Jean Valjean, the Prodigal Son: Review Essay on Regional Productions of Misérables
Two theatre specialists review several Utah productions of Les Misérables, noting how the message of this musical resonates with Latter-day Saints. Jean Valjean can represent the prodigal son, who engages in theft and deception and finds himself living in poverty and rejection. But he repents and finds freedom, as did the prodigal who is accepted into his father's house. Some of the characters face adversity, accept God, forgive, and repent, while others fail, thus reflecting the parable of the sower. As a tale of redemption, the musical demonstrates grace received through repentance and reinforces the truth that people are ultimately responsible to each other.