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Les Misérables
LesMisLogo.png
Music Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics Alain Boublil (French lyrics)
Herbert Kretzmer (English adaptation)
Book Claude-Michel Schönberg
Alain Boublil
Basis 1862 novel by Victor Hugo
Les Misérables
Productions 1980 Paris
1985 West End
1987 Broadway
1987 First US Tour
1988 Second US Tour
1988 Third US Tour
1992 UK Tour
2006 Broadway revival
2009 25th Anniversary Tour
Multiple productions worldwide
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Book
Tony Award for Best Score

Les Misérables (pronounced /leɪ ˈmɪzəˌrɑːb/ or /leɪ ˌmɪzəˈrɑːb/; French pronunciation: [le mizeˈʁaːblə]), colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a musical that was composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil, and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Sung through, it is one of the most well-known and performed musicals worldwide. On October 8 2006, the show celebrated its 21st anniversary on London's West End and became the longest-running West End musical in history, reaching 9,500 performances. The production continues to this day at London's Queen's Theatre. The show is now in its 25th year.

Based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, it is set in early 19th-century France and follows the intertwining stories of a cast of characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The main characters are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others.

The Tony Award-winning score features the song I Dreamed a Dream, sung as a solo by the character Fantine during the first act. Numerous Professional artists have recorded cover versions of this song since the musical's premiere in October 1985, including Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, David Essex, and Michael Crawford. The song had a resurgence in popularity in 2009 when Scottish amateur singer Susan Boyle performed it live as her audition for the third series of the British reality television program, Britain's Got Talent.[1][2] The song On My Own by the character Éponine was among the major hit songs featured in the musical.

Contents

Background

Originally released as a concept album, the first musical stage adaptation of Les Misérables was presented at a Paris sports arena in 1980 and was an instant hit with French audiences. However, it was forced to close three months later after the booking contract expired. Because of this, they were not able to extend the run to meet the demand.

In 1982, about six months after he had opened Cats in London, producer Cameron Mackintosh was given a copy of the original French concept album by director Peter Farago. Farago had been greatly impressed by the album and asked Mackintosh if he would be interested in producing an English version of the show. Mackintosh was doubtful at first, but eventually decided to produce it.

A British production team was assembled by Mr. Mackintosh to adapt the French musical for a British audience. After two years in development, the English language version opened in London on October 8 1985, at the Barbican Arts Centre. Reviews from most of the critics were very negative, with some literary scholars condemning it for turning a piece of classical French literature into a musical and others thinking it was too heavy.

However, if the nightly standing ovations were any indication, public opinion differed greatly from those of the press. Word of mouth was helpful, and the box office was soon packed with record ticket orders. The limited three month Barbican engagement eventually sold-out and reviews improved.

Accolades

The Broadway production opened on March 12 1987, and was nominated for twelve Tony Awards, winning eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and ran until May 18 2003, closing after 6,680 performances. It is the third longest-running Broadway show in history.[3] A fully re-orchestrated Broadway revival opened on November 9, 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Les Misérables placed first in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the "Nation's Number One Essential Musicals" in June 2005, receiving more than 40% of the votes cast.[4]

Les Misérables was a part of the major British influence on Broadway in the 1980s along with Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon.

Emblem

The illustration on which the musical's emblem is based.

The musical's emblem is a picture of the waif Cosette sweeping the Thenardier's Inn, usually shown cropped to a head-and-shoulders portrait with the French national flag superimposed. The picture is based on the illustration by Émile Bayard that appeared in the original edition of the novel in 1862.

Synopsis

Act I

Les Misérables begins at a prison in Toulon, France in 1815, where the imprisoned men are forced to do labour (Work Song). After nineteen years of imprisonment (five for stealing bread for his starving sister and her family, and the rest for trying to escape) Jean Valjean, prisoner 24601, is released on parole by the policeman Javert. By law, Valjean must display a yellow ticket-of-leave, which condemns him as an outcast (On Parole). He then meets the Bishop of Digne, who offers him food and shelter. Nevertheless; Valjean steals some silver from the bishop and is shortly caught by the police. However; the bishop lies to save Valjean, helps him to start a new honest life (Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven). Humbled by the bishop's mercy and kindness, Valjean decides to follow the bishop's advice and breaks his parole. (Valjean Soliloquy / What Have I Done?).

The story jumps ahead in time eight years. Valjean, having assumed a new identity as Monsieur Madeleine, has become a wealthy factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer. One of his workers, Fantine, gets into a fight after the other workers discover that she is sending money to her secret illegitimate child who is living with an innkeeper and his wife (At the End of the Day). The Mayor initially breaks up the conflict, but asks his factory foreman to resolve it. When asked, the other women demand Fantine's dismissal. Because she had previously rejected his advances, the foreman agrees and throws Fantine out.

Fantine sings about her broken dreams and about the father of her daughter who abandoned her (I Dreamed a Dream). Desperate for money, she sells her locket, and her hair, before becoming a prostitute (Lovely Ladies). When she fights back against an abusive customer, she is arrested by Javert, now stationed in Monreuil-sur-mer (Fantine's Arrest). "Madeleine" soon arrives, and realising his part in the ruination of Fantine, he orders Javert to let her go and takes her to a hospital instead.

Soon after, the mayor single-handedly rescues Fauchelevant who is pinned by a runaway cart (The Runaway Cart). This reminds Javert of the abnormal strength of Jean Valjean, whom he has been tracking for years for breaking parole. However, Javert assures the mayor that Valjean has just been recently arrested and will be in court later in the day. Unable to see an innocent man go to prison in his place, Valjean confesses to the court that he is the real prisoner 24601, showing the convict's brand on his chest as a proof (Who Am I? - The Trial).

Before returning to prison, Valjean visits the dying Fantine and promises to find and look after her daughter Cosette before she dies. (Come to Me / Fantine's Death). When Javert arrives to arrest him, Valjean asks for three more days to fetch Cosette, but Javert refuses to believe his honest intentions (The Confrontation). Valjean eventually knocks Javert out and escapes.

The scene then shifts to an inn at Montfermeil run by the Thénardiers, where Cosette has been living. The Thénardiers have been abusing the little girl, while indulging their own daughter, Éponine. Cosette dreams of a better life (Castle on a Cloud) before Madame Thénardier sends her to fetch water in the dark. The inn fills up for the evening, where the Thénardiers use numerous methods to cheat their customers (Master of the House). Valjean finds Cosette fetching water (The Bargain) and pays the Thénardiers the extortionary price of 1500 Francs to let him take Cosette away (The Waltz of Treachery).

Nine years pass, and Paris is in an uproar because popular leader General Lamarque, the only man in the government who shows mercy to the poor, is ill and may die soon. The young street urchin Gavroche mingles with the whores and beggars on the street, while students Marius Pontmercy and Enjolras discuss the likely demise of the general (Look Down).

A street gang led by the Thénardiers prepares to ambush Valjean, whom Thénardier recognizes as the man who took Cosette (The Robbery). As they set up, Éponine sees Marius, whom she is secretly in love with, and warns him to stay away. As Marius tries to ask Éponine about what is going on, he accidentally bumps into Cosette and immediately falls in love with her. The Thénardiers attempt to rob Valjean and Cosette, who are rescued by Javert, who does not recognize Valjean until after he makes his escape (Javert's Intervention). Javert gazes at the night sky, comparing his hunt of Valjean and justice to the order of the stars (Stars). Meanwhile Marius, although he does not yet know Cosette's name, persuades a reluctant Éponine to help find her (Éponine's Errand).

The scene shifts to a political meeting in a small café where a group of idealistic students led by Enjolras gather to prepare for a revolution they are sure will erupt after the death of General Lamarque (The ABC Cafe - Red and Black). Marius arrives late, filled with thoughts of love for Cosette, whose name he still does not know. When Gavroche brings the news of the General's death, the students march out into the streets to whip up popular support (Do You Hear the People Sing?)

Cosette is also consumed by thoughts of Marius, and Valjean realises that his daughter has grown up but refuses to tell her about his past or her mother. (Rue Plumet - In My Life). In spite of her own feelings, Éponine leads Marius to Cosette (A Heart Full of Love), and then prevents her father's gang from robbing Valjean's house (The Attack on Rue Plumet). Valjean, convinced it was Javert who was lurking outside his house, tells Cosette they must prepare to flee the country.

