Les Miserables was anything but

Reagan Villet 6/6/16

Having family living and working in New York, I am no stranger to the city. With New York City comes the staples; Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and of course, Broadway. I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few musicals on the stage, and I have spent many a night watching film versions of said theatre shows. Coming to London, I knew they had a big theatre district, but I didn’t expect to visit it as a spectator of a show (ballin’ on a budget, as the young kids are saying these days). However, last week, one of my fellow students messaged us about cheap tickets to the popular show Les Miserables, and I couldn’t turn it down.

Les Mis advertisement (6/6/16)
Advertisement outside the theatre (6/6/16)

Four of my peers and I decided to go to the show (thanks for the birthday gift of the tickets, mom!), so we dressed up and headed down to the theatre district. The other four girls had seen the show (or film) before, but this was my first time. I had heard a lot about it, and my friend Marisa had been singing the songs all weekend, so I was very excited and definitely went in with high expectations. The show started at 7:30, and the first act lasted for about an hour and a half. With just the first scene of the musical, I was completely drawn in. The music was powerful and haunting, the actors intense and perfectly cast. Even for a small theatre, the set was absolutely phenomenal, with a spinning floor to add a feeling of more walking space, and huge set pieces that added to the storyline and the time period.

The stage at intermission (6/6/16)

So it’s safe to say that I was already really liking the show after the first half. However, the second half left me breathless. I literally cried for the entire hour that it lasted; every song leaving tears streaming down my face and neck. As I mentioned before, I have seen quite a few theatre shows in my life, but I have never seen a musical that engulfed me in such passion and feeling for characters that did not exist. The story was beautifully played out on the stage, and I would (and will) absolutely recommend the show to everyone that I know.

A view of the theatre district at night (6/6/16)

On the way home, we were able to see a part of the city that we had not yet been to. The theatre district was very similar to my very familiar Broadway in NYC, with theatre-themed restaurants and bright flashing lights lining the streets. For 11 pm on a weeknight, this part of the city was thriving, pulsing with music from the stage and the sound of happy theatre-goers leaving and going to their favorite shows. As I look at the above picture, I can even see an ad for Wicked the Musical, and I am already excited for my next visit to the theatre. Although it definitely won’t be on this trip (I’m a poor college student!), I am looking forward to watching a new story unfold before my eyes on the stage as soon as I possibly can again.

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