Les Miserables at the Winspear in Dallas = Pure Magic

Credit: Deen van Meer

Last week, I had the honor of celebrating the holidays and knocking a pretty sizable thing off of my bucket list. I got the chance to walk through the doors of Winspear Opera House, sit down with my girlfriend, and experience what can only be described as pure magic.  Les Miserables lit up the stage and for just shy of  three hours, had everyone in the room captivated.  At the risk of sounding like that gushingly doting kid who falls in love for the first time, I'll say that the performances by this amazingly talented cast, helmed by J. Mark Mcvey as Jean Valjean and Andrew Varela as Javert, were nothing short of magic.  The characters were both torn and endearing, believable and exciting, and I found myself sucked into the world of 19th century France.  Amidst war and turmoil, strife and frustration, this is the story of one man's fight for redemption and another man's refusal to accept that redemption can and does come to all.

I won't bore you with a retelling of the tale, as the Les Mis site does a pretty great job of that for you, but I will say that this is one of the best adaptations of a novel I have ever seen, and one of the best performances I have seen grace the Winspear stage.  With sweeping set designs, amazing light choreography, and a score that sounds as if it were recorded instead of being performed live because it's so moving, I can't say enough great things about this performance.

Credit: Deen van Meer

My one tip for those attending who haven't bought tickets- don't sit in the very front.  I know that it's the cool thing to do when you're attempting to impress a date, but paying the high prices for the tickets only ensures that you have a very expensive reason to get a neck massage the next day from craning to take it all in (but then again...maybe that's the point of a good date).  Grab a seat in the middle toward the back of the orchestra or toward the front of the orchestra terrace and be prepared to leave your jaw somewhere south of the chair in which you're sitting.  Oh, and prepare for the chills and possibly tears that come during the singing of "Who am I."

You've been warned.

AT&T Performing Arts Center Presents: Les Miserables

Through January 1, 2012

Times and Tickets Vary

AT&T Performing Arts Center

2403 Flora St.
Dallas, TX 75201