On the eve of the Paris Uprising, Valjean prepares to go into exile; Cosette and Marius part in despair of ever meeting again; Éponine mourns the loss of Marius; Marius decides to join the other students as they prepare for the upcoming conflict; Javert plans to spy on the students and learn their secrets; and the Thénardiers look forward to stealing from the corpses of those who will be killed during the battle to come (One Day More).

Act II

As the students prepare to build a barricade (At the Barricade - Upon These Stones), Javert, disguised as one of the rebels, volunteers to "spy" on the government troops. Meanwhile, Marius notices that Éponine has disguised herself as a boy and has joined the revolutionaries. He sends her with a letter to deliver to Cosette, which will also serve to get Éponine to safety. Valjean intercepts the letter, promising Éponine he will tell Cosette about the letter. After Éponine leaves, Valjean reads the letter, learning about Marius and Cosette's relationship. While walking the streets of Paris, Éponine decides, despite what he has said to her, to rejoin Marius at the barricade (On My Own).

The students build their barricade (At the Barricade) and then defy an army warning to surrender or die. Javert comes back and lies to the students about the government's plans to attack (Javert's Arrival), but is exposed as a spy by Gavroche (Little People). Éponine is shot when she returns to the barricades and dies in Marius' arms (A Little Fall of Rain). Valjean also arrives at the barricades in search of Marius as the first battle erupts, and he saves Enjolras by shooting a sniper (The First Attack). As a reward, he asks to be the one to kill Javert, but instead releases him and even gives him his address. The students settle down for a night (Drink With Me), while Valjean prays to God to save Marius from the onslaught that is to come (Bring Him Home).

As dawn approaches, Enjolras realizes that the people have abandoned them, and sends the women and fathers of children away from the barricades, but resolves that they should fight on (Dawn of Anguish). With ammunition running out during the second attack, Gavroche runs out to collect more cartridges. As he collects the bullets and runs toward the barricade, he is shot three times and dies just over the other side. ("The Second Attack/Death of Gavroche"). Enjolras and the students realize they will most likely die. The army gives one last warning to surrender, but the rebels refuse, and, in the name of France, they fight, and everyone is killed except Valjean and Marius (The Final Battle).

Carrying a wounded Marius on his back, Valjean escapes through the sewers. Meanwhile, Thénardier is also in the sewers, stealing valuables off the dead bodies from the battle, laughing that he is performing a "service to the town" (Dog Eats Dog). Thénardier takes a ring off of Marius' hand as Valjean is resting, and then escapes when he sees Valjean getting up. When Valjean reaches the sewer's issue, he runs into Javert, who has been waiting for him. Valjean begs Javert to give him one more hour to bring Marius to a doctor, and Javert reluctantly agrees. After Valjean leaves, Javert unable to bear the gift of Valjean's mercy to him, commits suicide by throwing himself in the Seine (Javert's Suicide).

Back on the streets, several women mourn the deaths of the young students (Turning). Marius also mourns for his friends (Empty Chairs at Empty Tables). As he wonders who saved him from the barricades, Cosette comforts Marius by telling him that she will never go away (Every Day) and they reaffirm their love. Valjean then confesses to Marius that he is an escaped convict and tells him he must go away because his presence puts Cosette in danger (Valjean's Confession). Valjean makes Marius promise never to tell Cosette, and Marius makes only a half-hearted attempt to hold him back.

Marius and Cosette are married (Wedding Chorale). The Thénardiers then crash the wedding reception in disguise as "The Baron and Baroness du Thénard" and tell Marius that Valjean is a murderer, saying they saw him carrying a corpse in the sewers after the barricades fell. When Thénardier shows him the ring he took from the corpse, Marius realizes that the "corpse" was he, and that Valjean saved his life that night. After Marius punches Thénardier the newlyweds leave and the Thénardiers enjoy the party and celebrate their survival (Beggars at the Feast).

Meanwhile, Valjean prepares for his death, having nothing left to live for. Just as the ghosts of Fantine and Éponine arrive to take him to heaven, Cosette and Marius rush in, just in time to bid farewell to Valjean and for Marius to thank him for saving his life (Valjean's Death). Valjean gives Cosette his confession to read when he at last is sleeping, and the souls of Fantine and Éponine guide him to Paradise, his long struggle over as all, living and dead, ask, once more, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" (Finale).

Musical numbers

Act I
Song Performer(s)
Overture Orchestra
Prologue: Work Song Gang, Javert, Valjean
Prologue: On Parole Valjean, Farmer, Labourer, Innkeeper's wife, Innkeeper, Bishop of Digne
Prologue: Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven Policemen, Bishop of Digne
Prologue: What Have I Done? Valjean
At the End of the Day Poor, Foreman, Workers, Factory Girls, Fantine, Valjean
I Dreamed a Dream Fantine
Lovely Ladies Sailors, Old Woman, Fantine, Crone, Whores, Pimp
Fantine's Arrest Bamatabois, Fantine, Javert, Valjean
The Runaway Cart Townspeople, Valjean, Fauchelevant, Javert
Who Am I? / The Trial Valjean
Fantine's Death: Come to Me Fantine, Valjean
Confrontation Javert, Valjean
Castle on a Cloud Young Cosette, Madame Thénardier
Master of the House Thénardier, Madame Thénardier, Customers
The Bargain / Waltz of Treachery Thénardier, Valjean, Madame Thénardier, Young Cosette
Look Down Gavroche, Beggars, Old Woman, Prostitute, Pimp, Enjolras, Marius
The Robbery Thénardier, Madame Thénardier, Marius, Éponine, Valjean
Javert's Intervention Javert, Thénardier
Stars Javert
Éponine's Errand Éponine, Marius
ABC Cafe / Red and Black Students, Enjolras, Marius, Grantaire, Gavroche
Do You Hear the People Sing? Enjolras, Students, Beggars
Rue Plumet – In My Life Cosette, Valjean, Marius, Éponine
A Heart Full of Love Marius, Cosette, Éponine
Attack on the Rue Plumet Thénardier, Thieves, Éponine, Marius, Valjean, Cosette
One Day More! Valjean, Marius, Cosette, Éponine, Enjolras, Javert, Thénardier, Madame Thénardier, Gavroche, Company
Act II
Song Performer(s)
Building the Barricade (Upon These Stones) Enjolras, Javert, Marius, Éponine, Valjean
On My Own Éponine
At the Barricade Enjolras, Students, Army Officer
Javert's Arrival Javert, Enjolras
Little People Gavroche, Students, Enjolras, Javert
A Little Fall of Rain Éponine, Marius
Night of Anguish Enjolras, Marius, Valjean, Students
The First Attack Enjolras, Students, Valjean, Javert
Drink With Me Grantaire, Students, Women, Marius
Bring Him Home Valjean
Dawn of Anguish Enjolras, Students
The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche) Gavroche, Enjolras, Marius, Valjean, Feuilly, Students
The Final Battle Army Officer, Enjolras, Students
The Sewers Orchestra
Dog Eat Dog (The Sewers) Thénardier
Javert's Suicide Javert, Valjean
Turning Women
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables Marius
Every Day Marius, Cosette
A Heart Full of Love (Reprise) Marius, Cosette, Valjean
Valjean's Confession Marius, Valjean
Wedding Chorale Guests, Thénardier, Marius, Madame Thénardier
Beggars at the Feast Thénardier, Madame Thénardier
Valjean's Death Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, Éponine
Finale Full Company

Characters

Listed in the order in which they appear.

