Les Miz To Begin Resident Theatre Life in 2007; UT's Pioneer Among Troupes Building Barricades

News   Les Miz To Begin Resident Theatre Life in 2007; UT's Pioneer Among Troupes Building Barricades The American regional licensing life of the international smash musical Les Misérables will begin as early as April 2007, when Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City stages a resident production.

The Equity troupe in Utah announced the production on its website, www.pioneertheatre.org, as part of a 2006-07 season that will include its resident productions of Chicago, Pride and Prejudice, You Can't Take It With You, The Ladies Man, Othello and Lost in Yonkers.

No casting or production team has been announced for the Utah Les Miz staging, slated for April 27-May 12, 2007, according to the website.

The London, Broadway and touring image and typeface for Les Miz (featuring the waif Cosette) are being used to promote the work on the PTC site. The title is expected to be a boon to resident subscriptions in theatres around the country.

A handful of resident American theatres were chosen (but have not been made public) by Les Miz producer Cameron Mackintosh and licensing giant Music Theater International for the next step in the history of the Victor Hugo-inspired musical: Allowing the script and score to be rented by not-for-profit professional and amateur theatres. (There is already a version of the script and score that schools can rent.)

The announcement in Salt Lake City comes just weeks before the start of previews for the new Broadway engagement of the show, directed by original co-creator John Caird. Performances at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre begin Oct. 24, leading to a Nov. 9 opening and an announced six-month run in New York City (although the smart money is on a run of at least a year, given the beloved show's brand name and audience appeal). Playbill.com could not find another resident theatre that has announced the property in the coming season. Presumably, Salt Lake is far enough west as to not interfere with the financial hopes of the Broadway producers.

North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA, has this coy description of "A Blockbuster Broadway Musical" for October 2007: "This epic show revolutionized the Broadway musical and became the biggest international theatrical phenomenon of the past two decades. Due to contract requirements and a new production on Broadway this fall, we can't tell you the title just yet."

(A Chorus Line is also being revived on Broadway this fall, but didn't emerge in the past two decades.)

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Les Misérables is by Alain Boublil (book and lyrics) and Claude-Michel Schönberg (music), based on the novel by Victor Hugo. English lyrics are by Herbert Kretzmer. Original French lyrics are by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Additional material is by James Fenton. Orchestrations are by John Cameron. Original London production was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

According to Pioneer, "This epic musical masterpiece has become one of the most acclaimed theatrical events of the twentieth century. Victor Hugo's story of Jean Valjean, an escaped prisoner who redeems his life through selfless acts of love even as he is pursued by the implacable Inspector Javert through some of the most tumultuous years in French history, has thrilled millions of theatregoers all over the world."

For more information about the London and Broadway productions, visit www.lesmis.com.