Thursday, April 14, 2011

April A to Z Challenge: L is for ...

L is for Les  Miserables
    Singing is not one of my talents. Not only is it not one of my talents, it doesn’t even fall in the realm of things of which I am capable.  I sit in the monotone section.
    It came as a shock to me therefore, several years ago, when a drama aficionado friend of ours approached Computer Geek and me and requested that we play parts in a reader’s theater production of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
    I’m all about great literature and so I was somewhat comfortable with the thought of playing the part of Madame Thenardier. That is, until I found out that it was to be a reader’s theater/musical and that I would be required to sing as well as read.
    I tried to explain to the director that I couldn’t sing.
    “Oh, I’m sure you sing just fine. Everyone thinks they can’t sing.”
    “No, seriously. I can’t sing.”
    “You’re just being shy.”
    “Nope. Can’t read a note.”
    “Well lots of people can’t read music, so we can let you listen to the songs and then you can sing them.”
    “Doesn’t matter. I still can’t sing.”
    He didn’t believe me until I later gave him a sample of my singing during practice.
    “Okay, so maybe you will just have to chant your lines in a sing-songy voice. This may work since the piece is comedic in nature anyway.”
    Practice was a humbling experience. My fellow performers sang their pieces flawlessly and with such emotion that they moved me to tears. The more I heard them sing, the more I was sure that I could not do this thing. I would be the laughing stock of the troupe. At home, I listened to Madame Thenardier’s part over and over until finally I could get the words out in a singing-like manner.
    So I chanted my lines in Master of the House in a sing-songy comedic way and I survived the two performances. Ironically, during the finale of Do You Hear the People Sing? the sound manager shut off my microphone.
    I later read the full volume of Les Miserables. It took me five months of reading whenever I had a spare moment. I learned to love all the characters even more than I had during the performance. I will defend Hugo’s wordiness to the end.
    But on a still, reflective, evening I can be heard laughing to myself, saying, “I sang in Les Miserbales. Ha ha ha ha ha!”



  1. I have no doubt in my mind that we were sisters separated at birth because I LOVE Les Mis. We have to do a road trip some day when we're old and gray or something. Hugs!

  2. septembermom: We may have to hurry because I am already old and gray! :)

  3. Does this post count for both L and M?

  4. Auntie M: Oh indeed! It should!

  5. I can't carry a tune to save my life! This is a fun challenge!

  6. Debbie: I am so happy to hear that there is someone else on this planet who can't sing! I am not alone! :)

  7. Don't worry you passed on your inability to sing to me. :) But in all honesty you did an amazing job at that performance and I was very proud of you.

  8. Oops, it's me Levizmom not Matthew.

  9. Levizmom: Oh darn, I was hoping it was Matthew Il Divo who was saying that he was proud of my singing! (j/k)Thank you so much for being proud of me. I'm glad you didn't slink away in embarrassment. Your hubby was one of the ones though, whose performance made me cry. But nothing unusual about that since I always cry when he sings.

  10. I thought you did an awesome job, you and dad really stole the show, nothing to be embarrassed about! Les Mis is the best :P I didn't know you read it recently, we need to sit down and have a deep Les Mis chat...

  11. juliegoose: You did an awesome job too! That was really one of the highlights of my life, I must say. Even though I still laugh. (I sang in Les Miserables..ha ha ha! One of life's cosmic jokes.) Actually I didn't read Les Mis recently--it was right after our performance, so it's been several years.

  12. Ha! I like your honesty.
    I've never seen Les Miserables and keep promising to see it in London. When we do actually get there, I will chuckle and think of you...unless of course all my blogger friends meet us there and we can all chuckle together:)

  13. Ken: If you get a chance to see it, you will love it. Go ahead and chuckle at my expense, I don't mind. :)


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