Shuler Hensley takes his final plunge as Javert in Broadway's Les Misérables Nov. 17 before beginning rehearsals for his Olivier Award winning role as Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, beginning in February 2002. Hensley will be replaced Nov. 20 by Les Miz veteran Philip Hernandez, the only actor who has played both Inspector Javert (1998-99) and his quarry, Jean Valjean (1995-96), on Broadway. Hernandez joins the troupe direct from the national tour. He recently played Rico in the national tour of Barry Manilow's Copacabana and is founder and executive producer of New York's Judith Shakespeare Company.
American-born Hensley, a Georgia native, won the Olivier for playing the brooding, brutish Jud Fry in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in London in 2000. Director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Susan Stroman recreate their work for the Broadway version of the London revival, beginning previews Feb. 23, 2002, at the Gershwin Theatre.
Les Misérables continues at the Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th Street, in Manhattan. Call (212) 239-6200 for tickets.