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An Evening at the Hippodrome: Les Misérables

One of the really fun things that the Office of Student Engagement sponsors each semester is a trip to go see some kind of profession musical or play. Last fall it was Wicked, and this spring: Les Misérables! Yesterday, Wednesday night was the trip, and we took a bus down to the Hippodrome in Baltimore.

Before you hear of our wonderful evening though…you should learn of the tradition of these shows. It started freshman year. With “Stomp” as I recall. My good friend Veronica and I decided to go see the show together, and get all dressed up. A tradition was born. Every semester (when we both on campus and not off in a foreign country), whenever there is a show, Veronica and I- and generally a large group of our friends are among the first to buy our tickets! They’re really cheap for students through the school, generally between $15 and $30, which is very good for broadway-quality theater.

Last night was no exception. We got all dressed up in classy dresses, and the weather was lovely. But this particular Wednesday night, Veronica and I also both had inductions in to Phi Sigma Iota, the foreign language honors society. The ceremony started at 5:30pm and I had to give a presentation on my honors translation…and we were meant to be at the bus at 6:15.  Luckily, thanks to great schedule maneuvering and the Foreign Language Department’s speed, we got there right around 6:20 with time to spare. After taking our customary picture of the two us up dressed up, we chatted with our friends in the back on the way to the show. I love going to see shows.

Our seat were way up in the top, but that just means we had a good view of everything on stage! (minus the actor’s faces…those were a bit difficult to see) Having never seen the movie nor the show before, my excitement was mounting as we took our seats together and paged through the program eagerly. Finally, the curtain rose and the music started, and we had just enough time, about ten minutes, to try to understand who was who when… the curtain came back down. Intermission already? Nope said a voice from the ceiling, it was a technical delay, the first I’ve ever scene in a show. We waited patiently (and then not so patiently) until finally the show started again.

It’s an incredibly powerful story of the French Revolution and the lives of people swept up in it. Being a bit of a musical theater junkie myself, I was pretty fascinated. The entire show is all in song, nothing is spoken, which may surprise first-timers (I had been warned), but these songs are incredible. And they will never get out of my head either!

Les Mis was a great show, and we had a really fun time fulfilling our tradition one last time before graduation. Now to see the movie!

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