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By Art Buchwald | December 11, 1995
WASHINGTON -- As the whole country knows by now, Newt Gingrich has many hang-ups. But the one I like the most is when he blames welfare and the Great Society for all the crime problems in America.Newt faulted the welfare state when Susan Smith drowned her two sons in a car; he also blamed the heinous crime in Illinois -- where an unborn baby was violently cut from his mother's womb -- on a "welfare system which subsidized people for doing nothing."When I read all the blame that Newt was laying on the poor I immediately thought of "Les Miserables" and how the welfare system in Paris had been responsible for the crime of that period.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2013
There's something about "Les Miserables" that keeps me coming back. It's not that "Les Miz," running through Sunday at the Hippodrome Theatre , is my favorite musical. Far from it. It's all too easy to point out the technical flaws in Claude-Michel Schonberg's melodies (bombastic) and Herbert Kretzmer's lyrics (unsurprising). The critics have been making these arguments for the past 27 years, and for the past 27 years, audiences have been ignoring the critics. Producer Cameron Mackintosh's much-hyped new staging incorporates brighter costumes and screen projections to simulate such effects as Paris' underground sewers.
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FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | May 1, 1998
Maybe breaking into song would have helped.This steadfastly inert film production of "Les Miserables" manages to take one of the great works of 19th-century literature, a novel of individuals struggling for survival as French history unfolds around them, and turn it into a story so generic, it may as well have been set in Milwaukee -- or on Broadway, where the musical version is threatening to run forever.Making the film doubly shameful is that it wastes the talent of a spectacular cast, especially Liam Neeson as the hulking, haunted Jean Valjean and Uma Thurman as the doomed Fantine.
NEWS
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2011
With protesters from Wisconsin to Libya raising heated voices and issues, it seems like a particularly apt time for the hit musical "Les Miserables" to be back on the scene. The revolutionary fervor that sparks so much of the plot seems more powerful — and certainly louder — than ever in the new and handsome 25th-anniversary production of the show at the Hippodrome Theatre through Sunday. Based on the Victor Hugo novel, this ambitious pop opera by Claude-Michel Schoenberg and Alain Boublil has maintained a remarkable grip on the public.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | April 10, 1992
When "Les Miserables" came to the Mechanic Theatre two years ago, it looked and sounded better than any show ever had there. Now it's back, and although a few of the performances don't shine as brightly, the overall effect is as splendid as ever.No matter how often you see "Les Mis" -- and some fans have reportedly become addicted to it -- it's still breathtaking to behold the manner in which Victor Hugo's classic 19th century novel has been transformed into a modern musical classic.Credit for this belongs not only to French songwriters Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and co-directors John Caird and Trevor Nunn, but also to set designer John Napier, who employs a giant turntable to propel one of the most relentless and resonant chase scenes in literary history -- a chase in which the mightiness of the law pursues the righteousness of the just.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | April 10, 1992
When "Les Miserables" came to the Mechanic Theatre two years ago, it looked and sounded better than any show ever had there. Now it's back, and although a few of the performances don't shine as brightly, the overall effect is as splendid as ever.No matter how often you see "Les Mis" -- and some fans have reportedly become addicted to it -- it's still breathtaking to behold the manner in which Victor Hugo's classic 19th century novel has been transformed into a modern musical classic.Credit for this belongs not only to French songwriters Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and co-directors John Caird and Trevor Nunn, but also to set designer John Napier, who employs a giant turntable to propel one of the most relentless and resonant chase scenes in literary history -- a chase in which the mightiness of the law pursues the righteousness of the just.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2011
With protesters from Wisconsin to Libya raising heated voices and issues, it seems like a particularly apt time for the hit musical "Les Miserables" to be back on the scene. The revolutionary fervor that sparks so much of the plot seems more powerful — and certainly louder — than ever in the new and handsome 25th-anniversary production of the show at the Hippodrome Theatre through Sunday. Based on the Victor Hugo novel, this ambitious pop opera by Claude-Michel Schoenberg and Alain Boublil has maintained a remarkable grip on the public.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2013
There's something about "Les Miserables" that keeps me coming back. It's not that "Les Miz," running through Sunday at the Hippodrome Theatre , is my favorite musical. Far from it. It's all too easy to point out the technical flaws in Claude-Michel Schonberg's melodies (bombastic) and Herbert Kretzmer's lyrics (unsurprising). The critics have been making these arguments for the past 27 years, and for the past 27 years, audiences have been ignoring the critics. Producer Cameron Mackintosh's much-hyped new staging incorporates brighter costumes and screen projections to simulate such effects as Paris' underground sewers.
NEWS
January 14, 1993
Tough GoingIn answer to William Hudson Jr., president of AFSCME Council 92 ("State Business," letters, Jan. 4), I would say let's stop having the tail wag the dog.He was not elected to represent the citizens of Maryland. He represents the interest of the public employees, who are in reality hired by us the citizens. Please do not tell us that we are not being taxed enough.I believe that it is really arrogant to compare what citizens of individual states are paying in taxes based on their relative incomes.
