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Eppie-Sue

25th Anniversary Concert?!

Okay, so there have been rumours and "on very good authority" posts on WoS already about this, which is why I thought we should have a thread, too.
There might be a 25th Anniversary Concert coming up for October 2010. It seems that they're not selling tickets for the birthday at the Queen's, and there has been talk about something like the TAC taking place in the O2 Arena, which is, of course, pretty huge, and also that Kerry Ellis might already be cast as Fantine.
It would seem that they're thinking about bringing together some kind of contemporary Dream Cast for this. I would be more than happy if they recorded it and released an album, too. So happy I might just drop dead.

Anyway, so. I know there are the usual suspects, but - without making this a fangirling thread - who would you like to see in this, bearing in mind that this is mostly about singing and only slightly about acting (that influences at least some of my Dream Cast ideas), and what do you make of it?
aquirkofmatter

I knew there was going to be a concert, mainly because I'm friends with someone who's been in the show before (a few years ago now, mind) who has been told by the powers that be that he'll be in it, but I haven't heard any other details from him yet. I'm seeing him in a few weeks, I'll ask if he knows anything!
KatyRoseLand

Okay, so I just typed out a whole list of my guesses, and then realised they were all either London or recent London cast, tour cast or Broadway revival cast, and I'm sure they won't all be from those three casts.

I think the concert is a great idea, and I really hope the rumours are true.
Eppie-Sue

KatyRoseLand wrote:
Okay, so I just typed out a whole list of my guesses, and then realised they were all either London or recent London cast, tour cast or Broadway revival cast, and I'm sure they won't all be from those three casts.

... really?! Maybe I'm being incredibly naive, but where else would they get them from?
I have to admit that, as I'm unfamiliar with most other casts, the cast I could see being on stage for the concert (not my Dream Cast, seeing as that would include a few understudies, which is highly unlikely, so this is more something like a quite realistic guess) is made of the 05/06, 06/07 and 08/09/10 London casts. Yes. And I'm not ashamed. So I'm going to be brave and post it:

Jean Valjean - John Owen-Jones
Javert - Earl Carpenter
Fantine - Kerry Ellis
Marius - Hayden Tee
Cosette - Gina Beck
Eponine - Sabrina Aloueche
Enjolras - David Thaxton
M Thénardier - Jimmy Johnston
Mme Thénardier - Jackie Marks

there are a few that I don't necessarily need to see and some I'm fairly open to discussion about, but also a few I'm dead set on.
MajorTordoArthur

I could see some of those happening, especially John-Owen Jones and David Thaxton. I think they'd be mad if they wouldn't cast DT for Enjolras.



Too bad that they probably won't cast Barry James...I loved him as Thénardier...
KatyRoseLand

Eppie-Sue wrote:

... really?! Maybe I'm being incredibly naive, but where else would they get them from?


Well, I always feel quite ignorant when it comes to casts and whatnot, so I thought there had probably been lots of casts in other countries and other famous casts that I just didn't know about. I hope you're right though!!


Eppie-Sue wrote:

Jean Valjean - John Owen-Jones
Javert - Earl Carpenter
Fantine - Kerry Ellis
Marius - Hayden Tee
Cosette - Gina Beck
Eponine - Sabrina Aloueche
Enjolras - David Thaxton
M Thénardier - Jimmy Johnston
Mme Thénardier - Jackie Marks

there are a few that I don't necessarily need to see and some I'm fairly open to discussion about, but also a few I'm dead set on.


I agree with most of those... but I think it might be a close thing between Aaron Lazar and David Thaxton. In the mind of the producers, that is... not in my mind.

And I wonder if people like HPJ who have played roles a long time or played a couple of roles will be favoured a bit when choosing. Or the slightly more famous people who have played the roles, like Jon Lee or Gareth Gates.

Lots of your picks have gone on to be very successful and well known for other roles though, so I think you're probably right with most of them.
Eppie-Sue

KatyRoseLand wrote:
I agree with most of those... but I think it might be a close thing between Aaron Lazar and David Thaxton. In the mind of the producers, that is... not in my mind.

I was thinking about that, but I never got the impression that Lazar had some kind of extraordinary support with the producers. I thought his appeal was majorly his acting. Not saying that he didn't deliver vocally (they didn't really give the Enjolrati much of a chance to stand out on Broadway Revival from what I've heard, anyway), but ... yeah. We'll see. I think, just going by vocal performance, the obvious choice would be David, but obviously, I'm heavily biased...

KatyRoseLand wrote:
And I wonder if people like HPJ who have played roles a long time or played a couple of roles will be favoured a bit when choosing. Or the slightly more famous people who have played the roles, like Jon Lee or Gareth Gates.

If they're going to do this anything like the 10th Anniversary, then I'm pretty sure they won't go for the "celebrity" factor but more for popularity within the fandom... at least that's what it seems like to me. But I could be mistaken... part of me thinks they should favour performers who are already kind of "legendary" for having been in Les Mis for years, as long as they're up to par.
Fantine

Hmmm... Let's not forget about Ramin Karimloo. With the new Phantom, this might be a nice publicity stunt for him and ALW. Not that the casting directors have to think about that, of course, but still...
l'ivrogne transfiguré

I can't believe how excited I am about this!!! I'll be there like a shot (even if it is only the first week of term). Mr. Green

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Jean Valjean - John Owen-Jones
Javert - Earl Carpenter
Fantine - Kerry Ellis
Marius - Hayden Tee
Cosette - Gina Beck
Eponine - Sabrina Aloueche
Enjolras - David Thaxton
M Thénardier - Jimmy Johnston
Mme Thénardier - Jackie Marks


I like this cast - I'm a bit worried it's not international enough though. There'll be at least some Broadway in there somewhere, surely? (I mean, Drew Sarich could do half of those roles at a pinch! Wink God forbid!)
eponine5

^ I'd also be thrilled if that cast became a reality! Maybe a little more thrilled with a different Eponine, but I wouldn't complain. Partiularly as the members of my dream cast who aren't on there wouldn't have a chance at being cast in something like this.

