I Dreamed a Dream
I saw Les Miserables on Broadway for the first time in 1992. When Fantine sang “I Dreamed a Dream”I was beside myself. I was in the audience weeping uncontrollably and then started to sob loudly. Why did this song and the way it was sung have such a profound effect on me? Well I was in dental school at the time and going through what I perceived to be a modern interpretation of 1860’s France except it was 1990’s New York. There were homeless people everywhere, the endless and bitter winters, and many characters of ill repute. New York had HUMONGOUS rats which were ferocious and GIANT cockroaches that could fly! I am not making this stuff up. I named them German cockroaches as they could fly in through my apartment window Blitzkrieg style!!! So I could totally relate to Fantine as I was the hungry, tired and broke student. I did dream the dream of one day having the freedom to practice dentistry in my own office, of being successful, and most of all being happy. I know it all seems so melodramatic now but at the time it left me with overwhelming feelings. Fantine, in my mind, spoke to me and to all women in their struggles of daily life, of wanting something better, and of the sacrifices needed to make that happen.
Fast forward to today and I am really excited about the movie adaptation of Les Miserables coming out on Christmas Day starring Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Her performance is said to have Oscar written all over it. I did a little research and found out that Anne’s mother was the understudy to Fantine in the 1980s. That is some pedigree! And speaking of sacrifices Anne not only starved herself for the role and shaved her head but supposedly had her teeth yanked out! Yikes! Fantine in the Victor Hugo novel sells her two front teeth for money so she can feed her daughter, Cosette. I do not believe that Anne had her two front teeth pulled or should hope not as she has one of the most beautiful smiles in Hollywood.