Saturday, July 5, 2014

Melbourne Day 9 - 5 July 2014

Today is the highlight of my trip and the very reason why I'm in Melbourne. It's the day I've been looking forward to over the past 9 months as I'm watching the Les Miz musical! It has been almost 20 years since I watched the musical in Singapore and since then, I've been obsessed and head over heels in love with this awesome production!

My day started in Flinders Lane & Degraves Street for breakfast. These laneways are hardly visible from the main streets of Melbourne but when you look closely, you'll be surprised that they possess a unique charm in their own ways. Both sides of these streets are lined with caf├ęs and ecceletic shops. I'm just so surprised how popular they are with locals and tourists alike, as we had a hard time looking for an empty table. They serve yummy entries such as poached egg with toast, sunny side up with toast, breakfast omelette etc. 

After a hearty breakfast of poached eggs on sandwich, we left for the Queen Victoria Market. This popular market looked the same as what I remember 10 years ago, carrying a wide variety of groceries, clothes, homewares and more.  From the market, we headed for the Something Aussie souvenir shop, where I bought Mondo nougats and Aussie-made skincare products. 

After we are done with shopping, we returned to city for the Les Miz performance at Her Majesty's Theatre.  It was so full of buzz when we arrived, though we were an hour earlier. There were excited patrons all around, buying souvenir programmes and Les Miz merchandise. I bought a souvenir programme, tee, keychain and cap which cost me 100aud! 

It's unbelievable that my dream of catching Les Miz again after 20 years is finally coming true. When I finally entered the theatre, the adrenalin rushed all over me, leaving me speechless! As the brass instruments first sounded, I sat rooted to my seat, mesmerised by every orchestral note that came on and every word that was sung. 

The musical is just so wonderful that no words can explain how great it is. Everything from the set, lighting, audio, casts and orchestra blended so seemlessly together that I couldn't fault anything even if I wanted to! It sounded exactly like how it seemed 20 years ago, only better!  My only reservation is that the musical would have sounded better if Her Majesty's Theatre is equipped with more state of the art audio visual equipment. 

Eponine's my favourite character as usual and my eyes were on her everytime she appeared. Kerrie Anne Greenland has done a good job in portraying the character and when she belted the heart-wrenching number "On My Own" of her unrequited and undying love for Marius, I could hear many patrons sobbing away (including me of course!).  When she finally breathed her last in Marius' arms, my heart goes out to her with full of admiration for her unconditional and sacrificial love. Love should be selfless, isn't it? 

The other characters were all unique in their own ways. The innocent and demure Cosette, the suave and charming Marius, the loving yet strong-willed Jean Valjean, the strong-principled and justice-filled Javert and of course the villianous and humorous Thenardiers. 

As usual, the company has carefully hand-picked the best actors for Jean Valjean & Javert, who never failed to impress the audience with their strong vocals as they sang numbers such as "Who Am I", "Bring Him Home", "Stars" and "Soliloquy".  What's worth mentioning is little Daniel Stow who played Gavroche, who has successfully portrayed the spunkiness and liveliness of the character, often earning great applause from the audience. 

All in all, this production has managed to bring an all-Australian cast together, for an excellent theatrical experience which struck a chord with everyone present.  We've managed to get really good seats on Row B, giving us an even better experience as we could even hear the natural voices of the casts and see every expression (joy, anger, despair and desperation) on their faces. 

This may be the third time I'm catching Les Miz, but every performance is a fresh experience for me and I'll continue watching it if given the chance!

Tomorrow is my last day in Melbourne, as  I will be flying home in the! :(. Will make full use of  whatever time I've left to visit the St Kilda arts market. 

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