I do think that some of the broadway cast should find its way in there though... Celia Keenan Bolger maybe. And as much as I love Earl Carpenter, Robert Hunt would also be a brilliant Javert, vocally.
Quique

I'm not gonna get ahead of myself. Gonna wait for actual word. I know myself...I'll get all hyped up, then if it doesn't happen, I'll...*die*

A lesson I learned after I got all excited over seeing Lazar at the Hollywood Bowl. *Sob*
The Pirate King

Guess where I am most likely going to be during the fall of 2010? Yeah, a semester abroad.


IN ENGLAND

Very Happy Applause
Orestes Fasting

Eppie-Sue wrote:
KatyRoseLand wrote:
I agree with most of those... but I think it might be a close thing between Aaron Lazar and David Thaxton. In the mind of the producers, that is... not in my mind.

I was thinking about that, but I never got the impression that Lazar had some kind of extraordinary support with the producers. I thought his appeal was majorly his acting. Not saying that he didn't deliver vocally (they didn't really give the Enjolrati much of a chance to stand out on Broadway Revival from what I've heard, anyway), but ... yeah. We'll see. I think, just going by vocal performance, the obvious choice would be David, but obviously, I'm heavily biased...


I would say that Aaron has a little bit more big-name clout than David, which might lead the producers to favor him--I get the impression that he was not invited to renew his contract, but that it was mostly due to injury-related absence. He's certainly big-name enough to get invited to the Hollywood Bowl thing.

Honestly, though, I'd be happy seeing either of them. Aaron will always have a special place in my heart, and I think I'd rather see him in a big concert because I've seen Thaxton recently and haven't seen Aaron as Enjolras in two and a half years. But it's not like I'd be complaining if we got Thaxton. Laughing
Eppie-Sue

I just hope they show some backbone and simply get someone who deserves to play the part at a concert like this and will do the role justice, regardless of a "big name" or anything like that... IMHO, after listening to all the comparison I've had, they'd be absolutely crazy not to cast David. By voice alone.

Also, I can't think of any realistic choice for Marius or Eponine, to be honest. I mean, I can think of people I want to see there, but I wouldn't be able to place a bet.
eponine5

Is it irrational for me to have a sudden and selfish fear about finding tickets for this? Of course, O2 means thousands of tickets, but I'm really afraid that tons of Boyle TV fans will be scrambling for seats too even though god forbid she won't be in it (but the 20 million prediction for that TV documentary thing is over a third of all the people in the world who have ever seen Les Mis!)
I'm probably being stupid, but still...
l'ivrogne transfiguré

eponine5 wrote:
Is it irrational for me to have a sudden and selfish fear about finding tickets for this? Of course, O2 means thousands of tickets, but I'm really afraid that tons of Boyle TV fans will be scrambling for seats too even though god forbid she won't be in it (but the 20 million prediction for that TV documentary thing is over a third of all the people in the world who have ever seen Les Mis!)
I'm probably being stupid, but still...


I'm a bit worried about getting tickets too - but not so much because of Susan Boyle. After all the documentary is about Susan Boyle, and she won't be in the concert (terrifying thought - WHAT IF SHE IS??? I mean, they might give her a small role for publicity or something...), so she won't be there for SuBo fans to see. Also, that documentary may well be counting on all those watching the X-factor final who can't be bothered to turn off their TVs and will quite happily watch Susan Boyle instead. Judging from various comments and such, Susan Boyle fans don't seem to be particularly interested in Les Mis anyway, fortunately.
Eppie-Sue

So, as it has now been mentioned at WOS Gossip, I thought I'd bump this thread to the top again.

It could be so amazing and so mindblowing if done right.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Oh, I hope so!
And we're still waiting for something to happen actually on the 8th after all...
Eppie-Sue

Well. I've heard some information on it being celebrated three times - with the tour ar the Barbican, on the 8th at the Queen's and then a proper, huge concert, which would probably have to take place on the Sunday...?! They might not sell tickets for the 8th at the Queen's yet because nothing is certain and because of people who might get invited to it.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

In a way, I'm actually quite pleased that the tour is in London for the anniversary. It kind of gets rid of some of the competition - it's not a question of who is going to get to be involved in the celebrations. Both productions will celebrate in their own way, and then that leaves whatever big thing might happen to be open to everyone - and maybe a true 'dream cast' if we're lucky.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Sorry for double post...

Uh, has anyone seen this? Wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the Revamped thread, but as I cannot really imagine he's replacing Earl on tour, I'm guessing it should go here?

Anonymous guest on WOS who may or may not be a reliable source of information wrote:
No idea if this has already been announced, but I spoke to Norm Lewis at the stage door of Sondheim on Sondheim tonight on Broadway and he said he'd be in London in September/October to play Javert in the 25th Anniversary Les Mis.
~Masquerade Dancer~

There's info about the cast here: Very Happy

http://www.lesmis.com/about/25th-anniversary-year/
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Um... no there's not. Unless I'm missing something?
Eppie-Sue

... so, according to someone on WOS, Norm Lewis has already been approached about playing Javert for that concert...!? Or, possibly, the Anniversary Tour... So much confusion. And yeah, what's on lesmis.com is about the TOUR.
Colle

I am glad to hear that there will be a recording of either the tour or the concert. It will be something to add to my collection.
The Very Angry Woman

Eppie-Sue wrote:
... so, according to someone on WOS, Norm Lewis has already been approached about playing Javert for that concert...!?