Character[5] Voice[5] Description
Jean Valjean tenor Valjean is released from jail after spending nineteen years there for stealing a loaf of bread and multiple escape attempts. He breaks his parole and changes his identity, becoming mayor of a small town. He later adopts Cosette, the daughter of Fantine.
Javert baritone or bass-baritone Respecting the law above all else, Javert relentlessly pursues Valjean, hoping to bring to justice the escaped convict.
The Bishop of Digne baritone The bishop houses Valjean after his release from jail and gives him the gifts of silver and absolution.
Fantine mezzo-soprano A worker who loses her job and becomes a prostitute in order to pay the Thénardiers for the welfare of her daughter.
Young Cosette treble The daughter of Fantine, eight-year-old Cosette is forced to work by the Thénardiers.
Madame Thénardier mezzo-soprano The unscrupulous wife of Thénardier.
Young Éponine silent Eight-year-old Éponine is the pampered daughter of the Thénardiers. She grows up with Cosette and is unkind to her.
Thénardier baritone or tenor A second-rate thief, Thénardier runs a small inn.
Gavroche boy soprano Gavroche is a street-wise urchin who dies on the barricade helping the revolutionaries.
Enjolras baritone or tenor Enjolras leads Marius and the rest of the student revolutionaries.
Marius tenor Marius, a student revolutionary, is friends with Éponine, but is in love with Cosette.
Éponine mezzo-soprano/belt Daughter of the Thénardiers, Éponine, now ragged and a waif, is in love with the same man as Cosette.
Cosette soprano Cosette, the daughter of Fantine, has grown to become very beautiful while under Valjean's care. She falls in love with Marius, and he returns her love.
Friends of the ABC baritone Student revolutionaries who lead a revolution and die in the process, becoming martyrs for the rights of citizens.
Grantaire baritone or tenor Grantaire is a member of the Friends of the ABC. He is the opposite of Enjolras and believes in nothing. He is only with the society because he worships Enjolras.

Character differences: novel vs. musical versions

Several discrepancies between the novel and musical exist, probably due to time issues. The Bishop had a much bigger role in the novel, taking up many pages of discussion in the beginning. He only appears in one scene at the start of the show. There is also more time granted in the novel describing Valjean's time in Toulon and what it did to his spirit.

Javert's background is described quite a bit as well in the novel. The only hint to his back-story in the show is during The Confrontation where he sings "I was born inside a jail, I was raised with scum like you, I am from the gutter too." Javert's mother was a gypsy prostitute, and his father a thief. Javert faced discrimination as a child, and saw a life's devotion to justice and the law as the only means by which to redeem himself in God's eyes. In the novel, however, Javert was an atheist.

M. and Mme. Thénardier are not the humorous, curmudgeony husband-and-wife they appear to be in Master of the House. In the novel, they are portrayed as vile, scum-of-the-earth, selfish people. Mme. Thénardier is referred to as the "Thénardiess", a term more suitable for a hideous female giant. In both versions, however, the Thénardiers' complete lack of morals is obvious.

In the musical, Éponine, while still ragged, has a moderately more approachable look and personality, is more ethical, and has also been given a more sympathetic depiction. She has a younger sister named Azelma, who is not in the musical. In the epilogue of the novel, Azelma travels with M. Thénardier to America where he becomes a slave owner/trader while his wife has long since died when the two were in prison. In the musical, both Thénardiers survive while their only mentioned daughter, Éponine, (and presumably, their legacy) dies. However, in the French Concept album, Azelma is mentioned.

In the novel, the young boy Gavroche is Éponine and Azelma's much ignored younger brother and the Thénardiers' eldest son. Although Gavroche does appear in the musical, he speaks about the Thénardiers as if he is not related to them at all and it can be assumed, rather, that he lives on the streets, seemingly an orphan.

Also in the novel, the Thénardiers have two other sons, whom they also abandoned. Like Azelma, they are cut from the musical.

In the novel, M. Thenardier did fight in the Battle of Waterloo. He was picking gold and bullets off bodies when a still barely conscious man believed M. Thénardier had saved his life. This man was Colonel Georges Pontmercy, Marius' father. Marius always spoke of the great man Thénardier who saved his father's life. All this is ommitted from the musical.

Marius lived with his grandfather, M. Gillenormand, who has a small role in the French Concept version but was later removed. M. Gillenormand, in the novel, was Marius' grandfather and surrogate father.

The Friends of the ABC were an intellectual society, as in the musical. However, some of the boys had love, admiration, and attraction for each other as well as Socratic feelings for their leader Enjolras, most notably Grantaire. Grantaire really only attended their meetings because of Enjolras, and ends up being executed alongside his hero when the barricade falls.

Production history

Original French production

The idea of adapting Victor Hugo's novel into a musical first came to French songwriter Alain Boublil during a performance of the musical Oliver! in London.

"As soon as the Artful Dodger came onstage," says Boublil, "Gavroche came to mind. It was like a blow to the solar plexus. I started seeing all the characters of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables—Valjean, Javert, Gavroche, Cosette, Marius, and Eponine—in my mind's eye, laughing, crying, and singing onstage."

After pitching the idea to long-time friend French composer Claude-Michel Schonberg, they both set out to study Hugo's novel, slowly developing a rough synopsis of what they felt would work in a musical. A great deal of time was then spent on a descriptive analysis of each character's mental and emotional state, as well as that of an audience as they watch the show unfold before them. It was at this point that Claude-Michel felt ready to start writing the music.

Two years later, a two-hour demo tape with Claude-Michel accompanying himself on the piano and singing every role was finally completed. An album of this collaboration was recorded at CTS Studios in Wembley and was released in 1980, selling 260,000 copies.

That same year, a stage version of the album was produced and presented at the Palais des Sports in Paris. Directed by veteran French film director Robert Hossein, the show was a huge success, playing 100 shows and seen by over 500,000 people.

Les Misérables at Queen's Theatre in London

London production

The English language version, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and additional material by James Fenton, was substantially expanded and reworked from a literal translation by Siobhan Bracke of the original Paris version, in particular adding a prologue to tell Jean Valjean's back story. Kretzmer's work is not a direct "translation" of the French, a term that Kretzmer refuses to use. A third of the English lyrics were a rough translation, another third were adapted from the French lyrics and the final third consisted of brand new material.

The first production in English, produced by Cameron Mackintosh and adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird, opened on 8 October 1985 (five years after the original production) at the Barbican Arts Centre, London. It was billed in the RSC Barbican Theatre programme as 'The Royal Shakespeare Company presentation of the RSC/Cameron Mackintosh production' and had played to preview performances commencing on September 28, 1985.

The set was designed by John Napier, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and lighting by David Hersey. Musical supervision and orchestrations were by John Cameron, who had been involved with the show ever since Claude-Michel and Alain hired him to orchestrate the original French concept album. Musical staging was by Kate Flatt with musical direction by Martin Koch.

The production starred Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, Frances Ruffelle as Eponine, Rebecca Caine as Cosette, Patti LuPone as Fantine, Roger Allam as the persistent Inspector Javert, Michael Ball as Marius, Zoe Hart as young Cosette, Susan Jane Tanner as Madame Thénardier, David Burt as Enjolras, Ian Tucker and Oliver Spencer as Gavroche, and Alun Armstrong as the villainous, but funny rogue Thénardier.

On December 4, 1985, the show transferred to the Palace Theatre, London and moved again on April 3, 2004, to a much more intimate Queen's Theatre, with some revisions of staging, where it is still playing. It celebrated its 10,000th performance on 5 January 2010. The drummer on the original cast album, Peter Boita, is still with the show to this day - the only musician still associated with the show that was there on day one. [6]

In the commercial sphere the co-production has generated valuable income for the Royal Shakespeare Company.[7]

Les Misérables in the Imperial Theatre, 2003

Broadway production

After a highly successful out-of-town tryout at the Kennedy Center's Opera House in Washington D.C., the show had its Broadway debut on March 12, 1987 at the Broadway Theatre. Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle reprised their roles from the London production. With record advance ticket sales, the New York production had recouped its entire 4.5 million dollar investment before giving a single performance.

The show had by then undergone further tightening of plot and an improved sewer lighting effect was incorporated into the staging. In addition, two songs were deleted - the complete version of Gavroche's song "Little People" and the adult Cosette's "I Saw Him Once." A short section at the beginning of "In My Life" replaced "I Saw Him Once". The lyrics are also different in Javert's "Stars". Where it now ends with the famous line, "This I swear by the stars!", the London production and cast recording ended with the repeated line, "Keeping watch in the night."

