LES MISERABLES ABRIDGED
"HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE FRENCH"
A "Broadway Abridged" Script That
We've Been Meaning To Write Since 1862
By Gil Varod and Jennifer Jordan
SCENE: AN EMPTY STAGE.
A French CHAIN GANG enters and sings
in outlandish British accents.
OH, PRISON LIFE IS DEAD!
WE HAVE TO MIME INSTEAD.
MAKE JERKY MOVEMENTS. RHYME.
WHAT TOOLS THESE ARE I MIME?
Now bring me prisoner number 2468Ten.
It is Javert, my nemesis!
COMMENCE EXPOSITION, 2468Ten!
I was imprisoned because I stole bread to feed my sister's
baby, both of whom we will never mention in this musical ever
again! So you see, I was a GOOD SYMPATHETIC CHARACTER and
was imprisoned unjustly!
And you were imprisoned for five years for that! And THEN,
fourteen MORE because you tried to run!
JEAN VALJEAN AND JAVERT
OH HOW PAINFUL IT WAS TO LIVE IN THE TIME OF FRANCE WHEN
EVERYBODY HAD REVOLUTIONS!
Prisoner 2468Ten, you are free to no longer provide exposition.
Javert hands a PIECE OF PRISONER PAPER
to Jean Valjean.
What is this?
It's a piece of paper. You show it to people who want to
hire you, and this way they know you were a prisoner.
Jean Valjean tries to find a job.
SMELLY FRENCH GUY
WITH BRITISH ACCENT
Yes, I'll hire you.
Excellent. I'll just give you this piece of PRISONER PAPER
SMELLY FRENCH GUY
WITH BRITISH ACCENT
You have PRISONER PAPER? I can't very well hire you!
Oh, poor people in France had/have it tough!
SMELLY FRENCH GUY
WITH BRITISH ACCENT
You know, you could consider just not giving me the PRISONER
I cannot do that; it would betray the same strong moral
values that led me to illegally feed my sister and her dead,
dead baby. And I HAVE to uphold my strong moral values.
(to passing by Priest)
Oh hi Priest!
So here's the deal. I'm going to let you stay here in this
monastery. Here's a delicious rack of lamb, and you get to
sleep in the ROOM OF PRECIOUS SILVER AND OTHER EXTRAVAGANT
EXAMPLES OF THE CHURCH'S WEALTH. Nite-nite!
Must uphold strong moral values,
must uphold strong moral values,
Hell who am I kidding.
(grabbing all of the silver)
(sung very high)
SCENE: THE PART OF FRANCE THAT LOOKS LIKE A TURNTABLE.
Enter a bunch of policemen in bunny
slippers and pajamas.
Jean Valjean, you're under arrest for stealing the church!
Stealing *from* the Church.
I ask the question here.
I didn't ask a question.
Paul-Claude! Get me my elaborate police chief hat!
It enters. It's AWESOME.
Go ahead, tell his reverence your story about how he gave
this to you as a "gift".
But I did give this as a gift... I just forgot to give him
these WEIGHTED OBJECTS as well.
(hands him silver candlesticks)
Yes, thank you for apprehending him so I could--
You said he stole.
My wife was woken up at three in the morning for you.
My poor consumptive french children can't get back to their
Capital F in French.
But you see, I was teaching him a lesson.
Then a beatdown.
STUPID HOUSE OF GOD, MAKING ME FEEL MORALLY GUILTY *AND*
WAKING ME UP IN THE MORNING!
Jean Valjean escapes.
This meaningful incident has made me realize the error of my
ways. I'm going to start again, and to prove it, I'm going
to RIP UP THE PRISONER PAPER that for NO REASON I decided to
show to every potential employer!
(gets ripped up,
is symbolic somehow)
CONVENIENTLY WALKING BY
Hey there, you don't look like someone who has any PRISONER
PAPER or anything. Want to help me invent GOLD?
SCENE: THE FUTURE.
But not really the future, just ahead
LIFE IS TOUGH!
LIFE IS TOUGH!
WORKING IN A FACTORY IN FRANCE
BEFORE SOCIALIST PARTIES
AND ANARCHISTS PLAYED A PROMINENT ROLE
IN FORMING AND BUILDING UP TRADE UNIONS FROM THE 1870S ONWARD
I'm ready for my yearly wage.
Here's your wage, minus your "You Didn't Let Me Fornicate
With You" penalty.
No, please give me the money! I need it to feed my bastard
daughter who I sent away because I hate children.
What? You have a kid? You ARE a total slut and you STILL
won't sleep with me!
