So I went and saw Les Mis on saturday at the Capital Theater in SLC. I have to admit the Capital Theater is a cool building and they have some good plays there but I have been disappointed in something or another more often than not (I am a much bigger fan of the Pioneer Theater on the U of U campus. It could be because it is a smaller theater.)
Les Mis starts out and the set is very cool. Actually the set was very cool throughout the whole play. My wife said something like ‘Looks like Les Mis finally joined the 21 century.’ She was right about that. They used graphics to their best advantage. ie. There is one scene where they are walking through a sewer. There was a projection of the sewer on the back screen and it was moving. So the actor didn’t have to move very fast and it appeared like he was moving some distance. Very cool.
For me the problem was the sound. It was almost like they didn’t have the mics on and they were just hoping the singers sang loud enough for everyone to hear. It helped that I was familiar with some of the songs so I knew what they were saying. There were other songs I wasn’t familiar with that I couldn’t understand.
I admit I was pretty high up in the theater. My wife and I believe in “Quantity over Quality.” We would rather sit in the nose bleed seat for 5 plays then in the 5th row for 2 plays. So did the cheap seats have worse audio? Maybe. I admit it took me the first 20 minutes of the play to get over my frustration with the audio. Finally I just figured this is what I got so I better enjoy it.
So after the first 20 minutes of frustration I really enjoyed this play. I have seen it before and it was also excellent. But this one was very enjoyable. It helped I was with family who were really excited to see Les Mis. Their excitement couldn’t help but permeate into my attitude.
So was Les Miserables Miserable? Heck no. It was good. Am I still a little frustrated with the audio? Yes. Maybe it is because I live in the generation of the iPod and am so used to being able to put some ear buds in and crank the volume. But maybe not. Maybe the capital Theater needs to follow Les Mis and join the 21st century a little bit.
So if you have never seen Les Mis but are curious I would recommend it. Although I am pretty sure it would be hard to find tickets for the Capital during this run. If you do try good luck.