As the lights dim, the blue lighting along the ceiling makes the artwork and architecture in the Tennessee Theatre pop, so much so that you begin to stare at all the intricate details that adorn each area of this nearly 85 year old historic building. While your eyes wander from one side of the theatre to the next, you begin to hear the music and eyes immediately shoot forward to the stage as the story begins. For the next two and a half hours, all eyes in the theatre are on the stage watching different characters sing solos and company numbers ranging from songs about love to death and everything in between.
Each character’s voice brought its own unique touch to the performance, from Jean Valjean’s powerful voice to the sweet sounds of the young Cosette. Every voice brought a different sound to the stage while still complementing each other perfectly during different scenes. One number that attendees will likely get a good laugh out of is “Master of the House,” with its upbeat tune, energetic choreography and more than a few jokes to get the audience laughing. Whether looking for solos or full company numbers, energetic or slower paced songs and everything in between – this production of Les Miserables has a scene for every taste. Audience members, ranging from married couples to young children, clapped and cheered after each song concluded. Not only did the performers steal the show with their voices, but the set and the backdrop screen provided audience members a unique visual aspect that added to the performance. The screen made it easy to change the background from one picture to the next seamlessly with different projections, and allowed audience members to focus on the performance and not be interrupted by constant set changes. The background projections showed many locations including a city portrait and then later changed to an underground tunnel. To really understand the projections, one must see it in the audience to get the full effect of how much it adds to the performance. This performance truly made the audience feel as though the show was taking place in London or New York with the phenomenal cast members, sets and more, all while sitting right in downtown Knoxville. Les Miserables has performances until January 15, but if interested in other Broadway at the Tennessee shows, make sure to learn more about Shrek the Musical in February, South Pacific in March, and Riverdance Farewell Tour in May. For more information, visit http://www.tennesseetheatre.com/tickets/broadway-at-the-tennessee/.