(closes the wooden box
Oh well. No other jobs in the universe. Better take up
Come, sleep with us for money!
Oh, what a cautionary tale!
I DREAMED A DREAM
THAT I DIDN'T GET KNOCKED UP
AH WHAT A WONDERFUL FANTASY!
Suddenly, a crappy large setpiece FALLS
ON A GUY!
Help! I got run over by this VERY SLOW MOVING CART!
That is BAD!
Enter Jean Valjean. He has completely
abandoned his former life of lying and
thieving, instead using his effort to
SOMEHOW BECOME THE MAYOR,
effectively showcasing how incredibly
easy it is to succeed if you GIVE UP a
life of crime,
say STEALING or USING YOUR MOM'S
GROCERY MONEY TO HUFF GLUE.
Just think about it, Jimmy.
(reacting to A GUY)
I'll save you!
Valjean convinces nobody that he is
STRUGGLING while lifting the
Wow, I don't know anybody who can convince nobody that
they're struggling to lift a piece of styrafoam like that...
EXCEPT FOR JEAN VALJEAN!
But we're about to execute a Jean Valjean that we just
caught, so whatevs.
You can't execute Jean Valjean, because Jean Valjean... IS
(opens shirt, reveals that it
IT'S MY PRISONER TATOO!
Um... We don't... Do that...
Is this finger paint?!?
(sung very high)
Jean Valjean enters in on Pro-V.
Oh Cosette, come here and let your crazy blind it-hurts-when
I-pee mother take care of you.
She's not here. You're delusional because you have
We never really specify. It seems to be the same disease
that Lucy, Kim, Charity and other musical females have:
HOOKER WITH A HEART OF GOLD.
Who the hell are you?
I'm the man who looked on while my morally corrupt Foreman
fired you, and then did nothing while you fell to a life as a
whore, ultimately contracting the fatal, crusty disease that
will cause you to die in about six, seven minutes tops.
Will you raise my child?
Fantine gets beamed up to heaven.
Valjean, at last--
Cut the crap. FIGHT!
They sing at the same time a lot.
THIS is how MEN fight in a MUSICAL!
SCENE: HOUSE OF THERNARDIER, A.K.A. "SO THIS IS WHAT THE
SHAKESPEAREAN CLOWN HAS EVOLVED INTO"
A little girl enters and sings about
how absolutely cute it is when little
girls sing about how absolutely cute it
is when little...
BUY A SHIRT OF ME!
Enter two characters to bring much
needed HUMOR to the hysterical issue of
Cosette, I'm so glad we've enslaved you to keep you down in
the cellar where you have to filter your own pee to drink.
Ha ha ha ha! I love the Thernardiers!
(to a customer)
Here you go sir. I've created this dinner for you which,
though you're not aware of it, includes ingredients like cat,
spit, and curious short curly hair!
THOSE TWO ARE HILARIOUS! AH HA HA HA HA!
I wish I wasn't fat and that I had married a man who had a
sufficient male member!
Also, other crude jokes about my husband's poor sexual
I JUST WANT TO TAKE THE THERNARDIERS HOME WITH ME!
PRODUCER CAMERON MACKINTOSH
(with figurines, hats, novelty
Now you can!
Enter LOTTERY-WINNING MAYOR.
I have a kajillion dollars. Here. Gimme Cosette.
Sure stranger, do whatever you want.
Cosette, now you're my daughter.
Yay! Scruffy stranger, I love you immediately!
SCENE: SKIPPING THROUGH TIME FASTER THAN A WHIRLING TURNTABLE
THERE ARE SOME STARS...
I'M SO MUCH LIKE THEM...
DON'T ASK ME HOW!
THIS I SWEAR BY
SCENE: PARIS? MAYBE.
Half-way into the musical seems like an
*exceptional* time to introduce every
We are introduced to them by an
annoying little shit:
`Ello govnah! I'm a plucky li'il street ga'min, so b'sure to
fall `n luv w't m' now b'fuh I get blewn t'bits! Blimey!
I love you Marius!
I don't notice. I love that girl that just walked by!
(just walked by)
I love Marius, and am conflicted about abandoning my elderly
father for him!
I'm elderly now! My beard is WHITE! But I still can lift my
weight in Mariuses!
I'm Enjolras! Try pronouncing my name! YOU CAN'T!
Well look at that.
A barricade just fell!
Wait, now I'M conflicted about whether to fight in a war that
I haven't quite yet figured out the specifics or motivation
of, or to chase after that girl I just saw that suddenly I'm
in love with!
My name is Cosette!
Oh it's so embarrassing, I don't even know your name!
