Seeing Les Misérables in the Right Order

Watching SNL on the DVR Sunday morning reminded me of a couple things. One, Anne Hathaway is starring in a film adaptation of Les Misérables, and two, she thinks having a hairstyle disturbingly close the one I had when I was twelve, and a boy, is a good idea.

One of those things I still am, of course.

Still, it’s a fine reason to remind everyone that the big, Christmas Day, ensemble cast film lead by Hugh Jackman is based on a musical. A musical that is, conveniently, touring up a storm right this very minute.

That musical is itself based on Victor Hugo’s novel, and was first produced in Paris in 1980. The road to The Great White Way wound through London’s East End, where the English language version debuted. It underwent some tinkering in the translation from French to English, something that would occur again when it finally made its Broadway debut in 1987.

The Broadway version is basically the version currently touring. The film version is unique in being an adaptation of the musical, though it’s upwards of 13th in line of film adaptations of the source material. Note, I’m not including the Anime version in that list (because it was on televsion).

No word on what, if any, changes the film will have vs the musical. If there’s one synergy between sci-fi and Broadway geeks, it’s a tenacious, at times irrational, devotion to the original source. Deviate too far and suffer the wrath of, well… some guy on a Les Mis fan forum on the Internet.

So, be sure to check out the touring productions of Les Mis before going to see the film. You’ll need it fresh in your memory, otherwise your scathing critiques about the film on the Internet will not be intellectually rigorous.




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