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Expectations for ‘Les Mis’

March 16, 2012
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Published in Metro

Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, Susan Boyle, and even members of the “Glee” cast have helped make “I Dreamed A Dream” a hit, but the song originated in “Les Misérables.

“I don’t look at the song the way that it’s been projected in society. I don’t think of it as this power ballad that I have to sing as hard as I possibly can,” says Betsy Morgan, who plays Fantine in the musical and performs the song in the first act.

Though audience members new to “Les Misérables” may have expectations of the song based on its many interpretations in popular culture, Morgan feels weight on her shoulders for another reason.

“There is a lot of pressure in terms of what the song means in the context of the show,” she explains. “It’s about reconciling your past with the future and about how life used to be.”

Fantine is a factory worker who loses her job and turns to prostitution to support her daughter.

“’I Dream A Dream’ is in the very beginning of Fantine’s story and she has a long way to go after that,” Morgan says. “As long as the audience is with me and has learned something and is emotionally invested by the end of my story, then I feel like I did my job – whether or not I sung this song the way they expected.”

She ‘Dreamed a Dream’ to be on a Boston stage

Morgan is an Emerson College graduate and eager to return to her old college town. “I’ve been just dying to be cast in a show that comes to Boston and it’s never happened until now,” she says. “The entire company has been ticking off the weeks until we get to Boston.”

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