denver, les miserables, Les Miserables 2018, musical

Les Miserables 2018

We got tickets for Les Misérables nearly a year ago.

I’ve been shaking with excitement, twirling and dancing through the streets, ever since.

Okay, maybe not like that. But you get the point, right?

I was salivating.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a musical. Not this large a production, since having children.


In my early exposure to Les Misérables, I was spellbound by Colm Wilkinson singing Jean Valjean.

When the 10th anniversary celebration went on sale, watching Lea Salonga sing “On My Own” and then “A Little Fall of Rain” with Lea Salonga and Michael Ball swept me away and had me in tears.


I had seen the musical four times, live, before.

At the Imperial Theatre, in New York City.

At the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, in Greenville, South Carolina.

At the Fox Theatre, in St. Louis Missouri.

And, in Hong Kong.


But, all expectations of how the production should or would go were non-existent.

I was pleased, excited, and terrified.

We — my young kiddos, my kindred spirit, and I — were going.

The kiddos knew the music and story well.

That wasn’t the problem.

We had swimming lessons that morning.

After that, we had less than twenty minutes to eat lunch, go to the bathroom, and get the show on the road.

The performance was taking place in downtown Denver.

We needed to get there early, to find parking.

Getting anywhere on time is a challenge for us.

And, an equally pressing matter is the impending possibility of a bathroom emergency.

I didn’t want to have to exit during the show.

Not trying to be insensitive, here.

It’s just that we weren’t just watching a dollar show. We paid a pretty penny to go.

So, I told them we were eating a very light lunch and consuming very little liquid.

Much to my relief, we arrived early.

That alone was worth celebrating.

We even got a great parking spot.

We were the first at the doors with tickets in hand.

Lily Chang © 2018

I had everyone go to the bathroom after we were allowed inside the building.


I exhaled in relief, as we settled down in our seats,

with booster seats for the kiddos

and programs in hand.

We had unbelievably good seats at the Buell Theatre.

We had orchestra seats. Section C, Row Q.

We were in the 20th row from the orchestra and stage. In a place that has two balconies, I’d say that’s pretty good.

We even saw the orchestra pit beforehand. I was surprised to see there were less than 15, I think, seats. And, there were two keyboards but no piano.


Once the performance started, I was swept away.

A brightly lit word prompt was provided for the audience. And, a couple of individuals were signing the words and lyrics.

The music was powerful, and there was plenty of volume.

The ship scene drew me in.

And then, a young Jean Valjean, played by a much younger (compared to Colm Wilkinson) Nick Cartell sang. I was pleasantly surprised and bought in.

The sets were astonishing and amazing.

The cast and orchestra were nothing short of wonderful.

Whether “I Dreamed a Dream” or “The People’s Song” was being performed and sung, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. And, when Cartell sang “Bring Him Home,” my shoulders were hunched over and I was weeping.

And, there were no potty emergencies during the performance. That was definitely a win.

During intermission, my son announced he had to go. When he says he has to go, he HAS TO GO. There was a super long waiting line for the women’s restroom, stretching from the bathroom all the way to the auditorium. The men’s line was about 1/10th of that. I was moved that both men and women were super kind about letting us cut line, so he could go. Thanks to the kindness and thoughtfulness of those people, we didn’t have a situation on our hands.

Our experience of the Les Misérables performance, at the Buell Theatre, in Denver, Colorado, was exquisite and outstanding. My artist muse was delighted and well loved.

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