Broadway's New Les Miz Will Star Gemignani, Rubin-Vega, Beach, Lewis and More

News   Broadway's New Les Miz Will Star Gemignani, Rubin-Vega, Beach, Lewis and More Newcomers and veterans will punctuate the new Broadway production of Les Miserables, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced June 5.

From Top: Alexander Gemignani; Norm Lewis; Daphne Rubin-Vega.
From Top: Alexander Gemignani; Norm Lewis; Daphne Rubin-Vega. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Alexander Gemignani, 26, who distinguished himself recently in Broadway revivals of Assassins (as Hinckley) and the current Sweeney Todd (as The Beadle), will play Jean Valjean — the famed French outlaw (a.k.a. Prisoner 24601) who reinvents himself in the novel by Victor Hugo.

Valjean will be chased by Norm Lewis (Side Show, Dessa Rose, The Wild Party, A New Brain) as Inspector Javert.

Performances of the Les Miz revival begin Oct. 22 at the Broadhurst Theatre toward a Nov. 9 opening. A limited six-month engagement has been announced.

Daphne Rubin-Vega, Rent's original Tony Award-nominated Mimi (and a Tony nominee for Anna in the Tropics) will play the tragic Fantine; Gary Beach, a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Award winner for his performance as Roger DeBris in The Producers, will be corrupt Thenardier, a role he originated in the first Los Angeles production of Les Miz; Jenny Galloway, a London stage favorite who recently originated the role of Mrs. Brill in Mary Poppins, will play Madame Thenardier, which she played on the West End; Aaron Lazar, currently starring as Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center, will play flag-waving revolutionary Enjolras; Adam Jacobs, a 26-year-old native of San Francisco and graduate of NYU Theatre Program, will be Marius (he'll make his Broadway debut, though he's played the Les Miz tour); Lea Michele, 19, a Young Cosette in 1995 on Broadway and recently of Fiddler on the Roof, will play Eponine; Ali Ewoldt, a 24 year-old native of Westchester and a Yale graduate who appeared in the Les Miz tour, will play Cosette.

The ensemble will be announced at a later date. Rehearsals for the new company will begin in early September, under the direction of co-director John Caird. He a director Trevor Nunn are the original co-directors. No major reinvention of their lavish internationally-famed production — in which a turntable is used to potent effect — is expected.

Four of the principals — Gemignani, Lewis, Rubin-Vega and Lazar — will be performing in Les Miz for the first time.

"I am delighted that we have found nine exceptional and diverse performers — a wonderful combination of seasoned pros and exciting young talent — to help bring a fresh perspective and vitality to this new production of Les Miz at the elegant and intimate Broadhurst," said producer Mackintosh, in a statement.

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Les Miserables is by Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, with original French text by Alain Boublil & Jean-Marc Natel and additional material by James Fenton.

Directed by Trevor Nunn & John Caird, the musical is designed by John Napier with lighting by David Hersey, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Elise Napier and sound by Andrew Bruce and John Weston.

Les Miz was first presented by Cameron Mackintosh and The Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre in October 1985. The musical transferred to the West End's Palace Theatre later that year, where it played for 19 years. The production transferred to the Queen's Theatre in April 2004, where it continues today.

The musical is the third longest-running show in Broadway history and will, on Oct. 9, pass the 21-year-old record of Cats in London to become the longest-running musical ever on the West End or Broadway with 8,372 performances; a run nearly three years longer than Broadway’s record-holder The Phantom of the Opera (all three shows were produced by Cameron Mackintosh).

The original Broadway run ended only three years ago. It played 6,680 performances.

For more information, visit www.lesmis.com.

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Tickets for groups have been on sale in recent weeks. An pre-sale for single tickets is being offered to AmEx cardholders June 7-24, and public sales begin June 25 via Telecharge.com.

The first preview was originally announced to be Oct. 21. It has since been shifted to Sunday Oct. 22.