Arts Read of the Week 3/21/14

Les Misérables opened March 23, 2014 at the Imperial Theatre in New York.

What is particularly strong about this review is that its critic, Charles Isherwood, does not bog his readers down with too much exposition and explanation about the show. He assumes (and rightly so) that most of his readers are at least somewhat familiar with the music and story of Les Miz, due mainly to the fact that the movie was so popular. 
Instead, he focuses on the history of the show and the jobs that the particular actors did in this production.

This specific passage was especially strong: “What’s that French saying? Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. “Les Misérables” does not provide a director much leeway to tinker with its firmly typed good-guy bad-guy characters and its heaving, melodramatic plot. Casting and matters of crowd control are of paramount importance.”

In this part of his review, Isherwood sets up his critique of the acting/action of the play as well as the casting. He provides his readers with contexts of the actors. He talks about Ramin Karmiloo and where audiences may recognize him.

“This boisterous celebration of iniquity and greed has always been one of my favorite moments in the show. Here as ever, it’s the dramatic equivalent of a double espresso, providing the necessary jolt of caffeine to keep us alert for all the singing and all the suffering to come.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/theater/les-miserables-returns-to-broadway.html?ref=arts&_r=0

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