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What “Les Misérables” Means To Me

I finally saw (The Movie) “Les Misérables” 2012.

Though I am more of a fan of the Broadway productions, I still, very much,
enjoyed the movie.

Floods of emotion …I could not contain…I will watch this movie…over and over
again! 🙂 

I auditioned for “Les Misérables” in Toronto, Ontario years and years ago in my early 20″s with an independent Broadway company (I can’t remember the companies name now..it’s been, so long ago).

I auditioned for the part of both “Fantine” and Eponine“. I got the part of “Fantine“.

Several weeks passed, and I was hard at work studying my lines, going to
rehearsal after rehearsal. But then suddenly, out of the blue, I was notified that
the company cancelled the show because of budget cuts/issues. I was
devastated. 😦

When I saw that a “movie” was coming out about “Les Misérables” my heart
skipped a beat (because it truly is one of my favs)..but at the same time, a wave
of sorrow came over me.

See, when I first left Newfoundland (when I was 19)…I was pretty much on my
own. It was exciting, but also, very frightening. Though, I knew at any time I
could call home to my parents to find comfort and I had friends who surrounded
me…..it was quite daunting. I was hiding a lot of burdens and sorrows from

I have not made some of my past hurts/abuse known to the public. I have
opened up and shared with a few select friends and family. But, I will share a bit
with you today.

From age 7-9 I was abused by a female babysitter. A lot of things went downhill
for me at a very young age, emotionally and physically. When I was 17, I was
date raped. Apart from the abuse/rape, other confusing things were swirling
around in my life. I attempted suicide. My world was full of chaos.

I had heard about and watched “Les Misérables” before I auditioned for this particular production. I was a bit consumed by it all. It broke me…and made me feel even more sad (then what I was already feeling), but at the same time..I felt comfort, inspiration and love from it.

I always loved God, spoke to Him and prayed often…that was my only sanity
often times. But “Les Misérables” got a hold of me this one year and when I saw
that a production was coming to the city…I was right there ready to audition for
it. I guess I was seeking some sort of outlet to release my pain.

Back then the song “I Dreamed A Dream” really impacted me…though a very
sad song…I could relate to it on many levels.

“I Dreamed A Dream”

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in times gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung

No wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

To this day..I cherish this song.. even though a lot of the memories and
emotions that surround it, are of sadder times.

BUT, I am happier now. 🙂

I have been healed, on so many levels, from the abuse and the chaos that
surrounded my life back then. Through an awesome loving family, amazing
friends and a God who has never left me and will NEVER leave me…I am where I
need to be…and on a mission to do the will of God in my life. 🙂

So,…. back to …”What “Les Misérables” Means To Me?

1) Les Mis is a reminder of how I have overcome my past.
2) It’s not just about our own life struggles, but being there for other people.
3) Love is higher and more powerful than any law.

Now…on to lighter things…..I thought “Anne Hathaway” did a great job..not so much how well she sang the song..I think there are others in my opinion, who sang it better..but her EMOTION during the performance is what really gets you! I have never heard/seen anyone in all the years it has been performed on Broadway.. sing it with such emotion and conviction….the tears really getcha! Anne did an amazing job!

I have not found a FULL “live” version of her performance on youtube yet… only this one.

Here is one of the trailers to “I Dreamed A Dream”

But my fav performances are by “Lea Salonga & Ruthie Henshall”

“Lea Salonga”

“Ruthie Henshall”

My other FAV song from “Les Misérables” is “On My Own”. And favourite

version sung is by “Lea Salonga”.

Maybe one day..if I hear of an audition for “Fantine”..maybe I’ll go!


STORY OF “Les Misérables”

“Les Misérables” ~ 2012

Prisoner 24601, known as Jean Valjean, is released from prison and breaks
parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent
Inspector Javert. Set post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution
against the background of the June Rebellion.

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, ‘Les Miserables’ travels with prisoner-on-
parole, 24601, Jean Valjean, as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert on a
journey beyond the barricades, at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile,
the life of a working class girl with a child is at turning point as she turns to
prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper and his wife who look after her
child, Cosette. Valjean promises to take care of the child, eventually leads to a
love triangle between Cosette, Marius who is a student of the rebellion, and
Eponine, a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras leads
the students to fight upon the barricades.


