revolutionary red

When I think about the color red, one of the first things that comes to mind is my favorite scene from Les Miserables. In The ABC Café scene, a group of young men convene to discuss plans of the upcoming revolution. Marius enters the café and cannot stop talking about how in love he is after just meeting Cosette the day before. Enjolras (the leader of the group) disgustedly reminds Marius that there are more important things at stake than his “lonely soul.” I love how many facets of the color red are depicted in just these lyrics – blood, anger, renewal, fire and desire.

Enjolras sings:

Red: the blood of angry men!
Black: the dark of ages past!
Red: a world about to dawn!
Black: the night that ends at last!

Marius sings:

Red: I feel my soul on fire!
Black: My world if she’s not there!
Red: The color of desire!
Black: The color of despair!

Without going into my overall opinion of last year’s film version of the musical, I admit that I truly love this particular scene in the movie. The actors who play Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) are fantastic and everything just comes together beautifully. Although I think watching the movie adaptation is a good option, I definitely recommend catching a professional live production if you can. On Saturday, I went to the Dallas Theater Center’s production of the show, which is running through August 17th. The show was a little unusual because they modernized the set and costumes (imagine machine guns and swat team uniforms rather than 19th Century period costumes), but that honestly didn’t bother me as much as I expected because the music and performances were all exceptional. In fact, The ABC Café scene was so spectacular, I wished I could rewind it and watch it over and over.


One thought on “revolutionary red

  1. I think this song does an excellent job of expressing one of the largest themes in the book: the personal versus the universal. Besides, I love how patronizing the thoroughly aromantic Enjolras is about Marius’s infatuation.

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