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Les Miserables Reviews

Broadway ShowsMusicalsMothers DayDramaClassic

Average customer review: 3.5 star rating (3.7 Stars)

Number of reviews: 189

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2.0 star rating Mark R. from Austin, Texas

TECHNICAL SHORTCOMINGS UNDERMINE THE PERFORMANCE

Les Miserables is my favorite musical and I had high expectations for this production at Bass Concert Hall in Austin on 9/10/19. While it was opening night and some things may not have been "dialed in" and worked out, the production value was not on par with any Broadway Across America show I've seen here. Scenery and lighting were so dark that the cast might as well have been performing on an empty stage. Many wonderful effects lost and wasted. The live music was wonderfully performed but was drowning out all of the song lyrics. Every number was rushed, with the words quite difficult to hear and understand (and these are songs I know and love). Had I not seen the musical live, or seen the motion picture version of the musical, I am quite certain that I would not have a clue about the story line or anything going on with any of the characters. I was very disappointed, so disappointed in fact, that I wrote this review during the intermission. Finally, despite the house policies, Bass Concert Hall was allowing a significant number of people to enter and exit the theater throughout the performance. It was completely distracting, especially given the compromised lighting and sound. And the ushers and their flashlights were a significant part of the problem. If you see this show on another night I hope it is improved. It was truly as though there had been no pre-show run through at all. Missed spotlights and terrible sound reinforcement. Standout performances from little Cosette, Cosette, and Marius. A let down from the other leading roles. This production of Les Miserables was WAY MISERABLE and unfortunately a good deal of the let down seems to be from the venue.

2.0 star rating Pete Masters from Austin, Texas

DON’T UNDERSTAND THE HYPE

Having never seen this show before I had let the hype falsely set expectations. The music was good, the actors were difficult to understand, and what I could make out of the story was uninteresting. If you already know the ropes to this musical I suppose it would be enjoyable (the woman next to me hummed the whole thing). Disappointed in it, but maybe it’s a shortcoming if mine. Wouldn’t recommend

2.0 star rating Debbie Brink from Austin, Texas

A DISAPPOINTMENT

I’ve seen Les Mis in NYC, London, and here in Austin years ago previously. I didn’t expect this performance to be as good as the others, and I was still disappointed. The two main male characters rushed their lyrics to the point of not being understandable or on the beat. The actress playing Fontaine sang what should have been the most beautiful song of the show so softly that it fell flat. Frequently the orchestra drowned out the singers’ voices. That being said, the talent of all of the performers certainly seemed ample. It was the direction that was lacking.

2.0 star rating Frustrated from Austin, Texas

TERRIBLE SOUND & LIGHTING

Impossible to understand the singers bc orchestra was too loud and singers were not enunciating. Lighting was much too dark. I knew what was happening bc I've seen it many times on Broadway, but my poor husband was lost. Solos were mostly excellent. Also tempo was sometimes off in non-solo singing, and sometimes notes were changed or not hit. Very disappointing especially for the cost of the tickets. Javert and JVJ were excellent but often unintelligible. Eponine's solo was magnificent, but much of her singing before then was off and her voice was all wrong.

2.0 star rating Barb from Orlando, Florida

DISAPPOINTING

We were so disappointed in this production here in Orlando. The set was dark and made it difficult to see very well. The singing was very hard to understand. We heard about one-fourth of the words. Gave up after intermission. Would not recommend.

2.0 star rating TrackSuit from Birmingham, Alabama

DISAPPOINTING

I’ve saw Les Mis in New York 25 years ago. I was awe struck with the production and pure vocal quality of the cast. From top to bottom it went high on my “best of” list. Having the opportunity to see the touring cast in Birmingham on 1/9/2020 was going to be the first time for my significant other. She lived in New York for a time and saw many original cast productions but never got to Les Mis. I was excited and pumped about letting her experience what I did many years ago. Unfortunately this show was a major let down. I’m not going to highlight (or in this case lowlight) all the disappointments but as high on my list the first experience was, this one now occupies the bottom end of my “worst of”. It gets 2 stars because there were a few bright spots vocally but the entire production was sub par. Valjean was particularly bad, the lighting and sound stage was awful. I’ve never been so disappointed and we left at the first intermission. Bad night? No, it was plain terrible.

2.0 star rating Adam Patterson from Birmingham, Alabama

DISAPPOINTING

I went to to Birmingham, Alabama show on January 10th. This was my 8th time seeing Les Miserables in person and was by far the worst. While the set was impressive, the dark lighting made it difficult to see what was happening. I know the show pretty intimately, so I could forgive that. The pacing and voices of certain characters is what was most disappointing. The whole production was rushed and the tempo was much faster than it’s supposed to be. This led to the more emotional key moments falling very flat. It became quite boring, so I found myself distracted and looking around the the theatre quite a bit where I noticed quite a number of people leaving early. By the end of the final battle, I was considering joining them. My date had never been and walking out she said, “I don’t understand why everyone loves that so much”. I could only apologize and explain that that production did it no justice.

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