Sunday, June 26, 2011

Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins - Why Les Mis has played for 25 years

Tonight I watched again, as I had only once before as a girl - wide eyed and heart aching, the telling of one of the most passionate and impactful if not important tales of contemporary literature and musical theater. Les Miserables has enchanted audiences for 25 years as it wanders through the pain of a burgeoning French revolution weaving in its inherent tragedy - a love story, a life story, and a father's tale.

It is a tale that has it all - and in its most recent retelling in Los Angeles' Ahmanson theater, not an eye remained dry on a sunny summer Sunday night. The fathers ached with the sacrifice of parenthood, the lovers held hands as Cosette and Marius professed passion upon first sight, the brothers and soldiers shook with the memory of standing together in fight, and I mouthed every word with Ebonine's On My Own.

I have beside my bed my next reading assignment, a book titled Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, and I know it certainly is true. A simple beautiful tale of love, family, and the undeniable desire to be free has captured audiences for a quarter of a century. The legacy of story tellers who created and the performers who have since recreated the tale of Les Mis have most certainly won.

Let the shrine of friendship, never say die. 
Let the wine of friendship, never run dry.

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