Yeah, l'ivrogne transfiguré said that earlier.

Colle wrote:
I am glad to hear that there will be a recording of either the tour or the concert. It will be something to add to my collection.


If you disregard legality, there was always going to be some kind of recording.
Eppie-Sue

So, there has been a sort-of announcement regarding this whole thing on the WOS board.
LINK
Quote:
I've just had confirmation that this is 80% happening.... 8th October. The touring cast are obviously in London at the Barbican until 2nd October and they will then stay in town rehearsing the concert version with the current London cast and extra guests....

Casting-wise nothing has been set yet but an announcement is expected in the next 2 weeks - they are waiting on two or three people to confirm.....
l'ivrogne transfiguré

I wonder if 'current London cast' means pre- or post- cast change.
Eppie-Sue

Pretty sure post cast change. Also pretty sure that they will indeed mostly make up the ensemble. Sounds like the principals will be picked from the past casts then...?! Seems rather good to me, but I'm very anxious regarding who they'll cast.

I just want David as Enjolras plzkthx. [/so predictable]
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Well, that's kind of what I assumed - I was just thinking that they didn't use the current cast for the IoW concert. But I guess that was earlier in the run, and also involved principals.

And re: casting - we'll just have to wait and see. But I can certainly think of people I want to/don't want to see there.
HobNob

I was entirely delighted that the IOW concert was the former cast - but I'm assuming that for an anniversary performance every part will be cast especially for the occasion...? As long as they aren't lazy with it.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Huh. According to WOS Kimberley from Girls Aloud is going to be Eponine. I have a very bad feeling about this...
Eppie-Sue

If it's true, this whole thing could actually turn out to be quite hilarious. I have nothing against that girl at all, as a person... BUT. Imagine the rest of the cast. Hah. I can't take this seriously anymore.
riverdawn

Quote:
I have nothing against that girl at all, as a person... BUT.


Is it just me or is that just a little..well.. painful?
HobNob

Oh how terrible Sad
MizzieFan

... Ohmy. Really, I have nothing against her, but her singing isn't really comparable to the ones who really sang this part :/

And I really hope this doesn't turn into a celebrity concert. Nope, nope nope.
Fiwen9430

Hopefully it's just a rumour.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

THANK GOD.

Stirrer at WOS wrote:
I have to guiltily admit that I totally made up the post alluding to Kimberley being cast as Eponine. It was an experiment in seeing how much people would 'kick off' about celebrity casting (even with her modicum of 'Les Mis' history). I have been pleasantly surprised by peoples reaction. She was a bit ropey in her documentary, and years of auto-tuning and simplified B.V's haven't really helped her develope her vocals much. Mary Hammond did some good stuff with her in the programme and I'm sure with more of this she could be an adequate Eponine once more. Sorry.


At least this person has the decency to admit to it. Unlike a lot of the rumour mongering that goes on. But still, it's ridiculous that people can do this.
riverdawn

People do such... interesting things to amuse themselves...

Ah, well... I definitely won't be in London to see the concert, so the only reason I'm concerned about it is that I'm hoping they'll make some kind of recording - in which case it would be nice to actually have good singers in the roles.
Fiwen9430

If they're releasing the tour recording I would think it would be unlikely that they would release another recording of the anniversary concert too. Hopefully not, but you never know.
beyondthebarricade

So it appears that Susan Boyle is set to sing I Dreamed A Dream (and possibly play the role of Fantine, who happens to be more than 20 years younger than her?) in the 25th Anniversary Concert for Les Mis.

Well. I pray it's a rumour.
riverdawn

Frankly, right now I'm just assuming that it's all rumors until an official message comes out, which if I understand correctly should happen soon enough.
Quique

Not surprised. At all.

She could end up being very good. But they'd have to have her sing to something other than the the stupid sounding, truncated track they specially made for her BGT performance.

And she needs to learn how to act and to sing low notes without sounding like a turkey.

She is wrong for the part but it's about $$$. So, yep. Cameron deserves an award for his business decisions and a swift kick in the rear end for his artistic ones.
Eponines_Hat

Jeff's tweet for the day...

Jeffjeffdejeff

Ok. So on train. First day of 25th anniversary cast rehearsals. Think we might find out more about what festivities ae to be had. Cool.

????!!!!!

ETA - just realised he probably means just the new cast. damn.
Eppie-Sue

I'm sure he means the new cast. They are starting rehearsals today, yeah.
and
Eponines_Hat wrote:
Jeffjeffdejeff

Ok. So on train. First day of 25th anniversary cast rehearsals. Think we might find out more about what festivities ae to be had. Cool.
... looks like it's not just the FANS who call it the 25th Anniversary Cast. And no doubt they'll be told something about the concert and sworn to secrecy. Ugh.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Eponines_Hat wrote:
Jeffjeffdejeff

Ok. So on train. First day of 25th anniversary cast rehearsals. Think we might find out more about what festivities ae to be had. Cool.
... looks like it's not just the FANS who call it the 25th Anniversary Cast. And no doubt they'll be told something about the concert and sworn to secrecy. Ugh.


