One person missing from the festivities at Sunday’s 25th anniversary performances of “Les Miserables” in London: Susan Boyle.
The singer, who was launched on the show “Britain’s Got Talent,” is nevertheless incredibly popular with the people who made “Les Miserables.” Her recording of “I Dreamed a Dream,” they say, has revived the show with a new generation.
Show and song lyricist Herbert Kretzmer told me last night at the after party at Indigo: “I love her. I wish there were a hundred more like her!” Kretzmer is awaiting his first royalty statement since Boyle made “I Dreamed a Dream” an international hit last year. He told me that the song only worked because of Boyle’s personal life story, and how she became identified with dreaming the dream.
One thing Boyle fans may or may not know: she eliminated a verse from the song for her record. Kretzmer said: “The verse that goes, He slept a summer by my side’ didn’t seem appropriate for a woman of her, uh, age,” he noted.
Boyle is equally loved by show producer Cameron Mackintosh and composer Alain Boublil. “She completely revived interest in the show,” Mackintosh observed.
Boyle’s fine; but for my money, Lea Salonga’s version of the song, which she sang in the blockbuster show last night at the O2, is far superior, richer, and sung with texture and grace. Check it out on the DVD and see what I mean.
And note to Lou Reed: see how happy they all are? Once the money comes rolling in from Boyle’s cover of your “Perfect Day,” you’ll be a new man. Kretzmer, apparently, has “several” homes. Dream that dream!