Life's Battles Rage

24 January 2004

Cameron Mackintosh produced Les Miserables. Randal Keith was selected by Cameron Mackintosh to perform the role of Jean Valjean in the final Broadway cast. The final performance on Broadway at the Imperial Theater was held on May 18, 2003. It had run at the Imperial since January 12, 1987.

Last night, Randal Keith performed the lead role of Jean Valjean. In the original cast the first Valjean was performed by Colm Wilkinson in one of the most memorable portrayals of any Broadway role.

If you don’t know the story behind Les Miserables, it’s the lifelong struggle between justice and mercy. It’s a legalistic mindset always confronted by an obvious call for mercy. The metaphors for our lives are found in nearly every set, song and circumstance in the story. Here are some phrases that have been lifted from the various pieces:

If there’s another way to go
I missed it twenty long years ago
My life was a war that could never be won Valjean

By the witness of the martyrs
By the Passion and the Blood
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God! The Bishop of Digne

Les MiserablesI had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed. Fantine

How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on Valjean

I have heard such protestations
Every day for twenty years
Let’s have no more explanations
Save your breath and save your tears
`Honest work, just reward,
That’s the way to please the Lord.’ Inspector Javert

When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes! Enjolras

You will learn
Truth is given by God
To us all in our time
In our turn Valjean

One day more!
Another day, another destiny.
This never-ending road to Calvary; Valjean

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on. Marius

And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God! Valjean, Fantine, Eponine

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