Carnett: We dream of 'Les Miz'

January 15, 2013|By Jim Carnett

I went on a date the other evening with my eldest and youngest daughters.

I escorted the two thirtysomethings –- I'm not so dumb as to divulge their actual ages — to see director Tom Hooper's dazzling new film, "Les Miserables."

Talk about a blubber fest! (That's not a snarky comment about Russell Crowe's poundage.) The three of us — Jenn, Melissa and myself — bawled our eyes bleary throughout the sappy, self-indulgent confection.

We were manipulated six ways to Sunday, but we loved it! We knew precisely what to expect, and got exactly what we wanted in fire-hose proportions.


"Les Miserables" is a musical play based on a novel of the same name by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo. Set in 19th-century France, it's the story of a peasant's quest for redemption after having served 19 years in jail for stealing a baguette.


The theater was packed the night we went, and my gender was seriously under-represented. Seventy-five percent of the attendees were females.

Where were the men? Next door, obviously, watching another mind-numbing James Bond car chase, suave casino move and helicopter crash. How shallow.

Guys, you're better than that!

Jenn and Melissa were our Drama Queens while they were growing up. The middle sister of the trio, Jade, was the quiet, cerebral one. Jade was a "fan" of her sisters' thespian exploits, but never a co-conspirator.

Jenn and Melissa were talented theater students in high school and college, and garnered lead roles in numerous productions. They've since passed along their diva DNA to a new generation of Carnett family damsels.

I, too, was a theater student in high school and in college, but I've never considered myself a drama nerd. Yet, I do so enjoy lusty, schmaltzy musicals — and "Les Miz" is a veritable freight train.

As a teenager, Jenn was exposed to a stage production of "Les Miz." She then introduced Melissa to the show and together, they attended several performances. They became ardent Miz-believers.

The musical itself ended up becoming a global phenomenon. To date, it's been produced in 42 countries and translated into 21 languages.

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