On that note ...
Scott Garnham wrote:
1st day of the 25th Year Les Mis rehearsals... hard work ahead but a great cast and an exciting year... lots of interesting plans!

Nope. Not just fans.
Eppie-Sue

I'm biting down hard trying not to explode, but uh, yes, according to the Daily Fail, the casting and ticket information for the O2 is being released on Wednesday. And what's even better:
"In October, Nick will be part of a huge, star- studded company being assembled to perform a 25th anniversary concert at the o2 Centre in Greenwich, South-East London."
Isn't that awesome. So I guess the line-up will include all the celebrities that are part of the stunt casting beforehand? GRAND. Just, just... AWESOME. *barely controlled rage*

They should be ashamed. This is like a giant promotion of "West End actors, who needs West End actors?"

ETA: I know, I know, it's the Mail and everything. But still.

It's been pretty much confirmed. Everyone that's performing in the show as part of the stunt casting will be cast in the 25th Anniversary.
So far we've got
Nick Jonas as Marius
Camilla Kerslake as Cosette (I don't really see her as a big name, but ah well)
Matt Lucas as Thénardier

If the rumours are true, does that mean Susan Boyle will actually have to play Fantine for a few weeks? And who are they bloody getting for the other roles...?
kozafluitmusique

I reallllllllly don't want Nick Jonas as Marius. Just saying.
beyondthebarricade

Whoa, wait. So it's confirmed that Nick and Camilla and Matt Lucas are going to be cast in the 25th Anniversary Concert? I mean, a few weeks at the Queen's is tolerable, but to actually have them cast in this concert which will be hugely promoted with all types of merchandise like CDs? Or worse, a Nick J as Marius t-shirt.
Eppie-Sue

Well, so far only a DVD of the concert has been mentioned. And yes, considering it comes from the Queen's itself, I'd say it's pretty much confirmed that the reason why there are people being "stunt cast" into the 2010/11 cast is so that they get some "experience" before performing at the concert.
The bits about Camilla Kerslake and Matt Lucas haven't been officially confirmed, but I have no doubts that it's all correct. Looks like it will definitely be a celebrity concert. The interesting question is if this applies to all principal roles.
MizH

Eppie-Sue wrote:

If the rumours are true, does that mean Susan Boyle will actually have to play Fantine for a few weeks? And who are they bloody getting for the other roles...?


She couldn't possibly play Fantine. Beyond IDAD, I'm not sure if she could even sing it. She's far too old anyway. The only role she's suitable for is Mme Thenardier, but I don't see her playing that part, since she doesn't sing all that much.

Quote:
Looks like it will definitely be a celebrity concert. The interesting question is if this applies to all principal roles.


The couldn't cast Valjean and Javert with celebrities. Well, they could, but it would be a bad idea.
Eppie-Sue

I completely agree about Susan Boyle, and no matter what her die-hard fans say, she is not a trained actress and I doubt she has the stamina for eight shows a week, actually performing a different role than "Susan Boyle". It would be very strange indeed. But I have to wonder who they'll cast for a celebrity concert in all these roles. The Thénardiers are one thing, and you can argue that out of the four males roles left, Marius is the least demanding, vocally, and is a relatively easy character to grasp and to get to terms with for a short stint, although I still think it's a very strange idea to put people randomly in and out of the cast.
Why can't they cast celebrities as Valjean and Javert, though? They don't necessarily have to be actors. Bryn Terfel has been brought up for Valjean. I can see them taking that route.
The role I have the biggest problem with, in terms of a short stint, is Enjolras, and my opinion won't change, so I'm wondering who they're getting for the concert.
You can't focus on yourself as much as with most of the other roles, and there are so many points you have to remember, you're constantly moving, and you have the biggest interaction out of all the principals, considering you're leading the entire ensemble.
It's already a stretch for Thénardier - it does take new actors a while to settle into the role, with all the blocking in MotH.

It's all very odd. On the one hand, they need great singers for a concert (I'm very unsure if Matt Lucas will be able to deliver on that part, by the way), on the other hand, they want them to act the parts on stage for a few weeks to relax in the roles and get experience. They've got dozens of experienced principals right there. Their names won't fill the O2, maybe, but it would be so much more secure and so much more about what the show really is and has been for 25 years. Not to mention it would save them money and would leave the 10/11 cast intact.
beyondthebarricade

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Looks like it will definitely be a celebrity concert.

Well isn't that good to know. After 25 years of the world's longest running musical, they have these half baked celebrities who can't even commit to a full length contract as the product. Nice. Really nice. And now I don't even blame the celebrities.
The Very Angry Woman

If you feel that strongly about it, then just don't go. You and your assumptions can stay home -- or go to another musical where you're sure everyone has paid their dues already and earned all their roles in a way which matches your standards.
Eppie-Sue

The Very Angry Woman wrote:
If you feel that strongly about it, then just don't go. You and your assumptions can stay home -- or go to another musical where you're sure everyone has paid their dues already and earned all their roles in a way which matches your standards.

This is a discussion board. People are going to discuss and to criticise and to say when they feel something isn't right or could be done better. Stop putting our opinions down just because we feel strongly about it. You are constantly only posting to criticise and tell people to shut up if they don't feel the way you think they should, even if they base their arguments on actual facts or fears that are completely justified.
MizH

Eppie-Sue wrote:

Why can't they cast celebrities as Valjean and Javert, though? They don't necessarily have to be actors. Bryn Terfel has been brought up for Valjean. I can see them taking that route.