The original Broadway cast included David Bryant as Marius, Judy Kuhn as Cosette, Michael Maguire as Enjolras, Frances Ruffelle as Éponine, Braden Danner as Gavroche, Donna Vivino as Young Cosette, Jennifer Butt as Madame Thénardier, Leo Burmester as Thénardier, Randy Graff as Fantine and Terrence Mann as Javert.

Other members of the Original Broadway Cast included: Kevin Marcum, Paul Harman, Anthony Crivello, John Dewar, Joseph Kolinski, Alex Santoriello, Jesse Corti, Susan Goodman, John Norman, Norman Large, Marcus Lovett, Steve Shocket, Cindy Benson, Marcie Shaw, Jane Bodle, Joanna Glushak, Ann Crumb, Kelli James, Gretchen Kingsley-Weihe, Chrissie McDonald. Michael Hinton was the original drummer and credited on the cast album.

The musical ran at the Broadway Theatre through October 10, 1990, when it moved to the Imperial Theatre. It was scheduled to close on March 15, 2003, but the closing was postponed by a surge in public interest, probably because of the announcement. After 6,680 performances in sixteen years, when it closed on May 18, 2003, it was the second-longest-running Broadway musical after Cats. More recently, its position has fallen to the third-longest-running Broadway musical after The Phantom of the Opera ascended initially to the second and, in 2006, to the number one spot.

2006 Broadway revival

Only three years after the original run closed, Les Misérables began a limited return to Broadway on November 9, 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre. On December 19, 2006, it was announced that Les Misérables would extend its run until September 1, 2007. It was subsequently announced that the show would have an open-ended run rather than a set closing date.

Using the set, costumes, performers, and other resources from the recently closed third U.S. national touring production, the production was only slightly altered visually. Minor changes included a new costume for Cosette, the use of colorful projections blended into its existing lighting design, and a proscenium that extended out into the first two boxes on either side of the stage.

Some cuts previously made to the show during its original Broadway run were restored, new lyrics were penned for Gavroche's death scene, and much of the show was re-orchestrated by Christopher Janke, introducing a snare and timpani heavy sound played by a 14 member band, a reduction of about 10 musicians from the original score's requirement of 23-25.

The original 2006 Broadway revival cast included Alexander Gemignani as Jean Valjean, Norm Lewis as Javert, Daphne Rubin-Vega as Fantine, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Éponine, Aaron Lazar as Enjolras, Adam Jacobs as Marius Pontmercy, Ali Ewoldt as Cosette, Gary Beach as Thénardier, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thénardier, Austyn Myers as Gavroche, Steve LeFayt as The Bishop of Digne and Drew Sarich as Grantaire.

Fantine was played by Lea Salonga beginning on March 6, 2007. Ann Harada replaced Jenny Galloway as Mme. Thénardier on April 24, 2007. Ben Davis joined playing Javert, and Max von Essen playing Enjolras. Ben Crawford and Mandy Bruno joined the cast that day too, playing Brujon and Éponine respectively. On July 23, 2007, Drew Sarich took over the role of Jean Valjean, following Alexander Gemignani's departure. On September 5, 2007, it was announced that John Owen-Jones (the Valjean from London) would be joining the Broadway cast. In return, Drew Sarich (the Valjean on Broadway) would be joining the London cast in Owen-Jones' place. Judy Kuhn, who originated the role of Cosette returned to the show after 20 years but this time assuming the role of Fantine, succeeding Lea Salonga, who previously played the role of Eponine.

On September 27, 2007, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attended the Broadhurst Theatre to watch Lea Salonga in her role as Fantine in Les Misérables. Salonga's cast included Adam Jacobs as Marius and Ali Ewoldt as Cosette.[8] Later that year, the show went temporarily dark because of the Broadway stagehands' strike.

The revival closed on January 6, 2008. Combined with the original production's 6,680 performances, Les Misérables has played 7,176 performances on Broadway.[9]

10th anniversary London concert

On October 8, 1995, the show celebrated its 10th anniversary with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. This 10th Anniversary Concert is nearly 'complete', missing only a handful of scenes, including "The Death of Gavroche" and the confrontation between Marius and Thénardier at the wedding feast. Sir Cameron Mackintosh hand-selected the cast, which has come to be called the Les Misérables Dream Cast, assembling cast members from around the world. The concert concluded with notable Valjeans from productions the world over singing "Do You Hear The People Sing?" in their native languages.

Other concert performances

The musical has also been performed in concert at Cardiff Castle and several venues in southern England, produced by Earl Carpenter Concerts. A concert version starring Jeff Leyton was also performed at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. In 1989, a one-night concert performance was performed at the Toronto Skydome, and the largest concert production attracted an audience of approximately 125,000 as part of the Australia day celebrations in Sydney's Domain Park. The Scandinavian concert tour, produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with Noble Art, starred Danish musical icon Stig Rossen in the leading role and commemorated author Victor Hugo's 200th birthday. Venues on the tour included the Stockholm Globen, Oslo Spektrum, the Helsinki Hartwell Areena, and the Gothenburg Scandinavium, with audiences totaling over 150,000 for the complete tour.

In February 2008, Les Misérables was performed at the BIC in Bournemouth, England with a cast of West End stars accompanied by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In August 2008, a concert version,directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, was performed at the Hollywood Bowl. The cast included veteran Les Misérables star J. Mark McVey as Valjean, The Office star Melora Hardin as Fantine, Broadway star and Bowl veteran Brian Stokes Mitchell as Javert, Spring Awakening star Lea Michele as Eponine, Tony winning Jersey Boys star John Lloyd Young as Marius, West End star Tom Lowe [10] as Enjolras, Michael McCormick as Thenardier, Ruth Williamson as Mademe Thenardier, Michele Maika as Cosette, Maddie Levy as Young Cosette, and Sage Ryan as Gavroche.

In September 2008, it was performed at the St John Loveridge Hall in Guernsey with a cast of West End performers—the first time that it had been professionally performed on the Island where Victor Hugo wrote the novel. Former London Valjean Phil Cavill reprised his role alongside Les Mis veteran Michael McCarthy as Javert. In March 2009, the Guernsey production was remounted at Fort Regent in Jersey; and in July 2009, the musical was performed in concert at Osborne House on the Isle Of Wight.

National U.S. Broadway tours

There have been three national touring productions of the musical in the U.S., all of which were nearly identical to the New York (Broadway) production, being produced by the same producer and managed, cast, and supervised by the same creative teams, as well as sharing nearly identical sets, costumes, lighting, etc. While the touring production and the New York production were running simultaneously, the staff, cast members, crew, and musicians of the two productions interchanged often, which contributed to keeping both companies of the show in excellent form. When the New York production closed in 2003, the Third National Tour continued for another three years, and enjoyed the influx of many members from the original and subsequent New York companies (onstage and off).

The First National Tour opened at Boston's Shubert Theatre on December 12, 1987, and continued to play major markets until late 1991.

The Second National Tour opened at Los Angeles' Shubert Theatre on June 1, 1988. The production played for 14 months then transferred to San Francisco's Curran Theatre where it enjoyed a similar run.

The Third National Tour of Les Misérables (called "The Marius Company") was one of the longest running American touring musicals of all time. Opening on 28 November 1988 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida and closing on July 23, 2006, at the Fox Theatre in Saint Louis, Missouri, the tour ran for 17 years and 7061 performances. The tour played in 145 cities in 43 states. The same touring company also frequently performed in Canada, and made a diversion in 2002 to visit Shanghai, China for 3 weeks.

The final company of the Third National Broadway Tour included Randal Keith as Valjean (Keith also played Valjean in the final company of the original Broadway engagement), Robert Hunt as Javert, Joan Almedilla as Fantine, Daniel Bogart as Marius, Norman Large (from Original Broadway Cast) as Mssr. Thenardier, Jennifer Butt (from Original Broadway Cast) as Mme. Thenardier, Melissa Lyons as Eponine, Ali Ewoldt as Cosette, Victor Wallace as Enjolras, Meg Guzulescu and Rachel Schier alternating as Young Cosette & Young Eponine, Austyn Myers and Anthony Skillman alternating as Gavroche.

