As you can tell from my username, Gavroche is one of my favourite characters in Les Mis, along with Enjolras and Eponine. I just think that his character is so unique with his spunk of a street urchin, yet that touch of cheekiness that any young boy has. Another thing I find unique about his character is that all of his notes are short, which you don't particularly tend to find in musicals. The short notes allow him to express to the audience more though, and I think it's neat. And the way his notes don't range too much make it sound as though he is almost speaking to the audience, another thing I love about his character.
Now, I have noticed, as anyone else probably has if they have listened to the original cast recording with Ian Tucker as Gavroche, and has listened to/seen today's Les Mis, that the pace of Look Down has changed to a faster paced beat. I did find the slow paced Paris/Look Down interesting, but I think the faster paced beat makes everything more exciting as we are introduced to quite a few new characters, Gavroche introducing most to the audience. So yes, I do enjoy the fast paced beat more, but one thing I do like about the slow paced beat more is that you can keep up with what Gavroche is telling more, since he is practically speaking, as mentioned above. But again, over all the fast paced version of Paris/Look Down is found more enjoyable and thrilling to me.
Now, I'm going to discuss my favourite Gavroche, and quite obviously, why he is my favourite Gavroche. Here is my top 5, and yes, this is in order, 1 being the best.
Top 5 Gavroches:
5. Ian Tucker
4. Jamie Davis
3. Nicholas Jonas (He was a lovely Gavroche as a kid, but his Marius...kind of scary to watch, if you know what I mean.)
2. Toby Prynne (The kid rocked it. He sounds like a 6 year old, but in the cast recording I have, he is a surprising 11 years old.)
1. Robert Madge
Robert Madge...By far my absolute favourite. In my opinion and many other people's opinions, he blew other boys who have played Gavroche away. He had that spunk of a street urchin, not too little, not too much. He also had that lovely, just the right amount of cheekiness that I love about Gavroche. He did have the advantage of being 14 years old(he's 15 years old now, I believe) when he played the role, but that didn't change my opinion much, at all. This is partially because I was on YouTube, and came across a recording of him as Gavroche, all of the highlights. He sounded no older than 12, and the range for Gavroche is usually 8-11 years old. So even if he was 12, no real advantage, and he sounded younger of course, but his Gavroche was just as genius as it was in the 25th anniversary concert last year. Robert's expressions were amazing, and his hand motions. I find it amazing that his hand motions and expressions were so good, partially because of the fact that they were standing in front of microphones, and they couldn't really move from their spot much, which gave every individual less to work with when they were trying to express to the audience. Over all, Robert Madge is just the best Gavroche I have yet to see, and I'll be utterly shocked if I ever come across a better Gavroche. (although I am hoping that when I go to Connecticut next week to see Les Mis, that Gavroche is at least up to par with Nick Jonas, or even better, Toby or Robert. I don't foresee any other Gavroche being up to par with Robert, though.)
Now, it's time to talk about Gavroche's outfit. I really love his outfit, especially in the 25th anniversary. The vest and jacket were killer, as well as the hat. All of the details were killer, and Robert's hairstyle and hair colour just went along with it, as well as his mud-brown eyes. And no, I'm not staring at every detail on Robert's face. It's just very clearly seen in his tune at the end of 'Stars', haha.
One thing I hate that productions do with Gavroche's character, though. It seems like they're always playing around with what parts Gavroche sings. In some productions, you will hear Gavroche sing, 'Don't you worry auntie dear' in his tune at the end of 'Stars', but in some productions, probably about 70% of productions cut out that line. And another thing, about 95% of productions cut out the extended version of his tune in 'Stars', which is not very well known because only approximately 5% of productions keep it. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, he basically goes on about little people. The first few lines are,
'They laugh at me these fellas
just because I am small.
They laugh at me because
I'm not 100 feet tall.
I tell them there are lots
living here on the ground.
The world is big but little people
turn it around.'
And then that is followed by the chorus. I don't particularly like the tune, but I don't mind it when it's put into productions. Even though I love Gavroche, I feel like the extended tune just goes out of character, and he breaks off from his spunk all of a sudden. Another thing that is cut often is his extended version of 'Little People', the tune that is followed by 'Javert's Arrival', where Gavroche rats Javert out. Most of you probably know this tune if you're a hardcore Les Mis fan. The extended tune is also sung in 'The Second Attack', AKA Gavroche's Death. Gavroche's death scene is cut sometimes as well. The extended tune of 'Little People', and 'The Second Attack' go like this...
Little people know
When little people fight
We may look easy pickings,
But we've got some bite
(in the second attack he is shot here, wounded)
So never kick a dog, because he's just a pup.
(here, he is shot again, wounded a second time. When 'The Second Attack' isn't cut, this line is often cut though. Probably because in most situations, two shots is enough to kill.)
We'll fight like twenty armies
And we won't give up
So you better run for cover
When the pup grows (up).
(In 'The Second Attack', he is shot and killed before he can say 'up', which is why the word is in parenthesis.)
So, that's about it. Oh! 'The Second Attack' has an alternative tune for Gavroche that is rarely used in productions. Usually when the 'Ten Little Bullets' tune is sung, it is sung in high school productions, but still very rare. It isn't added on to 'Little People' in 'The Second Attack', it's alternative.
Is there anything else to discuss about Gavroche? Oh, yes, one more quick thing. I do believe that his character isn't given enough credit over all. I feel as though his character in the musical isn't respected enough, when really, it looks easier than it is to play. The character isn't very easy to play. You have to be a talented young boy(I have actually seen a few girls play the role, two were high school productions, and one was actually a professional production, I forget if it was West End or Broadway.), and you have to have that spunk, the cheekiness, and be able to handle singing those short notes, which I feel is the hardest thing about Gavroche, because it's hard to make short, not very ranged notes interesting to the audience. If you give the notes no 'Wow' factor, then the character isn't as exciting as it should be.
So, with all of this being stated, I'm done. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you all read what I may post in the future! Please reply and give me feedback on how you feel about Gavroche, who your favourite Gavroche is, anything! Thank you again.
~Gavroche (A.K.A Alexandria)