Les Miz Hits Its 16th Birthday on Bway March 12

News   Les Miz Hits Its 16th Birthday on Bway March 12 The Broadway production of Les Misérables hits another milestone March 12, when it marks the 16th anniversary of its opening.
Terrence Mann in his triumphant return to Les Mis
Terrence Mann in his triumphant return to Les Mis (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Since the Cameron Mackintosh production is now in its final months, leading to a May 18 close date at the Imperial, there won't be a public celebration of the anniversary. Parties and celebrations are expected for the final week of the run, when Les Miz says "adieu" to Broadway. The final weekend of performances are not yet on public sale until Mackintosh determines who will be invited the ultimate and penultimate shows.

The musical version of the Victor Hugo novel (by writer Alain Boublil and composer Claude-Michel Schonberg, collaborating with others, including Trevor Nunn and John Caird and English lyricist Herbert Kretzmer) ends its New York run on May 18 after 16 years and 6,680 performances (the number was announced to be 6,684, but four shows were lost due to the March 7-9 strike). It opened in 1987 following its huge success in London.

The Les Miz Broadway cast includes Randal Keith as Valjean, Lauren Kennedy as Fantine (to March 23, to be replaced by Jayne Paterson March 25) and 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).

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.

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.

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Fans of the inspirational, all-sung show will still be able to catch the continuing national tour, which will live on after the Broadway closing. There is also a school edition of the show that is expected to proliferate in high schools and colleges.