Will I EVER learn her name?
Get serious, Marius, it's wartime, and General Lamarque is
You haven't heard of him and we won't bother explaining, but
put faith in the fact that it's VITALLY IMPORTANT TO THE REST
OF THE PLOT AND THE REASON I WILL DIE.
Come sing a wartime song with us now.
THE COLOR OF SOME BLOOD!
THE COLOR OF NOT WHITE!
THE COLOR OF... SOME... TWIZZLERS LICORICE?
THE COLOR OF... UMM...
Graphite from a pencil!
Also licorice! But not twizzlers, a different one.
TOMORROW WE WILL DIE AWFUL, GRUESOME DEATHS!
EVERYONE comes out on stage and screams
at the top of their lungs at the same
TOMORROW IS IMPENDING!
TOMORROW HAS MEANINGFUL MEANING!
(what we always thought the real
ONE MORE DAY TILL REVOLUTION
WE WILL NIP IT IN THE BUD
I WILL JOIN THESE LITTLE SCHOOLBOYS.
THEY WILL WET THEMSELVES!
I AM SINGING!
I AM SINGING WHILE HE IS SINGING!
(together marching idiotically)
I AM SINGING
WHILE SHE IS SINGING
WHILE HE IS SINGING
AND HOT DAMN ISN'T THIS DRAMATICALLY EFFECTIVE!
SCENE: EPONINE'S PATHETIC PSYCHE.
Enter a very beautiful girl playing the
novel's ugliest most-toothless
Come on 14 year old girls, hold hands and sing along!
ON MY OWN
THERE ONCE WAS A GUY I LIKED A LOT
DIDN'T LIKE ME BA-ACK
AND I CRIED
I WISH THAT HE HAD LIKED ME
AND THAT IS WHY I SYMPATHIZE
WITH EPONINE WHEN SHE'S SHOT.
Adolescent girls everywhere sing it at
If you encounter one of these girls, please
feel free to give them a sharp flick of their
earlobes, on behalf of the authors.
SCENE: BACK AT THE BARRICADE.
JAVERT appears disguised as a student,
holding Gen Chem textbooks and wearing
a Phi Delta Alpha shirt tied at the
What's up guys! I'm so totally all about your decision to
overthrow the government for whatever reasons you seem to
have that maybe you never really figured out!
Can I infiltrate your awesome club?
We *do* need somebody to find out their attacks and the like.
(pointing at Javert)
Yeah, we can trust him, he's old!
You can't trust him... He's INSPECTOR JAVERT!
The BAD GUY!
Everybody ties him up. Kinky.
Sigh, can't trust old men...
So who's gonna execute him?
Jean Valjean enters.
(pointing at Valjean)
We can trust HIM! He's OLD!
Suddenly Eponine runs over the
barricade and is
Marius! I died so I could give you a letter from Cosette!
You poor pathetic fuckup.
It suddenly starts to rain.
Wow, I gotta protect you from the rain.
Jesus, fuck the rain. I'm DYING.
Oh, poor Eponin--
She FINALLY dies and is beamed up to
Rain suddenly (and conveniently) stops.
(has completed his 2.5 seconds
of caring about Eponine)
OK, so who wants a drink?
(flings Eponine's body to the ground)
Yes, as your leader-ish person, I command EVERYBODY to get
inebriated the night before a big battle.
I can't drink because I'm underage.
Are you old enough to loot dead bodies for ammo?
Little adorable Gavroche climbs across
the barricade but, just as Eponine was,
In the head.
Enter his many little French 8-year-old
(is shot in the face)
Oh no, how could--
(shot in the skull)
DOUCHE OUI OUI
My poor friends are dying!
(shot in the undeveloped
Thousands of little children appear on
stage. A torrid bloodbath ensues. It
Aren't you glad you saw a musical?
(dying with a face of destroyed
WAR IS BAD!
Everybody keeps fighting.
I'm gonna let you go, Javert.
I have a gun. I've spent my entire life with CHASING AFTER
YOU on the backburner.
Whatevs, `Vert. Go away.
Javert runs across the barricades. Of
course, he is not shot because he is
not WOMEN or CHILDREN.
LITTLE DEAD KIDS
Suddenly, everybody dies except for
The stage is awash in the light of
THERE'S TOO MANY CAPTAIN! I DON'T HAVE THE POWER!
(looking at an almost-dead
Hey, this is the kid who impregnated my fake daughter a few
minutes ago! I ought to save him with my super old man
The decrepit old Valjean effortlessly
slings the full-grown man over his back
and jauntily sprints into a sewer.
