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Ensemble Acting

I've got a big final exam today, so I'm doing what I almost always do when I'm a little nervous: posting something weird and random here. This time, I was wondering about the ensemble acting in various productions of the show.

I was just watching the beginning of the complete performance from the Argentina production that's uploaded on Youtube. I noticed that when Valjean gets turned away from the inn (before he starts beating up the one guy), it sounds like a fair amount of the people in the crowd laugh at him. Now, I distinctly remember that in the Broadway revival, that wasn't the case. The sense I got was that they were all afraid of him (and rightfully so when Drew was playing the role Very Happy).

How has that scene more often been played over the years? I suppose the laughing makes you feel sorrier for Valjean, but it also feels a little melodramatic (I can't imagine myself laughing, but then I'm self-righteous). Is the laughing more typical, with the fearful rejection vibe being unique to the Broadway revival? Or does it just depend on the production and resident director?

I've also been thinking about the eternally sappy death of a certain too-popular girl whose name starts and ends with E. I was watching a clip from a non-replica Portuguese production, and I noticed that the Amis and women seemed considerably shaken up by ALFOR. Women clinging to their boyfriends or to each other, some crying, etc. But when I've seen the show in the US, they've all seemed much more stoic: solemn, of course, with a few signs of the cross made here and there, but for the most part taking it in stride.

I'm not sure which one is more believable. On the one hand they're brave people, they knew that deaths would be inevitable, and they didn't know her. But on the other hand, they're not hardened fighters (even if the "schoolboys, never held a gun" claim isn't quite true) and she was only a young girl. Which take do you prefer? Which one have you seen more often?

What other major variations has anyone noticed in the ensemble acting of different productions? Are their any that seem to reflect the differences between countries? I'm kind of curious about this topic. Very Happy
music is my life!!!

i probably won't be in this scene in my production of the show, but i'd imagine as you know who is the first to die on the barricade, i think they would mourn for her, then become more stoic hen Enjy's singing "she is the first of us" you get the picture. i would return to strength when the music picks up (after she is carried off). i think the women would be comforted by the students, to be honest Cool

hope that helps Smile
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