Bway Les Miz Gets New Valjean and Fantine

News   Bway Les Miz Gets New Valjean and Fantine Broadway's Les Misérables welcomes a new Jean Valjean and a new Fantine in its final weeks leading to the May 18 close of the show.
Randal Keith as Jean Valjean in the national tour of Les Mis
Randal Keith as Jean Valjean in the national tour of Les Mis (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Joining the Broadway company are Les Miz touring leads Randal Keith (starting Feb. 25) as heroic Jean Valjean and Jayne Paterson (starting March 18) as the dying woman whose daughter becomes his charge.

The Cameron Mackintosh-produced musical version of the Victor Hugo novel (by musical writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg) ends its New York run on May 18 after 16 years and 6,684 performances.

Both Broadway newcomers have long histories with the show, and starred in last year’s engagement in Seoul, Korea.

Current and long-running Valjean, J. Mark McVey, will play his final performance on Feb. 23 and current Fantine, Lauren Kennedy, will play her final performance on March 16.

Keith has been with the American national company since 1997. He originally joined in July 1997 as Brujon and as cover for the role of Jean Valjean (including the record breaking Toronto engagement in 1998). He took over the role of Valjean in March 2001, which he has played since. He also played Valjean at certain performances for the show’s historic premiere in Shanghai in summer 2001, followed by the engagement in Korea. Paterson took over the role of Fantine on the national tour in October 2001. Last year she played the role in Seoul, Korea.

Paterson made her Broadway debut in Jane Eyre, in which she played Helen Burns (singing "Forgiveness"), understudied the title role and was associate director to John Caird and Scott Schwartz. For the ABC mini-series "Me and My Shadows," she provided additional recordings as the voice of Judy Garland.

The Broadway cast include the original Broadway Javert, Terrence Mann, in the role that earned him a Tony Award nomination. He joined Feb. 4.

Also on Broadway are Kevin Kern (Marius), Diana Kaarina (Eponine), Christopher Mark Peterson (Enjolras), Sandra Turley (Cosette), Nick Wyman (Thénardier) and Aymee Garcia (Madame Thénardier).

Les Miz plays 7 PM Tuesday, 8 PM Wednesday- Saturday, 2 PM Wednesday and Saturday and 3 PM Sunday. For tickets call Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.

Jayne Paterson as Fantine in the national tour of <i>Les Mis</i>
Jayne Paterson as Fantine in the national tour of Les Mis (Photo by Joan Marcus)