You may have seen this, because the whole show has been broadcast on PBS -- and often repeated. But not everyone has. And the good thing about this video is that it's just the finale, which many people may have missed, since they tend to show it after the Pledge Break.
This is from the 10th anniversary concert production of Les Miserables. They recently did a 25th anniversary, and had a terrific finale, where they brought up the original cast to join that current cast. But I like this finale even more. It was 17 of the actors who had played the role of 'Jean Valjean' around the world. They came marching down the aisle onstage, and each getting a solo in "Do You Hear the People Sing." It's wonderful and very moving.
I also liked that production more, too, because it really did put together a dream cast from various productions, rather than just being, "This is the cast currently performing it." Most notably it had Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean recreating his role. But also many from the original London production and Broadway production, including Michael Ball, Ruthie Henshall, Judy Kuhn and Lea Salonga. That's a cast.
(By the way, if you saw the recent movie version, I loved that the producers had the good sense and kind heart to hire Colm Wilkinson for the film -- he plays the older priest who takes in Valjean after his escapes from prison.)
There's one other fun tidbit about this finale. As each of the international 'Jean Valjeans' have their solo and are identified, they get to the fellow from Japan, an actor identified as Takeshi Kaga. The name sounded familiar, and then I looked at his face and went, "That's The Chairman!" If you ever watched the original version of Iron Chef on the Food Network, the version from Japan that led to Iron Chef America, the supposed-chairman of Kitchen Stadium, 'Chairman Kaga,' is Takeshi Kaga! I remember reading at the time that he was a successful actor who had appeared in some big musical. And there he is, onstage at the end of the Les Miserables finale.
And this, folks, is a finale. This is having a sense of showmanship.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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