Home Celebrity Susan Boyle: Les Miz Writer OK That She Took Out a Verse...

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!

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
6 replies to this post
  1. Susan is indubitably a phenomenon.

    She dreamed the dream and now the dream has become reality. But, I have to agree that Lea is musically superior. Susan is not just “fine,” though, as you put it. I’d say Susan’s actually really, really good. However, Lea Salonga is a legend and has quite a history with Les Miserables. But that’s just what I have to say if I’m compelled to respond to comparisons that are already there.

    However, I don’t think a comparison should exist at all. They have very different performing genres. Susan Boyle became the sensation that she is now because of “I Dreamed a Dream,” in particular and her ‘discovery’ sprung from an incredibly wonderful day on “Britain’s Got Talent”. She blossomed from there into a recording artist. Lea, on the other hand, has had over 20 years since she originated Kim in Miss Saigon – 19 if you start from the time she won a Tony Award for it on Broadway and 30 if you include her entire musical career.

    What I want to say is that they are both great. I still agree with you, though.

  2. I listened to the performance of Lea and it is beautiful. However, there is something about Susan’s voice that moves me more. It has a beauty unlike any other voice. It speaks to my soul. It is hard to put it into words.

  3. Your opinion of course is something to be considered re the rendition of I Dreamed a Dream. I do not agree. If the “backstory” of Susan Boyle were all she had going for her, her popularity would have quickly waned. She is the only artist who ever recorded that song and made it so memorable that it is now associated with her and not the show from which it came. It seriously is not cool to make derisive and snide remarks about a performer in some misguided effort to be comsidered musically superior.

  4. Ever since I heard her 1999 Cry Me A River, I’ve been hooked on this woman’s voice.
    I’m really anxious for her next CD, and the next and the next.
    I wish her all of the happiness and success in the world. She’s terrific.

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