Les Miserables is a production full of “heart” – a “Heart Full of Love” with many connections to a higher spirit, a force called upon to help the stage heroes through difficult times.
Often, Les Miserables has been labeled violent, lacking real feeling, bordering on the coarse and frivolous — but this is not the motivation and substance of the story.
Les Miserables is a melodramatic story written from the premise that any man can rise above his circumstances to reach perfection. It follows both Jean Valjean’s and society’s struggles with good and evil, and all the time calling upon a higher power.
Chain Gang workers pray “Sweet Jesus hear my prayer” and “How long, O Lord, before you let me die?” Valjean prays to God after stealing the Bishop’s silver: “Sweet Jesus, what have I done?” and “My life he claims for God above.”
Fantine dreams and hopes that the world of unkindness will dissolve under God’s love.
Fauchelvant, rescued from under a cart, states, “M’sieur Mayor you come from God, you are a saint.” And no one can deny the generous love Valjean has for the orphaned Cosette.
The street beggars pray and hope others will help their plight “in Holy Jesus’ name – in the Lord’s holy name.”
Even Javert, who is often seen as the villain, asks God for His guidance and help. Javert is a man of extreme principles, following the letter of the law, both secular and sacred: “Mine is the way of the Lord — those who follow the path of the righteous shall have their reward.”
Valjean, on discovering the love of Marius and Cosette, realizes that “love is the garden of the young,” and finally, on his deathbed asks for forgiveness and states, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
This is the true heart of Les Miserables, which opens Nov. 22 at the Old Church Theatre.
Tickets are available at 250-334-2992.
— Co-Val Choristers