Before I begin, let’s get one thing straight.
I am not a Jonas Brothers fan. Think what you will of my musical tastes–Christian rock, soulful indie, My Chemical Romance and show tunes–but I still retained some taste. Or at least a bit of common sense. I don’t like the boy bands from back when they were popular (not that I was alive back then!), and I certainly don’t like them when their only purpose is to aid Disney’s ultimate mass-production of preteen and teenage pop stars who have backpacks made with their faces before the producers even check if they can sing. So I wasn’t a huge fan of the three brothers that swept the nation and ushered in a new era of autotuned commercialistic lip-syncing heartthrobiness. (Okay, I’ll admit, I enjoyed their first hit. Who wouldn’t?)
But, *cough*, back on topic. So, I was a Jonas-hater, I suppose you could say. I resented them for what they’d done to the music industry, although I suppose it was a long time coming and more the fault of Disney.
As well as being ill-opinionated on pop stars, I have a particular love for Les Mis, kindled only about a month ago (yes, Mom, you were right, I did love it as soon as I gave it a chance). Anything theatre is good enough for me, but Les Mis makes me laugh (“I am agog! I am aghast!”) and cry (Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Fall of Rain) every time. My sympathy for Eponine, stuck in a vicious love triangle she cannot win, remains undiminished, and of course Marius is possibly the hottest theatre character ever (I know! I know! Fiyero and Raoul come in a close second and third, I promise!).
Anyway, it was my love for Marius that had me already cheering when I knew he was about to appear in his introductory song, as I was watching the Les Mis 25th Anniversary Concert with my mom and grandma. And. Then. Who. Stepped. Out. On. Stage?
Nick Jonas. Indeed.
Instead of trying to explain, I’m just going to link this. Watch and be amazed.
LLAMAS ALIVE, HE CAN SING! The boy has actual talent! Who would’ve thunk it? Not only that, but his rendition of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables brought me close to tears, and his apparent concern for Eponine, even if all he did is hold her hand instead of cradle her during her last moments on earth, was touching. Jonas was no Michael Ball, but he certainly held his own out there in a sea of professional actors and actresses.
So I did some research–and here’s what’s even more shocking:
Nicholas Jonas toured with Les Mis when he was ten years old with the role of Gavroche, the adorable brother of Eponine and Javert’s accuser. He had the intention of returning to the show when he was old enough to play Marius–and he did! But even as a ten year old, he could sing and act. Look!
He first comes in at 1:04 of this video:
And here’s the untimely end of his heroic character:
Okay, what I want to know: how on EARTH did someone let him get out of Broadway and into pop?