From the very first powerful notes of Overture/Work Song, Broadway Across Canada (BAC)‘s production of Les Misérables immediately sent goosebumps up my arms and neck. I sat on the edge of my seat, my lips mouthing the words of each song as one number led into the next. Despite having never seen Les Mis performed live before, it was a soundtrack that I grew up on. With my mum being a musical fanatic (and Les Misérables being among her favourite), I knew all the words to the play from the time I was a young child. From the get-go, I had listened to Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean on a soundtrack from the ’90s and truly couldn’t imagine anyone else portraying the character with the passion and beauty that he did.
Coming to see BAC‘s production, I was worried that my first time seeing the musical would not live up to the expectations that I couldn’t but help set up in my mind; however, with the first few lines carried throughout the theatre by Nick Cartell (Valjean in the 2018 production I saw), I was completely floored. The goosebumps started. My eyes widened. I knew that the foundation for this incredible show had been blissfully set.