RISE & SHINE BROADWAY FANS! We are only 11 days away till Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 71st annual Tony Awards. We have more powerful performances coming your way on OUR TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 11, we travel back in time to the 1800’s during the time of the French Revolutionary war where we meet a man (following 19 years in jail) who starts his life anew helping an ill woman by caring for her daughter all while being on the run from a cruel police officer. This is Claude-Michel Sch?nberg Official, Alain Boubil, Trevor Nunn, and John Caird’s legendary masterpiece Les Miserables – Musical. It’s based on the acclaimed novel by Victor Hugo.
From the 1987 telecast, the original Broadway cast perform a medley of some of the musical’s most beloved songs, AT THE END OF THE DAY and the Act 1 finale that always gets everyone in tears ONE DAY MORE.
The musical version of LES MISERABLES was initially conceived as a concept album turned stage production that initially premiered in Paris (and sung entirely in French) in 1980 for 3 months, A few months later, director Peter Fargo gave Sir Cameron Mackintosh (following the success of the West End debut of Cats the Musical) a copy of that concept album and encouraged him that he should translate the musical entirely into English. Along with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Mackintosh brought a full cast together and it premiered at the Barbican Theatre in 1985. However, the initial opening night was not well received by critics. During the 3 month run at the Barbican, the company kept revamping the show plus released a best selling original London cast album that made the critics change their minds. It then later made it’s way officially into the West End at London’s Palace Theatre before later transferring to it’s current London home at the Queen’s Theatre.
The musical finally reached the US in 1986 with a sold out run in Washington DC before heading straight to Broadway that very next year. It originally opened at the Broadway Theatre before transferring to the Imperial Theatre running for an incredible 6,680 performances on Broadway. The original cast included Colm Wilkinson reprising his acclaimed breakout performance from London as “Jean Vailjean”, Randy Graff as “Fantine”, David Bryant as “Marius”, Tony nominee Judy Kuhn as “Cosette”, Tony winner Frances Ruffelle as “Eponine”, Tony winner Michael Maguire as “Enjolras”, Tony nominee Terrence Mann as “Inspector Javert”, Leo Burmester as “Thernadier”, and Jennifer Butt as “Madame Thernadier”. During it’s 16 year run, the show had a numerous amount of cast replacements. The original Broadway production was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 1987 winning 8 including Best Musical.
The show later went on to be revived twice on the Great White Way. The first revival happened in 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre running for 480 performances. This revival featured an all star Broadway cast including Alexander Gemignani as “Jean Vailjean”, Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega as “Fantine”, Tony nominee Adam Jacobs as “Marius”, Ali Ewoldt as “Cosette”, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger as “Eponine”, Aaron Lazar as “Enjolras”, Tony nominee Norm Lewis as “Inspector Javert”, Tony winner Gary Beach as “Thernadier”, and the musical’s acclaimed long running West End cast member Jenny Galloway as “Madame Thernadier”. It also featured numerous cast replacements. This revival did not receive any Tony Awards in 2007 due to it still having the same original staging..
The most recent Broadway revival happened in 2014 with Sir Cameron Mackintosh presenting an all new production that initial toured the UK and the US for the show’s 25th Anniversary. It returned to where most of the original run stayed at the Imperial Theatre running for 1,026 performance. The revival featured Tony and Olivier nominee Ramin Karimloo as “Jean Vailjean”, Caissie Levy as “Fantine”, Andy Minetus as “Marius”, Samantha Hill as “Cosette”, Tony winner Nikki James as “Eponine”, Kyle Scatliffe as “Enjolras”, Tony nominee Will Swenson as “Inspector Javert”, Cliff Saunders as “Thernadier”, and Keala Settle as “Madame Thernadier”. It also featured numerous cast replacements. The revival was nominated for 3 Tony Awards in 2014 including Best Revival of a Musical. However, the show lost all the categories. A new touring production of this recent revival is set to kick off this Fall.
LES MISERABLES was also well captured on film 3 times. The first time was the acclaimed 10th Anniversary concert in 1995 filmed at London’s Royal Albert Hall featuring the cast singing through the score live in costume standing at classical looking microphones. The cast featured Colm Wilkinson reprising his acclaimed performance of “Jean Vailjean”, Ruthie Henshall as “Fantine”, acclaimed West End star Michael Ball OBE reprising the role of “Marius” which he originated in London, Judy Kuhn reprising her Broadway performance of “Cosette”, Tony and Olivier Award winner Lea Salonga as “Eponine”, Michael Maguire reprising the role of “Enjolras”, 3 time Olivier Award winner Phillip Quast as “Javert”, Alun Armstrong reprising the role of “Thernadier” which he originated in London, and Jenny Galloway as “Madame Thernadier”. The ending also featured a spectacular finale featuring International artists who have played the role of “Jean Vailjean” singing in their native language.
The second time the musical was captured on film was for the spectacular acclaimed 25th Anniversary concert production at The O2 in London. It had a spectacular built set and a phenomenal cast all singing the score thorough classical looking microphones. The cast starred Alfie Boe who became a worldwide star from this performance as “Jean Vailjean”, Lea Salonga (who previously played “Eponine” in the 10th Anniversary concert) graduating to the role of “Fantine”, Pop sensation Nick Jonas (who played the role of “Gavorche” in the original Broadway closing cast) graduating to the role of “Marius”, Katie Hall as “Cosette”, Samantha Barks as “Eponine”, Ramin Karimloo (who graduated a few years later to the role of”Jean Vailjean) as “Enjolras”, Norm Lewis reprising his acclaimed performance from the first Broadway revival as “Inspector Javert”, acclaimed UK TV star Matt Lucas as “Thernadier”, and once again Jenny Galloway as “Madame Thernadier”. In addition during the finale, Boe joined original star Colm Wilkinson along with John Owen Jones (who was appearing in the world premiere of the new 25th Anniversary touring production at the time), and Simon Bowman (who was appearing in the West End production at the time) performing a quarter version of Vailjean’s haunted showstopper BRING HIME HOME. Plus, members of the original London cast returned to join the 300 cast members on stage for a spectacular rendition of ONE DAY MORE as well as numerous kids that appeared in School productions of the show around the world.
Most recently, the acclaimed film adaptation from Universal Pictures hit the big screen in Movie Theatres worldwide in 2012 featuring a full all star cast. The cast included Hugh Jackman as “Jean Vailjean”, Anne Hathaway as “Fantine”, Eddie Redmayne as “Marius”, Amanda Seyfried as “Cosette”, Samantha Barks (who was discovered following the success of the acclaimed 25th Anniversary concert) as “Eponine”, Aaron Tviet as “Enjolras”, Russell Crowe as “Inspector Javert”, Sasha Baron Cohen as “Thernadier”, and Helena Bonham Carter as “Madame Thernadier”. The film also featured a new additional song written especially for the film called SUDDENLEY sung by the character of “Jean Vailjean” expressing the feeling of caring for “Cosette” after her mother “Fantine” disappears. The film went on to become a worldwide box office hit winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture. It also won 3 Oscars including Best Supporting Actress (for Anne Hathaway).
Doesn’t this musical still give you chills and tears evereytime?
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