We have been Les Miserables fans since Grandpa Vince first took us to see the show in Chicago back in 1993.
For years afterward we had to step carefully in our house because our oldest daughter Katherine, who was only four-years old when she saw the show the first time, believed she was born to play Little Cosette on Broadway. At frequent intervals she would grab a rag, drop to the floor and sing “Castle on a Cloud.” This habit annoyed her brothers, amused our neighbors and kept the hardwood floors in the first little house we owned well dusted.
We all loved the show and listened to the cast recording endlessly. A quick trip to Blockbuster Video turned into one of those moments of high amusement and utter mortification common only to parents when our oldest son Charlie, then six-years old, burst into song. “I smell women, smell ’em in the air. Think I’ll drop my anchor in that harbor over there.” Charlie has always been blessed with good, strong lungs.
Last night, Vince took Molly and me to our local Performing Arts Center for opening night of the New 25th Anniversary Production of Les Miserables. I’m sure by now we’ve seen that show a dozen times, counting all of the high school productions. That’s peanuts, though, compared to J. Mark McVey, who played the lead role of Jean Valjean for us and more than 2,900 other audiences in his impressive career. His magnificent performance truly moved us and we noted with delight that the actor shared the stage with his tiny daughter, an ensemble cast member.
We’re very grateful to live in a community that supports the Arts as passionately as it supports its Packers. We’re especially fierce about promoting live theater for its tangible ability to both enrich lives and inspire dreams.
And the little girl in our house who would only clean her room if she could wear a costume and sing? She lives in Chicago now and is working hard… as an actress.
|Forgive the awkward angle. I shot this lovely picture myself.|
|Here we are with the Thenardiers proving once again that we
are quite tall. They were very good sports though.
Here is our Little Cosette, circa 1995.