With Valjean and Javert being the leads, the roles seem quite demanding. To me, it makes sense to give them to actors who already know the roles. I might be thinking of the wrong singer, but I'm almost sure I've heard Bryn Terfel sing Stars and he did a very good job of it.
Wandering Ranger

The Very Angry Woman: Why don't you sod off, yeah? I'm sick of reading your posts that contribute zip to the discussion. We are entitled to discuss things on a discussion board if you don't like that, leave. Right that said, back on topic.

I am actually curious to see Matt Lucas as Thenardier, he certainly has the comedy chops to pull it off and the role doesnt demand a stellar tenor voice like most of the other male roles in this show do. Perhaps the main thing with him his does he have the gravitas to pull of Dog Eat Dog which I have always said can make or break a Thenardier.

With the VJ/Javert celebrity casting. I would be very surprised if JOJ didn't do Valjean. Name me one celebrity who is known like NJ or ML who could even attempt Who Am I or Bring Him Home. It is written for a tenor which demands an experienced singer. You don't need celebrities in all the principal roles and JOJ has just done the show on tour but we'll see about him.

With Javert I think Bryn Terfel would be a good choice he has a specatacular bass/baritone voice and could act the hell out of the part.
The Very Angry Woman

I just offer unpopular opinions. I'm not going anywhere.
Wandering Ranger

no you ram you statements down other peoples throats. That last post of yours re. "standards" was a good example of them. Offer opinions all you want, just don't bash ours because you feel like it.
Eppie-Sue

I'm all for making a point by having a discussion, but if it's made clear that someone doesn't want to be constructive and gets a kick out of constantly only critising others, no matter how much the atmosphere is destroyed and how uncomfortable the forums become, there's no foundation for an argument.

I would, however, really like to hear opinions and to understand what's good about a celebrity concert to honour a 25th Anniversary, apart from the financial side.
flying_pigs

Part of me wishes they would just do another "Dream" cast concert, with performers who have already done the roles. It worked in 1995, the people they used were hardly celebrities. The actors chosen might be unpopular but at least they would have history with the show, and be reliable voice-wise.

But I guess in the age of the celebrity, CM is just conforming. Although I'm pretty sure a Les Mis concert could fill the O2 easily, regardless of who played who.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Wandering Ranger wrote:
With the VJ/Javert celebrity casting. I would be very surprised if JOJ didn't do Valjean. Name me one celebrity who is known like NJ or ML who could even attempt Who Am I or Bring Him Home. It is written for a tenor which demands an experienced singer. You don't need celebrities in all the principal roles and JOJ has just done the show on tour but we'll see about him.

With Javert I think Bryn Terfel would be a good choice he has a specatacular bass/baritone voice and could act the hell out of the part.


I'm quoting Wandering Ranger here as a good example, but am by no means directing this comment at them alone. Just to make that clear.

I am as strongly against stunt casting as anyone else on this board, and probably more so than a lot. However, I have to say that there does seem to be a lot of unnecessary prejudice against celebrities as a whole. No, I don't think it is suitable for them to be chosen to play the roles either in the concert or on stage at all, and yes some of them are "half-baked". However, there are many who really do have genuine talent. There seems to be an assumption here that being famous = no talent. Do give the guys a chance. For instance, a tenor doesn't necessarily require being a trained singer. Your voice range is something that cannot be controlled. Yes it can be extended with training, and the extreme ends can become more comfortable, but there are also untrained singers out there who can sing the role of Valjean (Jonathan Williams springs to mind....). Additionally, why the assumption that anyone famous cannot possibly be a trained singer?

As I said, I am all with you on the no-stunt-casting front. But it doesn't do that argument any good if all we are seen to do is blast celebrities for the crime of being famous. Neither do I think it fair.
Violet

I have always expected there to be some celebrity casting in the concert, but after the promise (if you see it that way) of big names, the names aren't actually that big. Matt Lucas is a household name in the UK, but not for singing, although I think there will be a lot of broad interest in him.

Most people will not have a clue who Camilla is, and The Jonas Brothers, whilst big in America, are really not that popular in the UK, and if they are known to the over-twenties, it's that group that Russel Brand took the mickey out of at last year's American MTV awards. I don't think they've even had much in the way of chart success, although the Disney connection is probably enough to guarantee buy in from certain parts of the media.

I understand the desire to generate interest in a younger audience, and Nick seems like a good choice for that, but a better idea might have been to have another, one off performance, where the students, and Cosette and Eponine are played by a deliberately young cast between the ages of 14 and 18, or even pop acts who appeal specifically to a young audience. That would generate a lot of publicity and interest amongst a future Les Mis audience, without getting on the nerves of the grown-ups.
The Very Angry Woman

l'ivrogne transfiguré wrote:
As I said, I am all with you on the no-stunt-casting front. But it doesn't do that argument any good if all we are seen to do is blast celebrities for the crime of being famous. Neither do I think it fair.


YES. I have always been against the knee-jerk reaction that just because someone has had a top 40 hit, or was in a top-grossing movie, or was on a reality talent show or whatnot, that they're going to ruin the genre they're either new to or not known for.

Many, many, MANY singers and actors got started in musical theatre, even if it was "just" in elementary school and a few years beyond. Many left the business because they were presented with a more lucrative opportunity elsewhere.

I see this as something to be sort of celebrated -- for them to go back to the genre they started in. And it's also an opportunity to bring in new audiences.
lovesinging

flying_pigs wrote:
Part of me wishes they would just do another "Dream" cast concert, with performers who have already done the roles. It worked in 1995, the people they used were hardly celebrities. The actors chosen might be unpopular but at least they would have history with the show, and be reliable voice-wise.


