Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Dreamed a Dream ...

Today was the perfect lazy Sunday, rain and all - although I was pretty busy ... did a photo shoot with my BFF's two kids, had a nonprofit committee meeting and then did a bunch of laundry. But I ended - or am ending - my evening with a little treat.

I was flipping through the channels and came upon a little guilty pleasure. A public access channel is playing a concert of the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables. This play, these songs hold such a special place in my heart.

This was the very first Broadway show my mother brought me to. I was 16. We took the bus in - there were these specials my mother would find. We went with my aunt and my cousin, whom is born on the same day as me, same year. If I'm not mistaken, it may have been for our 16th birthdays. We ate lunch at what I assumed was a fancy restaurant at 16. (I'm sure it was just a regular place.) I was so excited to see a "Broadway Play!" The first act was amazing. The set, the people, the costumes, the VOICES. I was in awe. However, close to the end of the first act, I started to not feel very well. This was the start of a LONG battle with stomach problems - uclers, IBS, gastritis would become my future even to this day. I held out until the first act finished and hightailed it to the rest room. Unfortunately, I never left there. I spent the entire second half of the play in the bathroom, crying in pain and out of sadness --- see they play the music as it happens, throughout the bathrooms and lobbies, so I hear the beautiful voices and applause, but wasn't able to see it. I finally made it out - for the last 10 minutes and I stood in the back of the theater.

My mother felt terrible for me so she bought me the CD of the music. I would play it over and over - singing Eponine's, sometimes Fantine's parts. As we grew up we saw a few more shows as a family - Phantom of Opera, The Chorus Line, Miss Saigon to name a few. But we never went to see Les Miserables again.

Many years later, a dear friend of mine surprised me with tickets to Les Miserables. I couldn't believe it. It felt so unreal that I was going to be able to see it 7 years after my first attempt. It was everything I thought it would be and soooo much more. And not long after we went, it closed after 16 yrs in New York. (however, it did open for a very limited time in 2006 and I think it still runs in London) I was so thankful for my friend's thoughtfulness - she knew how much I loved this play - despite not seeing the whole thing. And the fact that I was able to see it before it closed on Broadway was such a gift - a gift I will hold onto forever.

As I've gotten older, C and I have seen more shows and I have enjoyed them tremendously, but nothing will ever replace Les Miserables as my favorite play ever. (Rent comes in second.)
This was a great way to end the evening for me. Waiting for C to come home from a business trip, singing along with the actors. "Do you hear the people sing ... "

I'm sure Peyton is not overly thrilled that I've been singing for the past hour or so ... or she is going to come out singing "I dreamed a dream in time gone by. When hope was high. And life worth living ..." :)


  1. Ok seriously...were we separated at birth or what?! WTF!!!!

    I love musicals! When I was 16, I saw Phantom in Toronto...and I was hooked. The last one I saw was The Producers, when I was in NYC. Wicked is coming to Vancouver, I may go to that. The Producers was freaking hilarious! Especially for me as I am German. Did you see it?

    So glad you got to indulge tonight. And YAY to C coming home!

    Peyton is going to feel right at home in the theater...I just know it!

  2. I love Les Miserables music but sadly have never seen a live performance. Miss Saigon is to me what Les Mes is to you. :) I am sure my little one is tired of hearing me sing the entire musical. Maybe we have little actors growing.

  3. Glad you got to catch that special! It is my favorite show too -- I love the international version on tv (might be the same one you saw) with the finale sung in all different languages. Les Mis is just great! Sorry to hear about the stomach problems... I totally relate -- I have Crohn's and it is never fun when it acts up. Hope Peyton enjoyed the music too!