Last night, 1 September, saw the hotly anticipated first night of Alfie Boe’s run in the Broadway production of Les Mis. Alfie’s previous incarnation as Jean Valjean in London four years ago led to a frenzy of speculation about his possible involvement when the show’s revival was announced a couple of years later; this frenzy dampened slightly when the role went to Ramin Karimloo but never really went away, hence the levels of excitement when it was announced earlier this year that Alfie would take over from Ramin.
Many Alfie fans are going to see him in New York (click here for his current schedule), probably booking to see the show several times, and one such fan was there last night. Roberta reviewed Les Mis for thoughtsofjustafan when it first opened and she has been kind enough to review Alfie’s first night for us:
Perfection or as close as you can humanly come to perfection is the only way to describe Alfie Boe’s opening night performance in Les Mis Broadway. Alfie seemed a little bit nervous at the very beginning but that quickly passed. When he first came on stage I was very conscious that I was seeing Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean and that in itself was exciting but that quickly passed; at the end of the show I realised that at some point (I think when Alfie made his first appearance as mayor) I was no longer thinking in those terms. Instead I was watching Jean Valjean and not someone playing JVJ. It was an incredible performance.
Of course I expected the singing to be extraordinary and Alfie did not disappoint. He nailed every song and received a standing ovation for Bring Him Home. What took me by surprise was the absolutely brilliant acting. I was lucky enough to have front row seats and could see every expression crossing his face and there were many. From the anger at the injustice of his imprisonment to the tenderness displayed in the scene when he takes Cosette away. This scene touched me the most. Alfie was truly a father looking at his daughter and rejoicing in the life that would now be theirs. When he picked her up it was not just to dance with her. He tossed her in the air twice and caught her both times. And the expression on Alfie’s face can only be described as a father looking with great love at his daughter. I wish I could have filmed that and replayed it here. It has to be seen.
Alfie received a well deserved standing ovation at the end. He blew a kiss to the audience, heaved a sigh of relief, struck his chest 3 times in appreciation and then collapsed to his knees.
Thank you for that wonderful review Roberta. Twitter has been awash with compliments – it’s fair to say that all of them were of the same opinion as Roberta. Amongst the many tweets were photos of Alfie at the stage door with fans and my favourite is from Carla, who looks absolutely delighted to be there:
and here is Alfie in the white shirt!
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Ever since I first saw the O2 performance of Les Miserables on PBS, I told myself if I ever had a chance to see Alphie Boe in the role of Jean Valjean I would jump at the chance. Well I was so thrilled to hear he was coming to Broadway and booked my tickets immediately. Excitement grew as the day approached. I splurged for 4th row center for the evening performance on Sept 20th. Upon entering the theater I saw the announcement that the understudy will be playing the role that evening due to illness of the principal. To say I was disappointed does not do the emotion justice. Well the good news to all this is that as a Christmas gift from my son I am getting a second opportunity to see Alphie in the role before he leaves. I will be there on my birthday Feb 20th. I hope beyond hope that I finally get to fulfill the wish I made almost 5 years ago now and get to experience the reprise of that awesome and heart touching performance in person.
Thanks, Jane! Yes, I was “absolutely delighted to be there”! Hoping to make it one more time before his run ends in Feb. Loved the review! Loved the show! Loved Alfie Boe! xx
Thanks for a wonderful review Jane and for confirming Alfie’s ‘non-dates’. Booked last night for the 17th Nov eve show. My heart missed a beat when I saw Nov 7 on your list!!
WOW!! What a wonderful review…..I so wish I could of been there to witness the first night…..Thank you to the ladies for the reviews…..
Thank you Jayne and Roberta what a great review.We all new he would be amazing !! but so nice to hear from Roberta in person how wonderful he was . Oh how i wish i could be there .But you never know !!! Thanks once again luv carole n xx
We saw the show today. Watched the DVD of the 25th Anniversary about 30 times. The play was magnificent and Alfie was amazing. Bring him home was awesome. We stayed to meet Alfie at the stage door. I’m embarrassed but I have to admit I cried when we met him. I was just star struck. He was great and took pictures with everyone. Go Alfie Boe
Great story – you are not the only one to cry when meeting Alfie! xxx