25th anniversary international tour

A brand new tour to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the London Production began performances on December 12, 2009, at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff to critical acclaim and will run there until January 16, 2010. This production is, in effect, a completely new version of the show with a new set, new direction and alterations to the original orchestrations. The tour will then tour the UK with confirmed stops at the Palace Theatre, Manchester; Theatre Royal, Norwich; Birmingham Hippodrome; Edinburgh Playhouse & Bristol Hippodrome. The tour will also play a limited engagement at the Chatelet Theatre, Paris from May 26 - July 4, 2010, and The Lowry Centre, Salford starting 10 August. The tour stars John Owen-Jones as Valjean; Earl Carpenter as Javert; Gareth Gates as Marius, Jon Robyns as Enjolras, Ashley Artus as Thénardier, Rosalind James as Eponine, Madalena Alberto as Fantine, Lynne Wilmot as Madame Thénardier and Katie Hall as Cosette. Further tour dates are yet to be announced.

Incidentally, Rosalind James and Lynne Wilmot are both former Cameron Mackintosh Oliver! stars. James played 'Bet' in the 1994 London Palladium production, and Wilmot featured as part of the ensemble in the 2009 London revival.

Cameron Mackintosh in association with BBO NYC (a theatrical tour booking company located in NYC that booked the musical in the past) announced that the show is planning to tour the United States in 2010.

International productions

The show has been produced in 38 countries and translated into 21 languages (English, French, German (two from Austria and Germany), Spanish (three from Spain, Argentinia and Mexico), Japanese, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian (two in bokmål and nynorsk), Polish, Swedish, Dutch (two from the Netherlands and Belgium), Danish, Finnish, Brazilian Portuguese, Estonian, Czech, Mauritian Creaole, Basque, Catalan). Including singles and promos, there have been over fifty-five official recordings from worldwide productions.[11]

Unless otherwise indicated by "NR" (denoting a non-replica production) productions listed here featured the full London/Broadway staging (revolving stage, automated barricades, etc...).

1980

1985

1986

  • Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington D.C. American premiere/out-of-town tryout. Opened December 27. Closed February 14, 1987.

1987

  • Broadway Theatre, New York. Opened March 12. Production moved to the Imperial Theatre in October, 1990. Closed May 18, 2003.
  • Imperial Theatre: Tokyo, Japan. Opened June 17. Closed November 30. Production has toured Japan ever since with stops in Nagoya; Osaka; Sendai; Sapporo; and Tokyo. In repertory since '87.
  • Cameri Theatre: Tel Aviv, Israel. Opened August 9. Closed March 31, 1989. (NR)
  • Rock Theatre: Szeged, Hungary. Opened August 14. Closed August 21. (NR)
  • Vigzinhaz Theatre: Budapest, Hungary. Opened September 14. Closed September 21. In repertory. (NR)
  • Theatre Royal, Sydney, Australia. Opened November 27. Closed July 15, 1989. Production then toured Australia and New Zealand with stops in Perth; Melbourne; Adelaide; Brisbane; and Auckland.
  • Shubert Theatre: Boston, MA. Opened December 15. Closed June 26, 1988. First U.S. national tour launched with stops in Washington D.C.; Philadelphia; Chicago; Detroit; Baltimore; and Los Angeles. Tour closed in Chicago on September 29, 1991.
  • National Theatre of Iceland: Reykjavik, Iceland. Opened December 26. Closed June 5, 1988. (NR)

1988

  • Det Norske Teatret: Oslo, Norway. Opened March 17. Closed December 31.
  • Shubert Theatre: Los Angeles, CA. Opened 1 June. Closed July 23, 1989. Second U.S. national tour launched with stops in San Francisco. Tour closed in San Francisco on January 27, 1991.
  • Raimund Theatre: Vienna, Austria. Opened September 15. Closed March 31, 1990.
  • Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center: Tampa, FL. Opened November 28. Closed December 11. Third U.S. national tour launched with stops in 145 cities, in 43 states, including engagements in Canada, Singapore, and China. Tour closed in St. Louis, MO on July 23, 2006.

1989

  • Royal Alexandra Theatre: Toronto, Canada. Opened March 15. Closed May 26. Production then toured Canada with stops in Calgary; Vancouver; Montreal (bilingual cast); Winnipeg; Ottawa; Edmonton; Hamilton; Honolulu, HI; and Regina.
  • Teatr Muzyczny: Gdynia, Poland. Opened June 30. In repertory to date. (NR)

1990

  • Cirkus Theatre: Stockholm, Sweden. Opened October 12. Closed December 14, 1991.

1991

  • Carre Theatre: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Opened February 28. Closed October 20. Production then transferred to the Cirkustheater in Scheveningen and closed March 8, 1992.
  • Odense Teater: Odense, Denmark. Opened April 20. Closed June 22. (NR)
  • Mogador Theatre: Paris, France. Opened October 23. Closed May 24, 1992.

1992

  • Palace Theatre: Manchester, England. Opened 14 April. Closed 1 May 1993. Production went on to play Dublin; and Edinburgh.
  • Vinorhady Theatre: Prague, Czech Republic. Opened 25 June. Closed 13 September. (NR)
  • Teatro Nuevo Apolo: Madrid, Spain. Opened 16 September. Closed 29 May 1994.
  • Ostre Gasvaerk Teater: Copenhagen, Denmark. Opened 27 December. Closed 31 December 1993. (NR)

1993

  • Point Theatre: Dublin, Ireland. Opened 30 June. Closed September.
  • Edinburgh Playhouse: Edinburgh, Scotland. Opened 23 September. Closed 19 February 1994.
  • Meralco Theatre: Manila, Philippines. Opened 7 October. Closed 31 October. (NR)

1994

  • Kallang Theatre: U.S. 3rd national tour makes special trip to Singapore. Opened 3 February. Closed 17 April.

1996

  • Music Hall: Duisburg, Germany. Opened 26 January. Closed 28 November 1999.
  • Kallang Theatre: Asian/African tour launched in Singapore. Opened 28 February. Closed 31 March. Production continued on to Hong Kong, Seoul, and Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Karlstads Teater: Karlstad, Sweden. Opened 15 October. Closed 27 April 1997. (NR)
  • Aalborg Teater: Aalborg, Denmark. Opened 14 November. Closed 4 January 1997. (NR)

1997

  • Imperial Theatre, Broadway. 12 March. Special 10th anniversary performance and first look at slightly revamped production.
  • Theatre Royal, Sydney, Australia. Opened 29 November. Closed 13, June, 1998. Launch of the 10th anniversary Australian tour, with stops in Melbourne; Auckland, New Zealand; Perth; and Brisbane.

1998

  • Music Hall: Antwerp, Belgium. Opened 24 May. Closed 25 April 1999. This production was performed in both French and Flemish.
  • Aarhus Theatre: Aarhus, Denmark. Opened 4 September. Closed 31 December. (NR)
  • City Hall: Hamilton, Bermuda. Opened 5 October. Closed 17 October. (NR)

1999

  • City Theatre: Helsinki, Finland. Opened 25 February. Closed 29 May. In repertory. (NR)
  • Kongrescenter: Herning, Denmark. Opened 15 April. Closed 30 May. (NR)
  • Municipal Theatre: Mahebourg, Mauritius. Opened 12 June. Closed 28 June. (NR)
  • Performing Arts Center: Tel Aviv, Israel. Opened 20 July. Closed 4 September. (NR)
  • Madach Theatre: Budapest, Hungary. Opened 20 November. In repertory to date. (NR)

2000

  • Teatro Opera: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Opened 22 March. Closed 15 October.
  • Opera House: Gothenburg, Sweden. Opened 22 April. Closed 23 September. (NR)

2001

  • Opera Bonn: Bonn, Germany. Opened 8 April. Closed 7 July. (NR)
  • Teatro Abril: São Paulo, Brazil. Opened 25 April. Closed --
  • Roadside Theatre: Heidelberg, Patton Barracks, Germany. Opened 11 May. Closed 10 June (14 perf.). (NR)
  • Opernhaus: Chemnitz, Germany. Opened 21 October. In repertory to date. (NR)
  • City Hall Theatre: Tallinn, Estonia. Opened 1 November. Closed 25 November. (NR)

2002

  • Centro Cultural Telmex: Mexico City, Mexico. Opened 14 November. Closed 30 August 2004.
  • Staatstheater: Saarbrucken, Germany. Opened 7 December. In repertory to date. (NR)

2003

  • Anhalitisches Theatre: Dessau, Germany. Opened 21 March. Closed 27 June. (NR)
  • Moster Amfi: Bolmo, Norway. Opened 8 August. Closed 16 August. (NR)
  • Goja Music Hall: Prague, Czech Republic. Opened 16 September. In repertory to date. (NR)
  • Theater des Westens: Berlin, Germany. Opened 26 September. Closed 31 December 2004.