As do I, but I think it's just me being terribly selfish and wanting a recording of some of my fav. performers.
Eponines_Hat

Eppie-Sue wrote:

If the rumours are true, does that mean Susan Boyle will actually have to play Fantine for a few weeks? And who are they bloody getting for the other roles...?



Can you imagine? If that happens, I am never stepping foot in the Queens again - out of protest!

She does such a sh*t job of the phrasing of IDAD anyway. I don't get the fuss
Orestes Fasting

She does a creditable job singing it, and I personally think it would be neat to see her in the role. Maybe not in this short-stint deal, which isn't fair either to the regular actors or the big names getting brought in, but if they're pulling out all the stops for three-week stunt casting followed by a concert, IMO they could do a lot worse than Susan Boyle.

She wouldn't be the oldest actress to have played Fantine either--Judy Kuhn would have been about the same age when she was in the role.

In the end I think the more important question is "could Susan Boyle do eight shows a week?"
Violet

I don't think she could. This isn't about talent, she doesn't have the mental capabilities to do it.

I think she can sing individual songs well enough, although it is true that her phrasing is terrible. They might be able to work on getting her solo singing to a suitable standard, but any interaction with anyone else would risk being a disaster. It would be a massive risk.
Quique

I'd be seriously for it had the fame she achieved been more about talent than a mass guilt-trip over thinking her voice would match her looks. Btw, I never thought she was "ugly" anyway. I found her to be quite endearing and I still expected her to make a fool out of herself. But, as stated before, it was more about her voice sounding clear and youthful than her ability as a singer which can sound good but is unfortunately marred by too many pitch problems.

Besides, I think it's old now. Stretching this SuBo and IDAD thing over the course of more than a year will only make her and the show look bad. But maybe that's just me since I know the motive behind all this madness has far less to do with Susan and Les Mis itself.
Katfeyrac

Most of the cast has been announced.
mm10

Just read it - really pleased about Lea Salonga but Alfie Boe ?? I was really, really hoping Michael Ball would be Valjean - I knew he wouldn't but I still lived in hopes - OK I said it shoot me now!!!
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Why is there no Eponine or Enjolras?!
Do they just not matter or have they not been cast? [Or are they so special that they deserve a separate announcement? Rolling Eyes (And special would probably mean famous.)]

It's a little bit of a shame having Lea Salonga in there, simply because she was in the tenth. Same goes for Jenny Galloway. They're hardly being creative. But, certainly, compared to the others, I'm quite pleased to have them in there. (No mention of SuBo! Smile ) Norm Lewis, again, I'm not raving about, but I'm sure he'll be fine. And once again, a lot better than a lot of others they could have had.

But, well, I don't understand this casting at all. A celebrity concert I could have lived with - I would have hated it, yes, but it would have been its own little event, and wouldn't have had to impact on anything else. It could just have been a little gimmicky something to appeal to a certain group of people. But sticking well-known, long-standing cast members into the mix, just ends up making the celebrities more important. And of all of them, I can't believe that they went for a celebrity Valjean to lead the cast. It just looks a shambles, and like the celebrities are on an equal level with the cast. Which, I'm sorry, they're not - in terms of contribution to the show, in terms of experience in the show, quite possibly vocally, although I reserve judgement. (I have to confess, though, that there is a little mean part of me that smiles at the fact that John "Best Les Mis performer ever" Owen-Jones isn't there...)

EDIT
Quote:
The New 25th Anniversary production and the O2 Concert are directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell and designed by Matt Kinley. Original costumes by Andreane Neofitou, additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Patrick Woodroffe and Paule Constable and sound by Mick Potter.

They seem to be giving a lot of involvement to tour creative team. Once again ... celebration of LONDON anyone? But I'm fine with this ... provided there aren't any tour influences. It does say original costumes, but I've got a nasty feeling there's going to be tour orchestrations. I mean, if they made their way onto the London EPK...
Jester-Jester Johnson

Most of the casting is just awful...especially Nick Jonas as Marius. From the clips of the Broadway Revival I have seen, there's no doubt that Norm Lewis will be a great Javert, but unfortunately he'll be performing in the shadow of Philip Quast. Other than that, this cast sucks.
flying_pigs

Excited about the concert but a little underwhelmed by the casting.

Part of me is secretly hoping for Thaxton as Enjolras Razz
The Very Angry Woman

l'ivrogne transfiguré wrote:

They seem to be giving a lot of involvement to tour creative team. Once again ... celebration of LONDON anyone? But I'm fine with this ... provided there aren't any tour influences. It does say original costumes, but I've got a nasty feeling there's going to be tour orchestrations. I mean, if they made their way onto the London EPK...


Yeah, that's all a little strange. Kind of like when they brought in Michael McCarthy to close Broadway (the first time). Love the guy, but he really had no connection to the history of the Broadway company.

On the other hand: ALFIE BOE?! I saw him in La Bohème about 4 or 5 times (when he was still "Alfred," heh) and always saw him as a Marius type...
MizH

Interesting casting. I'm sure Alfie Boe will be great, but I hoped that the lead role would be played by someone who had actually played Jean Valjean on the West End or on Broadway. John Owen Jones was my first choice. There's plenty of amazing Valjeans. I had hoped that Michael McCarthy would be Javert. He was my first Javert and I remember that he was wonderful. However, I've looked Norm Lewis up on youtube, and I like what I've come across, although I can't make a fair judgement based on that. Jenny Galloway will be brilliant, I think she's great, but she's the obvious choice for Mme Thenardier and has already done the TAC. I'm excited about Lea Salonga. I wanted to go to see her play Fantine on Broadway but couldn't afford it.

