This is a love letter. Yesterday we went to watch Les Mis. Due to poor timing and massive demand for the 25th Anniversary Tour, we were forced to sit in the cheap seats with the commoners. Ugh, hate when that happens, don't you? Pushed to the back and way on the right, we had a tough time making out exactly what was happening onstage.
I mean, of course you can see what's happening, but can you really see? Having watched some musicals from the very front row, I can tell you that the view from the back is a whole different experience. Enter our savior: binoculars! A few months ago I did some heavy research into binoculars as I looked to pick up a new birding hobby. I won't go into the reasons why birding is important but if you want to be a better writer, you should just do it. For my next trick I'm hoping to legally change my last name to "Franzen." Then acclaim will surely follow.
Anyway, seated in the mezzanine but outfitted with my Bushnell Falcon 7x35's, we were still able to see everything. The dirt and grime on Thenardier's face. The scars on Jean Valjean's head. Fantine's beautiful blonde hair piece. For a mere $28.52 investment, we had gone from seeing two inch figurines running around the stage to an up close and personal intimate performance. It was amazing. Through the magic of magnification, we were able to practically experience Javert's obvious halitosis.
If only the guy in front of me hadn't been so tall and so fidgety, my view of the stage would have been perfect. Why move every fifteen seconds guy? If you can't sit still, why are you here? Oh right, girlfriend. Stop moving please! Actually the binoculars helped me see through his head. No, I'm not lying. Because of something science-y involving our built-in binocular vision, the view through the mechanical binoculars allowed me to basically eliminate his head from my view. I don't know how it worked but thank you intelligent designer. You are indeed mighty.
From now on, I'm bringing my binoculars to everything. Sure it might make me a creeper but I'm going to see the whole world so much more clearly. I love you binoculars, five star review and a hearty recommend.
- Slate Cultural Gabfest, "Batman and Robins Edition"
- Jonathan Franzen Is the World's Most Annoying Bird-Watcher
- "My Bird Problem," Jonathan Franzen (2005)
What stood out most from my memory was Cosette's role. In the past, when I thought of Les Mis, I thought of "Castle in a Cloud" first. But upon another viewing, that's Cosette's one and only moment. She's not the main female lead, it's Eponine! (Or an argument could be made for Fantine too.) Essentially Cosette is there to look pretty and be the object of Marius' affection. Perhaps the difference is that when you're young, you identify with Cosette and the other little kid, Gavroche. But when you're older, you realize that they were just minor characters.
And poor Eponine. She's the embodiment of Meantime Girl isn't she? I kind of hate Marius for being such a jerk. How are you asking Eponine to deliver love letters in the middle of a siege? Don't you see that Eponine is willing to die for you!? What an asshole. He doesn't deserve to have "A Little Fall of Rain" sung to him. I'm Team Eponine all the way now. If you are Team Cosette, we are enemies. En garde.
December 14th could be amazing. Hugh Jackman is gonna kill it. Also, if you're watching Les Mis live, don't hum along to the music. Ahem, Mom...