2006

2007

2008

  • Theatre Du Capitole: Quebec, Canada. (NR)
  • Luxor Theatre: Rotterdam, Netherlands. Opened 20 April. Closed 4 January 2009.

2009

  • Carré Theatre: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Opened 17 January 2009. Closed 22 February 2009.
  • Oslo Nye Teater: Oslo, Norway. Opened 4 February 2009. Closed 20 June 2009. (NR)
  • Det Ny Teater: Copenhagen, Denmark. Opened 17 September 2009. Ending 31 December 2009. (NR)
  • Wales Millennium Centre: Cardiff, UK. Will run from 12 December 2009 - 16 January 2010. The tour will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the show with stops in Manchester; Norwich; Birmingham; Edinburgh & Paris.

2010

  • Teatr Muzyczny Roma:Warsaw. Will run from 20th September 2010
  • Theatre Royal: Norwich, UK. Opened 16 February 2010. Will run to 20 March 2010.

North American regional productions

With the approval of the Cameron Mackintosh organization, Music Theatre International selected the USAREUR Roadside Theater in Heidelberg, Germany for the American Community Theater World Premiere of Les Misérables.[12] The premiere took place May 11, 2001, with the production closing June 10, 2001.[13] This production was also one of the first uses of the Sinfonia system by MTI in collaboration with Realtime Music Solutions, later used in the London production.

Beginning in 2007, a limited number of regional productions (five in the US, two in Canada) of Les Misérables licensed by Cameron Mackintosh are being staged.

One of these was unique in that it was the first staging of Les Misérables as theater in the round. This production was by the respected California Musical Theatre (CMT) (Sacramento, California) in its Music Circus summer series (production ran from July 10 thru July 22, 2007). Glenn Casale, choreographed by Bob Richard, with music directed by Andrew Bryan, directed this production. It featured Ivan Rutherford who gave over 1800 performances as Jean Valjean on Broadway as well as performing in the 10th Anniversary Company, which performed in many cities throughout the U.S. Due to its unique production, it was widely anticipated and lived up to that anticipation being a great success in its unique staging and performance.

Other regional productions of Les Misérables include the Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) of Salt Lake City which was honoured to be the first company to present a regional production. This production ran from April 27, 2007, to July 7, 2007, making it the longest running production in PTC's history. It was directed by PTC Artistic Director Charles Morey and brought both William Solo as Jean Valjean and Merwin Foard as Inspector Javert to the PTC re-enacting roles both men played previously on Broadway.

The first independent regional theatre production of "Les Misérables" in Canada was directed by Linda Moore at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax Nova Scotia, starring Frank Mackay as Jean Valjean in 1994. Since then, there have been no independent productions in Canada. The Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque Canada is the first theatre since then to produce the show. This production, which opened July 4, 2008, featured Lee B.Siegel as Valjean, Shane Carty as Javert, Kevin Power as Thenardier, Marcia Tratt as Mme Thenardier, Ramona Gilmour-Darling as Eponine, Ashley Taylor as Cosette, Shannon Barnett as Fantine, Dale R. Miller as Marius, Gabriel Burrafato as Enjolras, and Derrick Paul Miller as the Bishop of Digne. Derrick Paul Miller played the role of Valjean on July 22, July 23 (matinee), July 24, and July 26 (matinee). It is directed by Greg Wanless, and musical director Sandy Thorburn.

An outdoor production played at The Muny, the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theatre, which seats 12,000 people. The theatre is located in Saint Louis, MO. Directed by Fred Hanson; Les Misérables was the final production of the Muny's 89th season, playing August 6–15, 2007. Ivan Rutherford, who was a Valjean in the original Broadway production of Les Misérables, reprised his role in the production. Kevin Kern and Diana Kaarina, who played Marius and Éponine in the closing cast of the original Broadway production, reprised their roles.

Another outdoor production is being staged at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, UT and runs June through mid-October, 2008.

In September 2008, a mini tour produced by Atlanta's Theater of the Stars played Eisenhower Hall at the United States Military Academy,[14] in West Point, NY; the Filene Center at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA; Kansas City Starlight Theater; and The Fox Theater in Atlanta. The show featured a new set made up of original pictures painted by Victor Hugo himself. This production also featured teenagers aged 13–17 in the show as extras, a first. Robert Evan played Valjean, returning to the role he played in the mid nineties on Broadway. Also featured were Nikki Rene Daniels as Fantine and Robert Hunt as Javert, both reprising their roles from the Broadway revival. The production was directed by Fred Hanson. The creative team included Matt Kinley as Scenic Designer, Ken Billington as Lighting Designer, Peter Fitzgerald and Erich Bechtel as Sound Designers, Zachary Borovay as Projection Designer, and Dan Riddle as Musical Director and Conductor.[15]

In 2008, the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia is the first theater to stage a small venue "black box" version of the play. Nationally known for innovative reinventions of classic Broadway shows, Signature was honored to receive Mackintosh's special permission for the production: "One of the great pleasures of being involved with the creation of Les Misérables is seeing this marvelous musical being done in a completely different and original way. Having seen many shows brilliantly reimagined at Signature I have no doubt that Eric and his team will come up with a revolutionary new take on Les Miz unlike anything anyone has seen before. Viva la différence!"[16] This triumph, coupled with years of imaginative productions, earned Signature the 2009 Regional Theater Tony Award. The production officially opened on December 14, 2008 (after previews from December 2), and runs through February 22, 2009 (extended from January 25, 2009).[17][18]

Northern Stage, a regional theater company in White River Junction, VT, also staged a December 2008 production on a small stage; in their case, it was a three-quarter-thrust stage in a 245-seat house. This production featured Timothy Shew as Jean Valjean, Mary Gutzi as Mme. Thenardier and Kevin David Thomas as Marius, all of whom appeared in the Broadway production (where Shew starred as Valjean, Gutzi as Fantine and Thomas as Marius). The production also featured Broadway veterans Dan Sharkey (The Music Man) and David DeWitt (Phantom of the Opera). The production was directed by Northern Stage Artistic Director Brooke Ciardelli.

In July 2009, the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO) staged Les Miserables as part of their summer show collection.

Les Misérables school edition

The School Edition cuts a considerable amount of material from the original show, mostly of a few bars and repeats, although some are more noticeable. It is divided into 30 scenes and, although no "critical" scenes or songs have been removed, it is some 25–30 minutes shorter than the "official" version. One or two changes may have been made for reasons of unsuitable language or sentiment (although, ironically, the editors have not been squeamish about retaining the darker aspects of the drama such as the prostitution scenes or Bamatabois' abuse of Fantine) but most cuts have been made merely to shorten the show to a length manageable for young performers. A few subtle changes of vocal pitch have also been made for the same reason. "What Have I Done?", Valjean's Soliloquy, "Stars" by Javert, "A Little Fall of Rain" by Éponine and Marius, "Turning" by the women of the Revolution, and "Castle on a Cloud" lose a verse each. The song "Fantine's Death/Confrontation" is edited, removing the signature counter-point duel between Valjean and Javert. "Dog Eats Dog" by Thénardier is heavily truncated, as well as "Beggars at the Feast", meanwhile the song before it, "Wedding Chorale" is practically excised.

After The King's Theatre, The King's School and Tara Anglican School for Girls, in Sydney, Australia, gained rights for the full production in late 2000 from Cameron Mackintosh to perform the show, Music Theatre International developed a school version, available only to productions with an entirely amateur cast aged under 19. Hundreds of schools worldwide have purchased the rights and staged performances, and it was the best selling play for high schools in the year 2006.[citation needed]

The Helen Hayes Theatre Company in Nyack, New York marked the American premiere of the student edition in October 2001. From this version, Cameron Mackintosh and Music Theatre International produced the Les Misérables: School Edition Cast Recording in 2002. The album has recognition to hundreds of theatres housing the production worldwide.