Quote:
Why is there no Eponine or Enjolras?!
Do they just not matter or have they not been cast? [Or are they so special that they deserve a separate announcement? (And special would probably mean famous.)]


There's no recent West End performers in there, so people from recent London casts would be really lovely.
Lauraa

The trailer for it has just been put up on BroadwayWorld:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW_TV_LES_MISERABLES_25th_Anniversary_Trailer_20000101
riverdawn

Isn't it weird that none of these announcements are up on the actual Les Mis website yet? What's up with them?
The Very Angry Woman

riverdawn wrote:
Isn't it weird that none of these announcements are up on the actual Les Mis website yet? What's up with them?


That site has been known to have hilariously late updates. Take it from someone who was a regular back when it was launched in 1996ish.
flying_pigs

Lauraa wrote:
The trailer for it has just been put up on BroadwayWorld:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW_TV_LES_MISERABLES_25th_Anniversary_Trailer_20000101


A bit of Alistair (and the lovely Hayden Tee) at 1.06 there!
Quique

The Very Angry Woman wrote:
riverdawn wrote:
Isn't it weird that none of these announcements are up on the actual Les Mis website yet? What's up with them?


That site has been known to have hilariously late updates. Take it from someone who was a regular back when it was launched in 1996ish.


As an old 1996/97-ish LeCafe regular (I believe my screen name was something cheesy like "EnriqueNumber1Fan," LOL), I can vouch for this. XD

The cast is good. No WTF-y (XD) casting, at least.

Orchs--they use the ones they're using on tour now and it'll be OK, I guess. But they should seriously reconsider...John's would sound better played by a huge orchestra and if they're celebrating the ORIGINAL, they should celebrate its original orchestrations as well.

This whole thing should be about the original West End production. I hate it that they hired the tour directors. Why not Trevor and Caird? Or Caswell?
Colle

I enjoyed the trailer. I am happy about Lea Salonga being Fantine in the concert. Disappointed to have no announcement for who was casted as Enjolras and Eponine, but we have that soon enough. The anniversary plans sound exciting, I wish I could be in London for it. It would be difficult to decide what to see; I'd probably go to the concert and the othere productions on another date.
Eppie-Sue

Just to clear this up, because I think it comes across the wrong way in some articles: The tour and the original production will not be performing at the night of the concert (so, technically, there won't be three parallely running productions, but whatever works for publicity). It's a Sunday anyway, so there wouldn't be scheduled performances, and the tour is only running until the 2nd October. However, they will be making up the ensemble for this cast.

I also think that if Enjolras and Eponine were to be played by two celebrities or Les Mis performers with a certain career, they surely would have included them into the trailer or something, right!? And included them in the announcement with all the "big names"... In addition to that, Camilla Kerslake tweeted "Rehearsals for my secret project with 3 top A-list celebs are coming on nicely! Wink" - I guess that would mean Nick Jonas, Matt Lucas and, uh, Alfie Boe. So that's all the "celebs" involved in it right there...
The Very Angry Woman

Quique wrote:
(I believe my screen name was something cheesy like "EnriqueNumber1Fan," LOL)


Oh, that was you!

Quote:
I hate it that they hired the tour directors. Why not Trevor and Caird? Or Caswell?


Maybe they didn't want to. I wouldn't be surprised if the first two are over it. Caswell is a good point, though.
eponine5

flying_pigs wrote:


A bit of Alistair (and the lovely Hayden Tee) at 1.06 there!


When was that from? (I love Hayden Tee!)

Okay... the trailer made me a little more excited about this, although I still find the casting bizarre. It just seems to be a very odd mix of people as it looks like they're trying to appeal to about 5 different audiences by simply sticking one person from each into the show... Actually that might have made a lot of sense if the event in question was a general celebration of musical theatre rather than this anniversary production. I am glad for all the cast members there who've actually been in les mis (I know they're trying to attract new audiences etc etc and I shouldn't be a snob but I just am) and Lea Salonga will be wonderful of course, but I can't stop wishing they had cast some of the newer talents who have been connected with the show more recently. I'm also another who is disappointed that John Owen-Jones hasn't been cast. Now I just can't decide whether I want to go or not, especially considering how expensive it is! And I'm also trying to work out whether this will clash with freshers' week of university...
Quique

True.

Another: Richard Jay Alexander did a decent job on the Hollywood Bowl thingy. Although Javert's suicide invoked unintentional giggles.
flying_pigs

Quote:
[quote="eponine5"]
flying_pigs wrote:


A bit of Alistair (and the lovely Hayden Tee) at 1.06 there!


When was that from? (I love Hayden Tee!)



From the 20th Anniversary, where they got some kids from the student edition to perform alongside the cast after the show.
The Very Angry Woman

Quique wrote:
True.

Another: Richard Jay Alexander did a decent job on the Hollywood Bowl thingy. Although Javert's suicide invoked unintentional giggles.


You mean Death by Ribbon?
MizH

eponine5 wrote:
flying_pigs wrote:


A bit of Alistair (and the lovely Hayden Tee) at 1.06 there!


When was that from? (I love Hayden Tee!)


He was a fantastic Marius, the best principal Marius I've seen.

Quote:
I also think that if Enjolras and Eponine were to be played by two celebrities or Les Mis performers with a certain career, they surely would have included them into the trailer or something, right!?