Dead bodies litter the ground. The
barricade rotates to the other side to
show those who died upon it.
Then it rotates back to the first side
again and, just like in the Legend of
Zelda, all the dead bodies have blinked
out of existence!
- LES MIS is actually a video game.
- French People is Magic!
SCENE: PARIS'S FAMOUS LABRINTHY SEWERS, REPRESENTED BY
"NOT ENOUGH SET".
Jean Valjean gets really tired and puts
down the body of Marius,
then goes to the side of the stage and
instantaneously falls asleep for plot
(entering, taking a gold tooth
from a dead body)
I LIKE TO STEAL GOLD FROM CORPSES!
Hey... Weren't you the funny character?
I used to be. I got used up more than my sluttish daughter
Eponine whose death I haven't noticed.
Wait, she's your daughter?
How can you tell?
If you can remember that Cosette is the grown up version of
AND that when she was little there was a blonde girl who was
our daughter and had no lines of dialogue,
AND that she was sitting next to us for a minute during the
first Paris scene,
then it's EASY to put the dots together and realize that
she's our daughter!
You're still not funny anymore.
Suddenly, Jean Valjean wakes up, hoists
Marius over his head, and jauntily
skips along. He is BETTER NOW!
SCENE: PLASTIC BRIDGE.
Oh wow, a guy who I casually pursued around a very small area
of France for a few years has spared my life. Definitely a
very good reason for killing myself.
He spins around a little bit while
standing, then dives into the floor
like it's a slip and slide.
SCENE: WORST SONG EVER.
Enter a bunch of women who died cross
dressed as men on the barricade.
They sing the song "TURNING".
A joke definitely belongs here. But
frankly, we're not quite sure what to
do with "TURNING".
(Apparently, neither were they.)
SCENE: OTHER WORST SONG EVER.
This musical is definitely TOO SHORT and it's just FLYING BY!
Let's take a moment to eulogize some minor characters we
never bothered to get to know in the first place.
THERE ARE CHAIRS AND THERE ARE TABLES
THEY ARE MADE OF LOTS OF WOOD
NOW MY FRIENDS ARE NOT ALIVE NOW
THAT IS BAD, NO IT'S NOT GOOD.
And finally, an hour and a half after
having met him, we've CHARACTERIZED THE
CHARACTER ONCE PLAYED BY MICHAEL BALL.
Marius and Cosette are getting married
with all of their closest friends.
Yes, somehow they have FRIENDS even
though Cosette JUST MOVED THERE and all
of Marius's friends DIED.
Enter a pair of hideous outfits.
We haven't evolved at all as characters throughout the
passing of time or during our descent into poverty!
I haven't even aged half of what Jean Valjean has in the same
Sh! Distract the dead-alive friends while I steal this
expensive silverware and hide it inside my womanly genitals!
SCENE: JEAN VALJEAN IS DYING, SO THE MUSICAL *MUST* BE ENDING
RIGHT? THEY CAN'T VERY WELL GO ON FOREVER.
Jean Valjean lights a pair of weighted
objects and waits to die. It takes
We were the items Jean Valjean stole about 3 hours ago, and
WE REPRESENT! Yo.
Gonna go die,
Gonna go die,
Goin' to da sky,
Gonna go die.
Hello, herpes lady! ;)
It was syphillis.
(also a ghost)
Wait, who are you?
Right, we never met. How awkward that God chose me to guide
you to the next world.
We're here to take you off to Heavenland.
Really? Jeez, my children who abandoned me better show up
soon to hear my whole life story all over again.
MARIUS & COSETTE
Father, I haven't seen you in years but we suddenly figured
out where you were a few minutes before you die!
Your father wanted me to pretend I didn't know where he was.
But why, Papa?
I was tired of your shit. Now, I have a story to tell you,
about a man who stole a loaf of bread, and in that time,
learned a very difficult lesson of how a hypothetical man
and that's why this Jean Valjean never got to have sex. So
now that I've told you this story, who am I?
WHO AM I?
Oh no, he's got Alzheimers.
Please father, don't die!
I will obey.. I will try...
(gets beamed up to heaven)
Dammit, you didn't try hard enough!
Suddenly, every dead character ever
shows up. The stage is FILLED with
Oh no, ghosts...
And you and I are the only ones in all of
France who didn't die! How depressing.
Marius, will you do the honors?
It's all that a loving husband can do.
(beats Cosette with the
(the beam takes her to a very
crowded heaven's waiting room
whilst they maketh some
spaceth for her)
Now it is I alone left. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
(runs the candlestick through
his own heart, is beamed to heaven)
TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD!