received hoots, hollers and deafening applause at the curtain call.
And let’s be honest, Madame Thenardier is a pretty relatable character for us old married ladies.
I loved the updated stage set up with the digital projections. I thought it was extremely well done. And during the scene of Javert’s suicide, I found myself completely amazed at how the real his falling seemed with the digital screen. I felt like I was falling with him.
Now, since I’ve never seen the original rotating stage I can’t say this is better or worse. I just know that I personally enjoyed it and didn’t find anything lacking.
My Les Miserables Review
I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Les Miserables. The cast was amazing and did an incredible job bringing the iconic story to life.
My only small complaint was that in the first act some of the lyrics were hard to understand which made it difficult for the audience to follow, especially for those who don’t know the story of Les Miserables.
But did it live up to the hype after 20 some years of waiting? YES! I’m not sure what I expected but the show surpassed everything I could have hoped for.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with Fairwinds Credit Union brings Broadway shows to Orlando and makes them accessible to everyone.
Plus, beyond Broadway, the Dr. Phillips Center hosts a wide variety of shows throughout the year. To find out what is happening next and to get your tickets to see Les Miserables head to DrPhillipsCenter.org.