I agree with you. If they were going to be played by a celebrity, then it would make sense to announce them at the official press launch, before the tickets go on sale. I've had a listen to Alfie Boe sing, I really like his voice. I'm sure he'll sing the part excellently. For a concert, that's the most important thing. I just can't help feeling disappointed about JOJ not being Valjean. I'm looking forward to seeing what Matt Lucas is like as Thenardier. I wanted Barry James for Thenardier, but I think Matt will be great.
The Very Angry Woman

I finally watched it. All that flying text reminded me of Cerebro in the X-Men movie.
Quique

I finally just watched it a few seconds ago and I must say I'm extremely excited about all this.

The flying text and sweepy, cinema-like background music go very well with the bombast of the 25th ann. production. Razz I never would've dreamed that I'd be here today, talking about a 25th ann. concert. I remember thinking that was one thing that simply wouldn't ever materialize. Then I read that a film version is under development at this time. And then there's the much ballyhooed new tour and soon to be released new cast album. Wow. So much for a fan to take. Yikes!!! Shocked

*Coronary*

This is a very exciting time filled with a mix of different emotions but in the end, I'm just grateful that my love for this musical has yet to wane, even a bit, and that I still find it incredibly fresh, moving, and exciting. I remember my brother telling me that it was inevitable; that I'd eventually grow out of it and move on to different things. He was sure of it. The thought that this show would stop bringing me joy someday was awful. I was around 14 years old at the time (6 years old when I first discovered it and 11 when I first saw it) and even to MY surprise, it's extraordinary that I love it more today than I did then. The power of Claude-Michel's beautiful score, enhanced and brought to life by John Cameron--practically the soundtrack of my life!

I hope the original production continues being Master of the House @ the Queen's on the West End for years to come because, by the looks of it, I'll still be a fan...at 90! Mr. Green
pastaeater

I have just read on WOS that the entire tour cast and the entire Queen's cast will be taking part in this concert. Apologies if this has been posted before - I have only seen mention of the tour cast being involved up till now.
This is obviously good news, but then it might mean I'll have to fork out a huge amount for a ticket - so rather in two minds still!
(Still hoping for Thaxton as Enjolras - but then I really will have to grit my teeth and pay out!)
Eppie-Sue

We should make a betting pool for Enjolras and Eponine casting. Might as well have some fun with it. Neutral
MajorTordoArthur

As much as I hope for Thaxton and Sullivan to be cast, I don't think it's likely to happen =(

I can see them casting Ramin Karimloo for Enjolras, though
Don't have any idea about who they might cast for Éponine, but I hope it's not some famous person who never was in the show before >_>
Eppie-Sue

MajorTordoArthur wrote:
I can see them casting Ramin Karimloo for Enjolras, though

I can see that, yes, however - they don't need him in there, do they? They've got much bigger musical theatre names already, Karimloo wouldn't bring in anyone new, and I'm not quite sure how big his impact on the role actually was, considering they cast Escoffery after he left (well, after he left and Jonathan took over for a month because Karimloo left early), who was literally nothing like him. However, now, they've supposedly changed casting requirements for Enjolras, and sure enough, Killian is more in line with David than Escoffery was with Karimloo. If that makes sense. I obviously don't know how much sense it has to make for the concert casting team. I just think that Karimloo is nowhere near the spheres of Lea Salonga or Jenny Galloway. So, if they can cast Karimloo, they might as well do it right and just cast David and make at least a bit of sense, as they don't need Karimloo's name in there. That would be disappointing, although much better than some kind of celebrity.
That said, I don't actually think Nancy's major strength is the vocal performance. She's good, but I don't necessarily hope for her to be cast, there have been so many others that I haven't seen but heard, who have convinced me a bit more, to be honest. I like her acting way more than her voice, but maybe that's a personal preference.
The whole casting process seems a bit random to me, though. I'm just confused as to why they haven't announced these two roles yet.

ETA: besides - considering everyone tweeted about it yesterday, wouldn't Karimloo have done the same? Considering the ... adhesion contract they all signed ended?
Quique

Prediction:

Aaron Lazar - Enjolras

Lea Michele - Eponine
Eppie-Sue

Fair predictions. My only question: Why wouldn't Lazar announce this on his, from what I can see quite up-to-date website? And why wouldn't they announce someone like Lea Michele as Eponine in advance, before it goes on sale? Or have them announced them with the rest of the cast? I'd rank Lazar on the same level as Norm Lewis, and he was announced yesterday...
Orestes Fasting

They're probably still in negotiations with whoever they want to play Enjolras and Eponine. Maybe they have to iron out schedule conflicts or something.

I personally would be thrilled if they cast Aaron Lazar. I mean, I'd be thrilled if they cast Thaxton, but I haven't seen Aaron's Enjolras in ages and I miiiiss seeing him in the role.
MizH

Eppie-Sue wrote:
We should make a betting pool for Enjolras and Eponine casting. Might as well have some fun with it. Neutral


Sabrina Aloueche for Eponine. She's an amazing singer. Of the recent Enjolrases, Ramin Karimloo's the only one I haven't seen. I've heard he was fantastic in the role, so I'd like it to be him. I've liked every Enjolras I've seen apart from one.
SmallTownIngenue

Quique wrote:
Prediction:

Aaron Lazar - Enjolras

Lea Michele - Eponine


Lea was my first thought too, but depending on when Glee starts filming season 2, that could be a problem. I wouldn't be surprised with Aaron though.
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