In October 2002, Stanwell School, Wales became the first school to perform this edition in Europe.[citation needed]

In December 2006, King George V School in Hong Kong became the first school in Asia to perform Les Misérables: School Edition.[citation needed]

In 2004, Christ's College, Canterbury and Rangi Ruru Girls' School were the first in New Zealand to perform Les Misérables: School Edition.[citation needed]

Since then, there have been numerous productions of "Les Miserables: School Edition" worldwide.

Films

Although numerous films of the Les Misérables story have been made, no adaptation of the stage musical has yet been produced. A film adaptation of the musical has been in development, on and off, since the late 1980s. Alan Parker was reported to be attached to the adaptation at an early stage.[19] In 1992, Cameron Mackintosh announced that the movie would be directed by Bruce Beresford and co-produced by Tri-Star Pictures,[20] but this project was abandoned some time later. After several years in development hell, interest was renewed in late 2005.[21]

Cast Recordings

English

Several recordings of Les Misérables are available in the English language. Four of the most widely known include the Original London Cast, the Original Broadway Cast, the Complete Symphonic Recording, and the 10th Anniversary London Concert.

Original London Cast Recording

The Original London Cast recording was the first English language album of the musical. Recorded in 1985, when the show premiered, it is closest to the original French concept album. For example, "Stars" appears before "Look Down" and shortly after, the original version of "Little People" plays, which was later incorporated into the revealing of Javert. It also features a song entitled "I Saw Him Once", sung by Cosette, which was later incorporated into the first part of "In My Life".

The cast includes Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, Roger Allam as Javert, Patti LuPone as Fantine, Alun Armstrong as Thénardier, Susan Jane Tanner as Mme. Thénardier, Frances Ruffelle as Éponine, Ian Tucker as Gavroche, Michael Ball as Marius, David Burt as Enjolras, and Rebecca Caine as Cosette.

Original Broadway Cast Recording

The Original Broadway Cast recording was produced in 1987. It included several changes to the songs that are still evident in today's performances. As with its predecessor, it is incomplete, and leaves out songs or parts that are more important narratively than musically (e.g., "Fantine's Arrest", "The Runaway Cart", "The Final Battle").

The cast includes Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, Terrence Mann as Javert, Randy Graff as Fantine, Leo Burmester as Thénardier, Jennifer Butt as Mme. Thénardier, Frances Ruffelle as Éponine, Braden Danner as Gavroche, David Bryant as Marius, Michael Maguire as Enjolras, and Judy Kuhn as Cosette.

Complete Symphonic Recording

Recorded in 1988 and released in 1989, the Complete Symphonic Recording is to date the only English-language recording to feature the entire score. (The Czech Revival Recording is the only other album, in any language, to feature the entire score.) Cameron Mackintosh's original plan was to use the Australian cast,[22] but the scope was expanded to create an international cast featuring performers from the major performances of the musical around the world. The cast was recorded in three different places around the world.[23]

The album, produced by David Caddick and conducted by Martin Koch, won the Best Musical Cast Show Album Grammy Award in 1991. The cast includes Gary Morris as Valjean, Philip Quast as Javert, Debra Byrne as Fantine, Gay Soper as Mme. Thénardier, Barry James as Thénardier, Kaho Shimada as Éponine, Michael Ball as Marius, Anthony Warlow as Enjolras, and Tracy Shayne as Cosette.

10th Anniversary Concert

The Tenth Anniversary recording was of a concert version of Les Misérables, performed at the Royal Albert Hall in October 1995, featuring full orchestra and choir. All the parts were sung live into microphones, giving the performance a different mood than other recordings. The entire score was recorded consecutively without pauses or multiple recordings. The concert's encores are also included. As with the original recordings, this edition omitted certain parts; however, they differed from those missing from the original (e.g., those vital to plot such as "Fantine's Arrest" and "The Runaway Cart" were kept, while unnecessary or complex songs, such as "At the Barricade", were left out).

The cast includes Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, Philip Quast as Javert, Ruthie Henshall as Fantine, Alun Armstrong as Thénardier, Jenny Galloway as Mme. Thénardier, Lea Salonga as Éponine, Adam Searles as Gavroche, Hannah Chick as Young Cosette, Michael Ball as Marius, Michael Maguire as Enjolras, Judy Kuhn as Cosette and Anthony Crivello as Grantaire.

Manchester Highlights

A five track album featuring members of the U.K. national tour was released in 1992 and includes "I Dreamed a Dream" (Ria Jones); "Stars" (Philip Quast); "On My Own" (Meredith Braun); "Bring Him Home" (Jeff Leyton); and "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" (Mike Sterling). The version of "Stars" is the same as that on the Complete Symphonic Recording.

  • 25th Anniversary Tour Recording*

Will be available Easter 2010

Other Languages

There are also various foreign language cast albums of the musical.

  • 1980 Original French Concept Album
  • 1987 Original Israeli Cast
  • 1988 Original Hungarian Cast
  • 1988 Original Vienna Cast
  • 1990 Original Swedish Cast
  • 1991 Original Dutch Cast
  • 1991 Paris Revival Cast
  • 1992 Original Danish Cast
  • 1992 Original Czech Cast
  • 1993 Original Spanish Cast
  • 1994 Japanese "Blue" Cast
  • 1994 Japanese "Red" Cast
  • 1996 Original Duisburg Cast
  • 1996 Swedish Värmland Cast
  • 1998 Original Antwerp Cast
  • 2003 Japanese "Orange" Cast
  • 2003 Japanese "Green" Cast
  • 2003 Japanese "Light Blue" Cast
  • 2003 Japanese "Violet" Cast
  • 2004 Czech Revival Cast
  • 2008 Dutch Revival Cast
  • 2008 Quebec Cast

Non-commercial recordings

A few soundboard recordings were made, never intended to be sold. Those are:

  • 1987 Israeli Radio Broadcast
  • 1993 Korean Cast (This CD was actually sold, but later forbidden, since it broke copyright laws)
  • 1994 País Vasco (Miserableak) Concert
  • 2000 Argentinia Soundboard Recording
  • 2001 Gdynia Cast Recording
  • 2002 Mexico Soundboard Recording
  • 2003 Berlin Highlights
  • 2006 21st Anniversary Concert (BBC 2)

Awards and nominations

1985 Plays and Players London Theatre Critics' Awards

  • Best New Musical (nominations, 11 out of 23)

1987 Tony Awards

2008 John Kraaijkamp Musical Awards (Netherlands)

  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Featuring Actor in a large musical production - Wim van den Driessche
  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Featuring Actor in a large musical production - René van Kooten (WINNER)
  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Supporting Actress in a large musical production - Marjolein Algera
  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Supporting Actor in a large musical production - Jamai Loman (WINNER)
  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for New Talent - Freek Bartels (WINNER)
  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Lighting Design - David Hersey and Richard Pacholski (WINNER)
  • John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Script - Alain Boublil and Jean- Marc Natel

References

  1. ^ "TV ratings: Britain's Got Talent hits high note" Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  2. ^ "Susan Boyle breaks past 100 million online views" Reuters.com. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  3. ^ "LES MISÉRABLES on Broadway". Lesmis.com. http://www.lesmis.com/pages/us/index_us.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  4. ^ "Elaine Page". BBC.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/paige/essentialvote.shtml. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  5. ^ a b "Les Miserables". Stage Agent. http://www.stageagent.com/shows.php?id=774. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  6. ^ http://www.londontheatre.co.uk/londontheatre/news/jn10/lesmiserables333566.htm
  7. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons - Culture, Media and Sport - Minutes of Evidence". Publications.parliament.uk. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmcumeds/254/3101412.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  8. ^ "Arroyo goes to Broadway, watches Lea Salonga in Les Miz". Showbiz and Style. http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/breakingnews/breakingnews/view_article.php?article_id=91076. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  9. ^ Les Miserables Sets 1/6 Closing Date , Broadway.com Buzz
  10. ^ "Tom Lowe (performer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Lowe_%28performer%29. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  11. ^ "Facts and Figures from LesMis.com". http://www.lesmis.com/pages/about/facts_figures_1.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
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  14. ^ "EISENHOWER HALL THEATRE 09-10". Ikehall.com. http://www.ikehall.com/artists.htm#13. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  15. ^ "Theater of the Stars Announces Full 'Les Miserables' Casting 2008/08/11". Broadwayworld.com. http://www.broadwayworld.com/viewcolumn.cfm?colid=31000. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  16. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Signature's "Black Box" Les Miz Will Put Audience in Middle of the Action; Cast Announced", September 14, 2008.
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Another Day, Another Destiny: "Intimate" Les Miz Opens in VA Dec. 14",playbill.com, December 14, 2008
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Intimate Les Miz Gets Good Reviews in DC and Extends",playbill.com, December 18, 2008
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  23. ^ "Les Misérables [Relativity Complete Symphonic Recording]." Popular Albums. All Media Guide, 2006. Answers.com 24 March 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/les-miserables-relativity-complete-symphonic-recording

External links



Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Do you hear the people sing? Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring — When tomorrow comes...

