Walking into the dark theater, I could see the rows of red velvet seats beneath the dimmed lights under a high ceiling. We sat waiting for the production to begin, and I looked around the theater to observe the audience. Everyone was anxiously waiting, flipping through the playbill and talking among themselves. Seated in the corner of the theater, the stage jutted out in front of us. The low murmur turned silent as the lights began to slowly faint and the performance began.
The lights and the flash draw the audience’s attention, and is unquestionably one of the key devices of visual manifestation. Les Misérables has all of the workings of a brilliant spectacle. Bringing ...view middle of the document...
The musical seeks dramatic concentration by eliminating digressions and by cutting off the beginning and ending of the story. It adds comedy in treating the Thénardier couple, who are more purely villainous in the novel. Finally, the musical becomes a hymn to a revolution from which God is absent.” (2)
Aside from spectacle, the lyrics and music of show tunes hold within them the fabric of the play. After the audience leaves the theatre, they will not recall much of the dialogue, but they will hum the songs. Singing the lyrics or listening to a Broadway soundtrack allows a person to re-live the production and the message of the playwright. Show tunes also allow those who have no access to a musical production to still grasp the key themes through the music.
The novelist Victor Hugo stated, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” (1) His words became true as his book was portrayed on stage through Les Mis. The musical Les Misérables has reached a worldwide audience having played in more than twenty countries to more than fifty million people, with many productions still playing and additional productions still to come. (1) Behind the plot of the story there was a great meaning of what life is all about. Les Misérables touches fragile aspects of crime, love, poverty, and the meaning of life and death. Sometimes life is unfair and you cannot change the way it is.
The elements of music and spectacle allow musical theatre to explore issues and touch the lives of the audience through entertainment. Those who view...