To the Barricades, Vol. 27

"We did it!" screamed Noah Heggie, as he embraced his father, Tim, in the dressing room hallway after the sustained standing ovation at the end of our preview performance tonight.  The emotion in his voice and the joy and love in his father's eyes was a beautiful thing to see. It was a moment that defines why this matters so much.

Noah: you are absolutely right.  We did it!  And we did it well.

The first public performance of Les Mis was a joy from the opening tug of the rope in the chain gang scene to the final "tomorrow comes" at the end of the epilogue.

"It wasn't perfect," said director Claude Giroux, choking back the tears during our brief notes session after the fun.  "But it was designed to be imperfect, just like life."

The stories that weave their way through the cast and crew would make your heart sing.  Some I've told in this blog series, some will remain untold.  But the meaning and importance of being a part of this process, from the very youngest member of the cast (Rhiannon) to the more senior members, cannot be overstated.  Les Mis is a life-changing experience.

No, we didn't hit every note perfectly, myself included.  But every single one of us left it all out on the stage tonight, and gave a performance of which we should be very proud.

There wasn't a sound backstage as Kyle belted out "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". The applause at the end of Javert's "Stars" solo was justifiably boisterous.  The emotional response to Tim Heggie's star turn as Jean Valjean was unquestionable.  They couldn't get enough of Madame Thendardier played by the incredible Terri Mort. And Eponine made their hearts bleed with her beautiful and plaintive love song to Marius. Twitter and Facebook lit up the moment the show was over.

"Wow! Wow! Wow! Les Mis is beyond imagination..." tweeted Kiran Malik-Khan.

"So many stand out performances...." tweeted Jerry Neville from Country 93.3.

"So incredible...what talent...what spirit...first rate" shared Sandra Bessey on Facebook.

"We did it!" screamed Noah.

Indeed we did.  I am so very proud of you all.


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