You can just imagine the waif, Cosette, singing, "Everything was beautiful at the barricade."
Cameron Mackintosh's Broadway production of Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schönberg's Les Misérables will surpass the performance count of A Chorus Line Jan. 25 by playing its 6,138th show, making it the second-longest running musical in Broadway history.
Inspired by the 19th-century Victor Hugo novel about guilt, forgiveness and orphans emotional, literal and spiritual (to say nothing of that student uprising in Paris, where insurgents sing on a barricade), the musical is one of the great international successes of all time. It began in France, was retooled by British producer Mackintosh and an English creative team working with Schönberg and Boublil, and began is smash history in London prior to a Broadway bow.
A Chorus Line played 6,137 performances. Cats surpassed that number before closing Sept. 10, 2000, after 7,485 shows, and now Les Miz at the Imperial Theatre, is chasing that record. Some plans are in the works for the celebratory day when Miz takes the number two slot, but details have yet to emerge.
The pop-operatic Les Miz — with ex-con Jean Valjean pitted against pious Inspector Javert — celebrates its 15th anniversary March 12, 2002. It opened at the Broadway Theatre and later moved to the current Imperial. The show has been seen by 8.5 million people in New York City. Worldwide, its audience counts about 45 million. The box office gross has been $1.8 billion.There have been 43 productions of Les Miz in 33 countries, in 20 different languages. It won the 1987 Tony Award for Best Musical. The cast of Les Miz includes Ivan Rutherford (Jean Valjean), Philip Hernandez (Javert), Jacquelyn Piro (Fantine), Nick Wyman (Thénardier), Betsy Joslyn (Madame Thénardier), Peter Lockyer (Marius), Diana Kaarina (Eponine beginning Jan. 14), Sandra Turley (Cosette) and Christopher Mark Peterson.
Les Miz plays 8 PM Monday-Saturday, and 2 PM Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets range $20-$85. For information, call (212) 239 6200.
There are currently eight productions around the world: London, New York, The U.S. National Tour, Budapest (Hungary), Tokyo (Japan, in repertory), Bonn (Germany), Sao Paolo (Brazil) and Chemnitz (Germany).
Noted alumni include Michael Ball (Marius), Gary Beach (Thénardier), Laurie Beechman (Fantine), Lacey Chabert (Young Cosette), Robert Cuccioli (Javert), Daisy Eagan (Young Cosette), Debbie Gibson (Eponine), Randy Graff (Fantine), Ruthie Henshall (Fantine), Catherine Hickland (Fantine), Judy Kuhn (Cosette), Patti LuPone (Fantine), Terrence Mann (Javert), Ricky Martin (Marius), Andrea McArdle (Eponine/Fantine), Melba Moore (Fantine), Gary Morris (Valjean), Hugh Panaro (Marius), Nathalie Paulding (Young Cosette), Frances Ruffelle (Eponine), Lea Salonga (Eponine), Marla Schaffel (Ensemble), Shanice (Eponine), Alice Ripley (Fantine), Rachel York (Fantine) and Colm Wilkinson (Valjean).
Cameron Mackintosh told the Daily News (Jan. 2002) that upcoming plans for the show might include a return by Wilkinson, but a Publicity Office spokesperson told Playbill On-Line (Jan. 11), there are currently no specific plans in the works to do so.