FEATURES
By Todd Anthony and SUN-SENTINEL | January 2, 1999
NEW YORK -- Perhaps it's time for Geoffrey Rush's second lightning strike.The droll Australian actor, 47, labored on the stage in relative obscurity for more than 25 years, then became an "overnight sensation" with his Oscar-winning, tour de force portrayal of mad/brilliant pianist David Helfgott in 1996's "Shine.""A film about a troubled pianist from Perth," Rush ruefully describes the movie that made him a hot property in international filmmaking circles. "I mean, you try to pitch that one."
FEATURES
By Todd Anthony and SUN-SENTINEL | January 2, 1999
NEW YORK -- Perhaps it's time for Geoffrey Rush's second lightning strike.The droll Australian actor, 47, labored on the stage in relative obscurity for more than 25 years, then became an "overnight sensation" with his Oscar-winning, tour de force portrayal of mad/brilliant pianist David Helfgott in 1996's "Shine.""A film about a troubled pianist from Perth," Rush ruefully describes the movie that made him a hot property in international filmmaking circles. "I mean, you try to pitch that one."
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | May 1, 1998
Maybe breaking into song would have helped.This steadfastly inert film production of "Les Miserables" manages to take one of the great works of 19th-century literature, a novel of individuals struggling for survival as French history unfolds around them, and turn it into a story so generic, it may as well have been set in Milwaukee -- or on Broadway, where the musical version is threatening to run forever.Making the film doubly shameful is that it wastes the talent of a spectacular cast, especially Liam Neeson as the hulking, haunted Jean Valjean and Uma Thurman as the doomed Fantine.
NEWS
September 27, 1996
IS JOHN G. GARY Anne Arundel County's version of Inspector Javert, the relentless policeman in Victor Hugo's novel, "Les Miserables"? The county executive's dogged efforts to unearth a criminal conspiracy beneath the 1989 passage of a generous pension bill for 93 elected and appointed officials certainly leaves that impression.In the novel, Javert becomes obsessed with catching Jean Valjean, an escaped convict who had been jailed for stealing a loaf of bread.Mr. Gary seems equally fixated on unearthing evidence to substantiate his hunch that top county officials deliberately misled the council about the fiscal repercussions of the pension revision seven years ago. He has hired private investigators and dispatched them to Florida in what has been a wild goose chase to date.
NEWS
By Art Buchwald | December 11, 1995
WASHINGTON -- As the whole country knows by now, Newt Gingrich has many hang-ups. But the one I like the most is when he blames welfare and the Great Society for all the crime problems in America.Newt faulted the welfare state when Susan Smith drowned her two sons in a car; he also blamed the heinous crime in Illinois -- where an unborn baby was violently cut from his mother's womb -- on a "welfare system which subsidized people for doing nothing."When I read all the blame that Newt was laying on the poor I immediately thought of "Les Miserables" and how the welfare system in Paris had been responsible for the crime of that period.
NEWS
January 14, 1993
Tough GoingIn answer to William Hudson Jr., president of AFSCME Council 92 ("State Business," letters, Jan. 4), I would say let's stop having the tail wag the dog.He was not elected to represent the citizens of Maryland. He represents the interest of the public employees, who are in reality hired by us the citizens. Please do not tell us that we are not being taxed enough.I believe that it is really arrogant to compare what citizens of individual states are paying in taxes based on their relative incomes.
NEWS
By JAMES J. KILPATRICK | December 30, 1992
Zealotry always wears an ugly face. The ugliest face around Washington these days is the ugly face of Lawrence Walsh, the vindictive special prosecutor in the case of the Iran-contra affair. This vulture has been deprived of his prey.By his courageous action on Christmas Eve, President Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger and five others who had been involved long ago in the trading of arms for hostages. The president's decision was a manifestation of justice at its best. It was morally right in every way.Prosecutor Walsh, the reincarnation of Victor Hugo's Inspector Javert, is beside himself with anger.
NEWS
By JAMES J. KILPATRICK | December 30, 1992
Zealotry always wears an ugly face. The ugliest face around Washington these days is the ugly face of Lawrence Walsh, the vindictive special prosecutor in the case of the Iran-contra affair. This vulture has been deprived of his prey.By his courageous action on Christmas Eve, President Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger and five others who had been involved long ago in the trading of arms for hostages. The president's decision was a manifestation of justice at its best. It was morally right in every way.Prosecutor Walsh, the reincarnation of Victor Hugo's Inspector Javert, is beside himself with anger.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | April 10, 1992
When "Les Miserables" came to the Mechanic Theatre two years ago, it looked and sounded better than any show ever had there. Now it's back, and although a few of the performances don't shine as brightly, the overall effect is as splendid as ever.No matter how often you see "Les Mis" -- and some fans have reportedly become addicted to it -- it's still breathtaking to behold the manner in which Victor Hugo's classic 19th century novel has been transformed into a modern musical classic.Credit for this belongs not only to French songwriters Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and co-directors John Caird and Trevor Nunn, but also to set designer John Napier, who employs a giant turntable to propel one of the most relentless and resonant chase scenes in literary history -- a chase in which the mightiness of the law pursues the righteousness of the just.
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