• Annie Dear: 'Le Mis' never disappoints me

  • I went to see my fourth – or was it fifth – live version of “Les Misérables” at the Music Hall over the weekend, it being my favorite musical of all time.

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  • I went to see my fourth – or was it fifth – live version of “Les Misérables” at the Music Hall over the weekend, it being my favorite musical of all time.
    I should of course have been seeing it with my darling daughter, Madam, but as she is now some multiple-thousand miles away, the commute was a tad daunting, and I didn’t have the heart to make her come back here as she’s only now just getting over her initial jet lag, and really, what kind of mother would I be to inflict that on her?
    So off I pottered with one of her ex-workmates, the Beckster, and we had a fine time.
    I was somewhat disappointed that the production was not at the new Kauffman Center – it being so splendid with very user friendly parking and access. I find the Music Hall very outdated, hideous for parking and horrible for access, and its acoustics leave an awful lot to be desired.
    Arriving with what I thought was ample time – a 20-minute gap from our walking in the lobby to show time – it took all of that to get to our seats. Granted, it seems the production had attracted a full-house, which of course is gratifying – but it seemed the rest of Kansas City thought 20 minutes was ample time, so we had a people-jam trying to get up elevators or stairs to the correct level, only to find one door and one very harried usher trying to get us all in.
    Unfortunately in that 20-minute cattle-call, it did not allow me enough time to scope out the nearest bathroom – handily, evidently, one floor above, and so we sat through the first half with a tiny piece of my brain firmly fixed on a loo-dash at intermission.
    Rocketing out of my seat at half time, I could be found powering up the stairs to realize that the ladies room – naturally way down the other end from where I emerged, had a line so long I think it started somewhere down near the Plaza. Realizing this was not going to be a happening event, I went back to my seat accepting the fact that by the end my bladder would be somewhere underneath my eyeballs, and my back teeth would be floating.
    But back to the performance. Given the antiquated acoustics, it was wonderful. It brought to mind a story from my darling friends, Sparky and Ellen, where a friend of theirs had gone to see “Dances with Wolves” several times. The first time, she cried at the end – didn’t we all. The second time, she cried in the middle, and the third time she openly wept in the lobby going in.
    There are certain songs in The Glums which have that effect on me too, and so it took me a lot of self-determination not to sob at least three times in the show.
    Page 2 of 2 - My eyes would sting, the tears would well up and hotly overflow down my cheeks – so moving was the sound and spectacle.
    Or maybe it was my bladder – one will never know.
    Annie Dear lives in the Lakewood area of Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc @hotmail.com.

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