I'm a 52 year old actor, and in love with Les Miserables since the late 1980s, over 25 years. I have seen Les Miserables live on stage, watched the 10th Anniversary performance from 1995, over and over, and listened to the soundtrack, all told probably over 150 or more times. This 25th anniversary performance of Les Miserables is a gift from God, the finest live performance of Les Miserables I have ever seen, bar none. With a stunning ensemble of performers and a chorus of over 300 and an orchestra of nearly 200 musicians, this Les Miserables is beautiful beyond belief, with a gifted, loving, devoted and wonderful cast. Their love for this material is self-evident in their wonderful performances. Among this gifted and stellar cast are ALFIE BOE, tenor, as the protagonist JEAN VALJEAN. His nemesis Inspector Javert is performed magnificently by the mind-boggling NORM LEWIS. My second-favorite character in Les Mis' MARIUS PONTMERCY, is portrayed by pop-singer NICK JONAS (a mere 17 year old boy at the time of this performance) in a surprisingly refreshing and sweet performance. His Marius is perhaps a couple of years too young for the character, who is a Law Student, but young Jonas captures the complete innocence and naivete of this character admirably, and he does a lovely and touching rendition of EMPTY CHAIRS AT EMPTY TABLES. I was surprised on amazon.com to see vicious personal attacks lobbed at this 17-year-old-boy for \"daring\" to portray Marius (though he was ASKED TO by producer Cameron Mackintosh, he did not seek it out), and as an actor I feel a bit of obligation to defend this mere kid (at the time) from such vicious below the belt attacks. I'll agree that his voice, though pretty, IS weak and he needs to develop it, but his portrayal of Marius was charming and touching, and he made a lot of good acting \"choices\" in this perfomance. Also, the carping critics should note the ROARS of approval of this kid by that vast audience in the O2 arena in London during this performance as well as when he takes his bow at the end. They adored him. I thought he was quite impressive, especially for a young teenager. Kudos. As for the rest of this adorable cast, LEA SALONGA is stunning and riveting as the tragic FANTINE, mother of little Cosette. The young adult Cosette is portrayed with charm and finesse and is a radiant beauty in this production. Another beauty is EPONINE, daughter of the sociopathic Thernardiers, the innkeeper and his heifer of a wife, and Eponine is portrayed wonderfully and endearingly by the wonderful Samantha Barks. The Thenardiers are a laugh riot in this production, as usual, with Jenny Galloway reprising her 1995 role as MRS. Thenardier. A lot of necessary \"filler,\" which helps the scenes segway into each other, is restored to this 25th ANNIVERSARY Performance\/concert. As someone who loves Les Miserables more than any other story in the world, and this musical more than any other extant theatre piece, I am so deeply in love with this 25th Anniversary Performance that I gave out over 70 copies of this DVD as Christmas presents this past Christmas (2012). What a gentle, kind-spirited, loving and ennobling musical this is. This 25th Anniversary DVD is absolutely magnificent. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Whatever you do, DO buy Les Miserables 25th Anniverary Performance Concert on DVD or BluRay. It is too beautiful for words to adequately describe. Tomorrow, Come!!
IF you've ever read or saw the musical on PBS, this is a MUCH BETTER version. It stays true to the Victor Hugo classic, and Hugh Jackson is the sexiest Valjean ever-- and he can sing!! That alone is worth the price! But the scenery is gorgeous, the costumes are stunning!