I'd Rather Watch Curling
A Review of Les Miserables
continuing far too long at the Royal Alex in Trono (1992).

by Ian Klymchuk
president of the Lucan Chapter of the Philistine Liberation Organization.

(Note: Ian has received considerable negative response to this review after I posted it to some newsgroups on the internet).

   Several times each year we give up our regular euchre night with Benny and Dot to watch some curling on tv. This year, we'd planned for them to come out to our place for sandwiches, beer, and Doritos and to watch the semi-finals of the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

  But on the Monday of that week, the wife tells me her and Dot won an office draw for four tickets to a show in Trono, including transportation, meals and the hotel. I wasn't real keen on mixing with them Trono snobs, but we went ahead anyways and arranged for the sister-in-law to stay with the twins. And since we decided to make a day of it, Heather and Dot took the day off, and I worked extra the night before.

  The first sign of trouble came when we stopped for lunch at the Golden Arches. Benny, generous guy that he is, offered to pay, but as he reached for his wallet, he kept feeling around under his trench coat. Finally he sez, "I don't believe it. I got my trench coat on, but I forgot to wear my suit coat."

  No problem, we tell him, "You can get a new sportcoat at the Eaton Centre." And since the girls was planning on doing some shopping anyways, Benny figured maybe he'd look around while we was there.

  Well, the clerk in the store and a lady waiting in line both raved about "Les Mis" [pronounced Lay Meeze, not Less Miss, the way I kept saying it]. The twins had seen it during a school trip, too, and they really liked it. We was beginning to feel pretty lucky to have the tickets.

  From the very beginning, though, I had my doubts. First of all, it wasn't a musical. It was a friggen opera. They sang every single dad-blamed line. Like if the wife was to sing to me:

"Good morning Ian. Would you like a cuppa coffee?"

The songs were mostly boring even when you could tell they were singing a song and not a speech. Case in point: you never hear anybody humming or whistling any of the songs from Less Miss.

  The stage was pretty neat, though, spinning around a lot of the time. I'm just surprised none of the singers got dizzy or sick.

I was a bit worried that because I'd worked late I might fall asleep during the show. No need to worry, though, cuz the music was loud enough no one could possibly have fallen asleep. And the seats was so close together, it was impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep. The seats was closer together than on Joe's Discount Charter Flights to Las Vegas.

  I kinda liked the song where Jean Valjean sez if someone has to die, let it be him instead of Marius. I feel that same way about my twins. But I'd never say that about some guy a daughter had just met the night before.

  Intermission time at the theatre is pretty funny. Everyone rushes out to the bar to stand in line for a plastic glass of white wine. But me and Benny didn't have to wait at all to get some beers.

The wife said she thought the singer who played the mother was pretty good, but I thought her voice was weak and over-amplified. I said, "The only good thing about her was that she died, so we don't have to listen to her again." Imagine my shock when she came back in the second act as a ghost. I'd've choked on my popcorn if they'd've let me have any at my seat.

    It was also pretty funny during the show, when them smart-alec university students thought they knew what was good for us workers while we didn't know or care what they was talking about. I figure the real reason the workers didn't join the students at the barricades, though, is that they was singing stupid songs. The outcome would've been a lot different if Sigmund Romberg had written the rally songs: "Give me some men, who are stout-hearted men, who will fight for the right they adore..." Now that's the sort of thing to really rally the troups!

  One other thing: it's pretty confusing having a bunch of different people sing different words at the same time. I couldn't figure out anything they was saying. Lucky the program notes told the story, eh?

  You know, some people actually pay to see Less Miss several times, but would I see this show again? not on your life! And even if I won the tickets, I'd rather stay home and watch curling.

Back to Ian Klymchuk's homepage

Back to the PLO homepage

Back to John Palmer's homepage