portrayal of Javert was the best I have ever seen, and
I am being completely
genuine. I was blown away by his version of Stars -
which has always been one of the
highlights of the show for me and which, by the way, got
about 3 minutes of applause
before the show could continue. But also, James'
characterization of the role was close
to perfect. When he was Javert the police officer,
he stood straight and tall, and his
movements were very controlled and military. But when he
became the spy at the
barricade, he significantly changed his posture and
movements to be more loose and casual to
"blend in" with the rebellious students.
- But what really impressed me was that James
accomplished something with his portrayal of Javert that
is really hard to pull off: He took a character
who is usually perceived as the "villian" of
the show and made him more human, dynamic, respectable
and - dare I say? protagonistic to the watcher.
The audience finds itself wincing sympathetically when
his espionage is exposed at the barricade (that is,
until the adorable Gavroche makes a certain
"gesture" to him that will probably cause you
to laugh uncontrollably) or when Jean Valjean, for that
one instant, holds the knife at his throat. And in
a way, Javert's suicide becomes as tragic as Eponine's
or Jean Valjean's death at the end. James
himself told me after the show that he didn't hear any
boos or hisses during the performance - well James,
there's a good reason for that!
- I don't believe that either Victor Hugo (the original
author of Les Miserables, for the non-literary
among us) or the brains behind the musical wanted Javert
to be seen as the villian. And with James'
brilliant portrayal, "at the end of the day"
you don't hate him after all. And I have
tremendous respect and admiration for any actor who can
- Thank you James, for a wonderful and memorable
experience. I noticed y'all are coming to
Huntsville, Alabama in May - that's only a 3 hour drive
for me. "No doubt our paths will cross