London Les Miz Celebrates 17th Birthday Oct. 8

News   London Les Miz Celebrates 17th Birthday Oct. 8 Les Misérables opened at the Barbican Theatre on Oct. 8, 1985, launching a theatrical phenomenon that is still packing them in at the Palace Theatre, where it moved on Dec. 4 of that same year.

Les Misérables opened at the Barbican Theatre on Oct. 8, 1985, launching a theatrical phenomenon that is still packing them in at the Palace Theatre, where it moved on Dec. 4 of that same year.

The show owes a great deal to designer John Napier as well as director Trevor Nunn and the authors of the show (book, music and lyrics), Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. The barricades in particular continue to impress as flexible, effective stage design, and the fluidity of the staging is an essential part of the show's success.

Whether Les Miz matches the Mousetrap's half-century remains to be seen — and the Broadway production is set to close in March 2003 — but 17 is an extraordinary age for any show to have reached.