Today’s post about lip-synching on the bus reminded me of this story from a few weeks ago.
A few days after Christmas, I went with my sister to see Les Miserables. The theater was large, and full but not packed, with maybe about 250 people in a theater that could sit 300. We got a good seat near the top, and settled in.
Seated immediately behind us were three girls who looked to be in their late teens/early 20s, and they looked to be in costume. One was wearing a slightly ridiculous blonde wig and a Renaissance Fair style dress, one was dressed like a girl dressed like a boy, and one had her hair pulled back and corpse-y makeup on her face. Okay, sure, why not? I’m only 30, I remember a decade ago when going out looking ‘different’ was a thing. No big deal. As soon as the previews began, they were forgotten.
The film started. I knew it was a musical, that the movie had singing instead of dialogue. This was new to me, but it looked interesting and I was eager to see what happened, as I was only slightly familiar with the story. When the male lead began to sing, I thought he sounded off– like, the speakers had an echo or something. Only when I heard someone down the aisle “shush” the girls behind us did I realize one had been singing along, out loud, in a deep Hugh Jackman-y voice.
She quieted down after being shushed and an hour or so went by without incident. A bit more than halfway through, a big number came on, Eponine singing “On My Own.” Apparently the drama was too much for the trio behind us, because all three of them sang the entire thing, out loud, not even trying to be quiet… poorly, might I add.
People were telling them to be quiet, my sister and I included. They were cowed for the end, when they got to their feet to sing the epilogue.
On the way out, the crowd was giving the girls a hard time. One woman told them they had ruined the movie for her, and the one dressed as Fantine countered that the rest of the theater had ruined the film for them by telling them to be quiet. And then they ran out of the theater singing “Do You Hear the People Sing” as loud as they could. 0124-13
Do You Hear The People Sing? Singing A Song To Angry Men
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