Les Miserables: The 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in Concert at Lo... Cover Art

Les Miserables: The 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall (DVD)

Jean-Paul Belmondo (actor), Michel Boujenah (actor) and Claude Lelouch (director)


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Review

The 10th anniversary concert video of the international musical sensation Les Misérables might be the best thing to appease fans until a full-fledged movie comes along. Or it might be even better, as feature films are often subject to extramusical casting considerations and this 1995 dream cast is superb. Reprising their roles from the original London company are Colm Wilkinson (Valjean), Michael Ball (Marius), and Alun Armstrong (Thenardier). From Broadway come Judy Kuhn (Cosette), Lea Salonga (Eponine), and Michael Maguire (Enjolras); from a later London production comes Ruthie Henshall (Fantine); and from Australia comes Philip Quast (Javert).

Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's score vividly captures the passion of Victor Hugo's epic tale of post-Revolutionary France, combining tear-jerking ballads ("I Dreamed a Dream," "Bring Him Home") and rousing anthems ("Do You Hear the People Sing"). The format of this concert is closer to that of a dramatic cantata rather than a fully staged production; the singers stand at their microphone stands with an orchestra and chorus behind them, but they do wear costumes and participate in some movement. At certain points such as the climax of the barricade scene, the video switches to action from a stage production. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sounds great, and it can be thrilling when 200 choristers (dressed in logo T-shirts) rise to their feet for a full-company number such as "One Day More." Also, subtitles provide date and scene information and help move the story along.

The 147-minute video contains footage not seen when Les Mis was a PBS pledge-drive staple, most notably the encore in which a progression of 17 actors who have played Valjean around the world share "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Each sings a line in his native language, a testament to the enduring power of this show to audiences everywhere. --David Horiuchi

DVD features
The 2008 two-disc edition presents the concert on a single-sided disc (the original DVD split the concert over two sides) with optional English subtitles. It's also in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1 aspect ratio) comparied to the original's 1.33 full-screen. The second disc has Stage by Stage: Les Miserables, the hourlong documentary from 1988. Unfortunately the sound is only Dolby Digital 2.0. Early editions of the DVD had an odd omission (compared to the earlier Sony DVD)--the first 10 seconds of Gavroche's "Little People" were missing ("Good evening, dear inspector, lovely evening, my dear...")--that has now been corrected. --David Horiuchi

Release Note

A performance of Les Miserables by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, for a 10th Anniversary Concert celebration.


Customer Reviews for "Les Miserables: The 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall (DVD)"

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5 out of 5 stars ( [1 customer review

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5 out of 5 stars BETTER THEN THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, March 10, 2011
By jj
I saw this on my local PBS station WVIA-44 before and during there pledge drive. I enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought the 10TH Anniversary cd. I recently saw the 25TH Anniversary on PBS and have to say the only part I enjoyed was when the original cast members who came out and sang the songs at the end like the 10Th one did when the other countries joined in at the end.(BY THE WAY IN THE REVIEW THE HAVE FOR THIS ITEM, THE CAST MEMBERS OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES WAS TELEVISED ON PBS IN MY AREA BEFORE AND DURING THERE PLEDGE DRIVE) I would recommend this 10TH Anniversary DVD over the 25TH any day.





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