From the moment Nick Cartell opens his mouth as Jean Valjean, he becomes a one-man acting lesson on how to command a stage.
Cartell has a voice that does more than just execute the musical’s score. The first time he caused me to have chills was during “Soliloquy,” and it certainly wasn’t the last.
His rendition of “Bring Him Home” in the second act completely engulfed me. As Cartell’s final notes rang out over an eerily still audience, I realized that at some point I had stopped breathing and there were tears in my eyes.
The actor’s movements and vocals convey everything about the character that needs to be known, even from a distance, where his facial expressions aren’t as discernible.
Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean was perfect for the leading role. Throughout the show, the audience witnessed his transformation from an angry, erratic prisoner on parole to a gentle, loving father trying to do good to make amends. Cartell sang effortlessly, displaying his impressive range in the powerful swells of the music, as well as in the more intimate moments such as "Bring Him Home." He plays the complexity of Valjean with impeccable talent by harnessing the power, conviction, and humility needed to tell this man's story effectively.
Nick Cartell as the forlorn convict Jean Valjean displays powerhouse singing. On opening night the audience exploded after Cartell’s heartfelt prayer for Marius, “Bring Him Home” — the most delicate and moving performance of the solo that I have ever heard given.
Nick Cartell, as Jean Valjean, showcases powerhouse lungs that propel him through song after song. Yet he isn’t just a loud singer who hits his notes. See enough Broadway shows and you’re quickly immune to the flourishes of technique. Cartell is also a subtle performer, whose buttery falsetto — that of a wounded man, of an overprotective father — pairs nicely with his gruff lower tones, which reminds you this is a desperate outcast willing to do anything to keep his honor.
les miserables touring musical version hits all the right notes
Nick Cartell’s performance as Jean Valjean is nothing short of consummate. We watch Cartell age with convincing subtlety and genuine nobility. The rage in his first solo on parole gives way to shattering compassion in his prayer Bring Him Home when he asks God to take his life, not that of Marius, whom his ward Cosette loves so deeply. Bring Him Home requires that Cartell slide into a falsetto which he does effortlessly, raising the song to a shattering crescendo.
bww review: les Miserables at music hall at fair park
With constant stage time and a half-dozen soaring, iconic ballads, Jean Valjean is arguably one of musical theatre's most challenging men's roles, and it could not be in better hands than those of Nick Cartell. Although offstage Cartell is decades younger than the leading men who have famously donned the 24601 prison badge, Cartell portrays every angle of Valjean's deep character arch with conviction. Every moment he opens his mouth to sing, his golden tenor elevates the acclaimed score to the highest heights.
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At its thematically purest, it concerns the transformation of prisoner Jean Valjean from hardened parolee into borderline saint. The part requires and receives a bravura performance from Nick Cartell, a feral outcast at the beginning, a redemptive force as a much older man by its end. His “Bring Him Home” showstopper wrenches every last ounce of pathos from the ballad and the audience.
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Cartell’s Valjean evolves from rockstar rough edges in the opening montage to a mature, powerful sound in time for “Who Am I?” and “Bring Him Home.” All the while, his articulation sounds crisp and careful.
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...no review would be complete without a mention of Cartell’s undeniably magnetic performance as Jean Valjean. He’s flawless throughout the entire show, but it’s his haunting rendition of “Bring Him Home” that will have your jaw on the floor.
When the song ended on opening night, there was a moment when you could hear a pin drop before the audience burst into thunderous applause. His portrayal was positively captivating, and more than worthy of the rousing standing ovation that he received.
'Les Miserables' shines with riveting performances
Valjean is the heart of this nearly three-hour touring production running through Sunday at Old National Centre in Indianapolis.
It's apparent in every move made by performer Nick Cartell. He performs two knock-out numbers, "Who Am I?" and "Bring Him Home" straight from the soul. His hands float around him, emphasizing emotion that flows from the heart through the fingertips.
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Nick Cartell is outstanding in the pivotal role of Jean Valjean. His opening “Soliloquy” is quite powerful (a stirring response to Andrew Love’s wonderful Bishop), and his “Who Am I?” is equally potent.
But it’s Act II’s “Bring Him Home” that best demonstrates Cartell’s incredible range and pure vocal command. Sitting on that lonely barricade, he delivers a stunning — and genuinely prayerful — moment of song.
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Cartell excels at showing us both the physical and emotional tolls of Valjean's journey, from ragged and beaten prisoner #24601 to successful business owner to reluctant revolutionary. His voice is powerful and strong, particularly in his signature numbers, "Who Am I?" and "Bring Him Home."
Cartell's emotional depth and powerful lyric baritone on Valjean's soul-searching "Who Am I?" make for one of the production's most gripping moments. But Cartell surpassed himself in the second act with a showstopping performance of the hymn-like "Bring Him Home" that was sheer perfection.
Again to the barricades! a gorgeous touring 'Les Miserables' from a standout cast
You know, glowing cellphones hidden in bags, short attention spans, comings and goings, even as an actor named Nick Cartell delivered the most exquisite "Bring Him Home" from the barricades, a truly gorgeous interpretation that avoided flashy theatrics but beautifully connected the song to the character's God, as if Jean Valjean, my dear old pal 24601, were Tevye telling his Lord to take care of his daughter. And thus connecting us all to the great and constant gift of musical theater in a harsher and harsher world:
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But the high point, had to have been Nick Cartell’s crushingly beautiful “Bring Him Home,” when as the show’s protagonist, Jean Valjean, he prays for the survival of Joshua Grosso’s Marius, who has the hots for his adopted daughter Cosette.