“Les Misérables” 2012 ~ Synopsis (SPOILER ALERT)

In 1815, convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole by prison
guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after serving a nineteen-year sentence. He is
offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne (Colm Wilkinson), but steals his
silver during the night. He is caught by the authorities, but the Bishop lies that
the silver was given as a gift, and secures Valjean’s release. Touched by the
Bishop’s love, grace and generosity, Valjean breaks his parole and vows to start
an honest life under a new identity. Javert swears he will bring the escaped
convict to justice.

Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-
sur-Mer. Fantine (Anne Hathaway), one of his workers, is discovered to be
sending money to her illegitimate daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen), who lives
with the unscrupulous Thénardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham
Carter) and their daughter Éponine (Samantha Barks), and is dismissed by the
foreman (Michael Jibson). Left with no alternative, Fantine turns to prostitution.
During an argument with an abusive customer, Javert, now a police inspector,
arrests Fantine, but Valjean intercedes and takes her to a hospital.

Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested. Unable
to condemn an innocent man, Valjean reveals his identity to the court before
departing for the hospital. There he promises a dying Fantine that he will look
after her daughter. After escaping from Javert, Valjean finds Cosette and pays
the Thénardiers to allow him to take her, and promises to be like a father to her.

Nine years later, Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only government official
sympathetic toward the poor, is nearing death. Students Marius Pontmercy
(Eddie Redmayne) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit), together with street urchin
Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone), discuss fomenting revolution. Later Marius
catches a glimpse of Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), now a young woman, and
instantly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, despite Cosette’s questioning,
Valjean refuses to tell her about his past or Fantine.

At a café, Enjolras organises a group of idealistic students as Lamarque’s death
is announced. Meanwhile, Éponine, now Marius’s friend, leads him to Cosette,
where the two profess their love for one another. Lamenting that her secret love
for Marius will never be reciprocated, Éponine fatalistically decides to join the
revolution. Later, an attempted robbery of Valjean’s house makes him
mistakenly believe that Javert has discovered him, and he flees with Cosette. As
they leave, Enjolras rallies the Parisians to revolt, and Cosette sends a farewell
letter to Marius.

The next day, the students interrupt Lamarque’s funeral procession and begin
their assault. Javert poses as a rebel in order to spy on them, but is quickly
exposed by Gavroche and captured. During the ensuing gunfight, Éponine
saves Marius at the cost of her own life, professing her love to him before she
dies, which leaves Marius devastated at the loss of his best friend. Valjean,
intercepting a letter from Marius to Cosette, goes to the barricade to protect
Marius. After saving Enjolras from snipers, he is allowed to execute Javert.
However, when the two are alone, Valjean chooses to free Javert instead and
fires his gun to fake the execution. Initially disbelieving, Javert wonders at
Valjean’s generosity.

With the Parisians not joining the revolution as the students expected, they
resolve to fight to the death. Everyone is killed but Marius, who is saved when
Valjean drags his unconscious body into the sewers. Thénardier, scavenging
the dead bodies, steals Marius’s ring. Valjean recovers and escapes the sewers
carrying Marius, but is confronted at the exit by Javert. Javert threatens to
shoot Valjean if he refuses to surrender, but Valjean ignores him. Unable to
reconcile the conflict between his civil and moral duties, two things which he
always considered the same, Javert commits suicide.

Later, Marius mourns for his friends but Cosette comforts him. Revealing his
past to Marius, Valjean tells him he must leave because his presence endangers
Cosette, and makes Marius promise never to tell her. Marius and Cosette marry;
the Thénardiers crash the reception and testify that they saw Valjean carrying
a murdered corpse through the sewers. Thénardier unwittingly shows Marius
the ring that he stole from him as “proof.” Recognising the ring, Marius realises
that it was Valjean who saved his life. Marius and Cosette rush to Valjean after
being told his location by Thénardier.

As Valjean sits dying in a local convent, he perceives the spirit of Fantine
appearing to take him to Heaven. Cosette and Marius rush in to bid farewell.
Valjean hands Cosette his confession of his past life, and the spirits of Fantine
and the Bishop guide him to paradise, where he joins the spirits of Enjolras,
Éponine, Gavroche, and the other rebels at the Barricade on the rue Soufflot.