Les Misérables (1980, French; 1985, English) is a musical play based on the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The show was an immediate hit and went on to became one of the most successful and popular of modern plays in many productions around the world.

Contents

Prologue

  • Chain Gang: Look down, look down, you'll always be a slave
    Look down, look down, you're standing in your grave.

Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven

  • God has raised you out of darkness
    I have bought your soul for God!

What Have I Done (Valjean's Soliloquy)

  • Yet why did I allow that man
    To touch my soul and teach me love?
    He treated me like any other
    He gave me his trust
    He called me brother.
  • He told me that I have a soul,
    How does he know?

At The End of The Day

  • At the end of the day you're another day older
    And that's all you can say for the life of the poor.

I Dreamed A Dream

  • He slept a summer by my side
    He filled my days with endless wonder
    He took my childhood in his stride
    But he was gone when autumn came.
  • And still I dream he'll come to me
    That we will live the years together
    But there are dreams that cannot be
    And there are storms we cannot weather.

Lovely Ladies

  • Easy money
    Lying on a bed
    Just as well they never see
    The hate that's in your head
    Don't they know they're making love
    To one already dead!

Who Am I? - The Trial

  • If I speak, I am condemned.
    If I stay silent, I am damned!
  • My soul belongs to God, I know
    I made that bargain long ago
    He gave me hope when hope was gone
    He gave me strength to journey on

Fantine's Death

  • Hurry near, another day is dying
    Don't you hear the winter wind is crying
    There's a darkness which comes without a warning
    But I will sing you lullabyes and wake you in the morning.

The Confrontation

  • Valjean, at last
    We see each-other plain
    M'sieur L'Mayor
    You'll wear a different chain
  • You know nothing of Javert
    I was born inside a jail
    I was born with scum like you
    I am from the gutter too!

Castle On A Cloud

  • Cosette: I know a place where no one's lost,
    I know a place where no one cries,
    Crying at all is not allowed,
    Not in my castle on a cloud.
  • Madam Thadenier: Still there, Cosette? Your tears will do you no good. I told you fetch some water from the well in the wood.
    • Cosette: Please do not send me out alone, not in the darkness on my own-
  • Madam Thadenier: (cuts her off) No more of that! Or I'll forget to be nice! You heard ask you to do something and I never ask twice!!

Look Down

  • With all the anger in the land
    How long before the judgement day?
    Before we cut the fat ones down to size?
    Before the barricades arise?

Stars

  • You know your place in the sky
    You hold your course and your aim
    And each in your season
    Returns and returns
    And is always the same
    And if you fall as Lucifer fell
    You fall in flame!

The ABC Cafe- Red And Black

  • Red - the blood of angry men!
    Black - the dark of ages past!
    Red - a world about to dawn!
    Black - the night that ends at last!
  • Who cares about your lonely soul
    We strive toward a larger goal
    How our little lives don't count at all!

Do You Hear The People Sing

  • Do you hear the people sing?
    Singing a song of angry men?
    It is the music of a people
    Who will not be slaves again!
  • Will you give all you can give so that our banner may advance?

Some will fall and some will live, will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France!

Rue Plumet - In My Life

  • Valjean: Dear Cosette
    You’re such a lonely child!
    How pensive, how sad you seem to be.
    Believe me, if it were in my power
    I’d fill each passing hour.
    How quiet it must be, I can see,
    With only me for company.

    Cosette: There’s so little I know that I’m longing to know
    Of the child that I was and the time long ago!
    There’s so little you say of the life you have known,
    Why you keep to yourself, why we’re always alone!
    So dark, so dark and deep,
    The secrets that you keep.

    In my life
    I have all that I want
    You are loving and gentle and good.
    But Papa, dear Papa, in your eyes I am just like a child who is lost in a wood.

    Valjean: No more words!
    No more words,
    it’s a time that is dead!
    There are words, that are better unheard, better unsaid!

    Cosette: In my life
    I’m no longer a child
    And I yearn for the truth that you know
    Of the years
    Years ago.

    Valjean: You will learn
    Truth is given by God to us all in our time.
    In our turn.
  • In my life
    She has burst like the music of angels
    The light of the sun
    And my life seems to stop
    As if something is over
    And something has scarcely begun.

One Day More

  • One Day More.
    Another day another destiny.
    This neverending road to Calvary.
    These men who seem to know my crime will surely come a second time
    One Day More!

On My Own

  • In the rain
    The pavement shines like silver
    All the lights are misty in the river
    In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
    And all I see is him and me forever and forever
  • I love him
    But every day I'm learning
    All my life I've only been pretending
    Without me his world will go on turning
    A world that's full of happiness
    That I have never known!

Little People

  • So never kick a dog
    Because he's just a pup
    We'll fight like twenty armies
    And we won't give up
    So you'd better run for cover
    When the pup grows up!
  • Goliath was a bruiser who was as tall as the sky
    But Daniel threw a right and gave him one in the eye
    I haven't read the Bible, but I know that it's true
    It just goes to prove what little people can do!

A Little Fall Of Rain

  • Don't you fret, M'sieur Marius
    I don't feel any pain
    A little fall of rain
    Can hardly hurt me now
    You're here, that's all I need to know
    And you will keep me safe
    And you will keep me close
    And rain will make the flowers grow.

Night Of Anguish

  • You are wrong, and always have been wrong.
    I'm a man, no worse than any man.
    You are free, and there are no conditions,
    No bargains or petitions.
    There's nothing that I blame you for.
    You've done your duty, nothing more.

The Night / Drink With Me

  • Drink with me to days gone by
    To the life that used to be
    At the shrine of friendship, never say die
    Let the wine of friendship never run dry
    Here's to you and here's to me.

Bring Him Home

  • You can take
    You can give
    Let him be
    Let him live
    If I die, let me die
    Let him live
    Bring him home.

The Final Battle

  • Let us die facing our foes, make them bleed while we can. Make them pay through the nose, make them pay for every man. Let others rise to take our place until the earth is FREE!!!!

Javert's Suicide

  • How can I now allow this man
    To hold dominion over me?
    This desperate man whom I have hunted
    He gave me my life. He gave me freedom.
    I should have perished by his hand
    It was his right.
    It was my right to die as well
    Instead I live... but live in hell.

Turning

  • They were schoolboys
    Never held a gun...
    Fighting for a new world
    That would rise up like the sun.
    Where's that new world now the fighting's done?

Empty Chairs At Empty Tables

  • Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me,
    What your sacrifice was for!
    Empty chairs at empty tables
    Where my friends will drink no more...

Valjean's Death

  • To love another person
    Is to see the face of God!

Finale

  • Do you hear the people sing
    Lost in the valley of the night?
    It is the music of a people
    Who are climbing to the light.

    For the wretched of the earth
    There is a flame that never dies.
    Even the darkest night will end
    And the sun will rise.
  • Will you join in our crusade?
    Who will be strong and stand with me?
    Somewhere beyond the barricade
    Is there a world you long to see?

    Do you hear the people sing?
    Say, do you hear the distant drums?
    It is the future that they bring
    When tomorrow comes...
    Tomorrow comes!

External Links

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