I must say, though, it was a bit weird sitting in a theatre full of Townsville’s bourgeoisie while watching this musical. During intermission—just after hearing the students’ tirade against the bourgeois who ignore the plight of every day people—everyone was sucking down champagne and wine. It was the same thing when we got free tickets to see a stage production of Animal Farm in November. For both plays, Andy had to wear proper shoes instead of his usual ratty black thongs. Neither of us feels very comfortable in those situations—we’re definitely not a closed-toe couple.
Despite feeling out of place, Les Mis has been my favourite musical since middle school, when I sang young Cosette’s solo for the high school chorus concert (yes, I was a music geek—I was in the choir and I was lead clarinet). I went to see it on Broadway with my mum in year 10. We watched the non-musical version starring Liam Neeson and Claire Danes in high school French class. Rather than limiting itself to a simple love story (like many musicals seem to do), Les Mis tackles issues like suffering, greed, and poverty all in 3 hours.
I can’t help but make comparisons with my other favourite musical, also about class conflict and insurrection—Newsies.
(Okay, so the ending of Newsies is pretty much the exact opposite of what happened in real life, but it is Disney.) Although this film was released when I was in 2nd grade, I watched it for the first time in 2005. The songs are catchy and far more cheerful than those from Les Mis (again, it is Disney), and perfect to sing when facing down the police at a protest.
Like this one:
And we’ll kick their rear
And the world will know
That we’ve been here!
Or this one:
Friends of the friendless, seize the day
Raise up the torch and light the way
Proud and defiant
We'll slay the giant
Let us seize the day
Maybe that’s the secret to a successful revolution—catchy song and choreography. So, creative vegans, get to work writing us some music we can sing and dance to as we turn the world herbivorous!
More specifically, pancakes made with both white and (reduced to clear) wholemeal flours, coconut milk and nutmeg and topped with local mango slices and maple syrup made by my auntie in upstate NY.