and in case i fail miserably, you can always go and read my friend tracy’s blog, making the trek... she is blogging every day in may. not sure if my friend, and mommy to four little ones, brite at redefining normal, will jump into the fray. but she has some cute baby photos up today. and it made my uterus hurt to look at them. go and make your own uterus hurt.
those crazy kids in the above fuzzy photo were standing in front of the fox theater on friday night. we surprised that middle one (josiah) by showing up in atlanta and then by taking him to see les miserables that evening. it was a GREAT evening. only i could make a graduation gift out of a trip to see my favorite musical. i got skillz like that people. no wonder you read my sporadic blog...
so i am thinking for EVERY DAY in MAY of doing a theme (because i LOVE a good theme) of things i learned from musicals... and i have learned a lot because i have seen a lot of musicals. i have wanted to be in a lot of musicals. alas, no one really wants me to be in a musical. i have an basic agreement with God that there will be musicals in heaven once i arrive there and that He will let me have the role of my choice in every show. it is in the message version of my Bible. in hezakiah.
so let’s start this MUSICAL MAYhem with les miserables. since i saw it this weekend. and i can safely say that it is the musical that i have seen the MOST times...
i saw the musical les miserables DOZENS of times when i studied in london. DOZENS people. we bought student standing only tickets (about $5 a show. which was a HUGE amount of cash/pounds for college students) and i believe most of my varicose veins began as i stood for all those HOURS watching that story wind itself into my heart and soul.
there is no better story for a young person to watch over and over than the story of grace. les miserables was written by a guy (victor hugo) who had no love for the church. he had some catholic church issues. yet the first figure of grace is a bishop. this one act of mercy changes a runaway convict’s (valjean) life and teaches him to dispense grace and he grants a dying woman’s wish and saves her child, and on and on the story goes. pitched in direct opposition to our man of grace, valjean, is the law abiding and law enforcing javert. a man who loves the law and who professes to have lived his life keeping every rule.
it was heady stuff for a 19 year old girl. which was why i needed to see the show over and over again. which is why i still need to read that story of the grace triumphing over the law over and over. i need the story that God reclaims and that God restores out of His grace and mercy. not because we have kept the law. but because we can’t keep the law.
javert has a great line, “the law is inside out, the world is upside down!” yes, inspector javert. it is.
here are a few more quotes from the book les miserables...
“For there are many great deeds done in the small struggles of life.”
Even if Satan came into the house, no one would interfere. After all, what is there to fear in this house? There is always one with us who is the strongest. Satan may visit our house, but the good Lord lives here.”
“God knows better than we do what we need.”
“He did not study God; he was dazzled by him.”
i hope that last quote is what people say of me. that i was dazzled by God. that i was hopefully overpowered by Grace and Goodness.
so what role would i play in les miserables? without a doubt it would be madame thernardier. part of the pair of villains of the show (my research shows me that javert is an antagonist. the thernardiers are the villains of the story.) you can see my first song of the show (language/obscene gestures warning. of course my role would include a foul language/obscene gestures warning. i have no idea why i am so attracted to this role) master of the house. that clip is from the 25th anniversary concert (they did the play as a concert. which is pretty easy to do since the ENTIRE musical in song.) i hate to do the math because i saw the show in one of its first years. i promise that the show is “redemptive” (that clip isn’t the best indication of redemptiveness) which is a little shout out to my friend debbie over at cheaper by the baker’s dozen. i have this tendency to find “redemptive” themes in all kinds of literature.)
however my favorite moment in the show is the song one day more. it is the showstopper (the song at the end of first act that is the last thing you hear before the intermission.) i always love the showstopper number. big. grand. the highlight of all kinds of chaos that is carrying us into act 2. when a showstopper works, it is magical. this showstopper works. all the characters are shown. their motives clearly out on the table. antagonist vs. protagonist. villains plotting some villainous scheme. all setting the scene for the next act. reminding you of why you are sitting there in a dark theater. because you have to see the rest of the story...
“tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in heaven has in store...
one more dawn... one day more...”
seriously people, you have to watch one day more (i just watched it 4 times while writing this little blog entry). if God allowed me to live in one musical number i would choose to live in that showstopper. how can 7 people and a chorus ALL SINGING DIFFERENT SONGS AT THE SAME TIME actually work itself out into pure melodious genius? not to mention that moment when the red flags start waving. chills.
and in case that leaves you wanting more... then here is the finale. it may be a spoiler, but in case you need resolution to the story... i think i only want to be in this play so that i can be in that showstopper and the finale (well, and have a pg13 rating attached to my solo.) i can’t wait for you to see me in the heavenly production on les miserables. i am going to rock that stage of gold.
“somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?”
yes. there is... and in it i am in les miserables, the musical.