Broadway's Les Miserables has a new Valjean and Fantine. J. Mark McVey and Jane Bodle left the show on Saturday, April 21, and Miz vets Ivan Rutherford and Jacquelyn Piro return to those roles April 23. Shuler Hensley stays on as Javert.
Rutherford has essayed Valjean thrice on Broadway and, most recently, has been been playing the bedraggled character on the national tour. Piro got her start as Cosette in Les Miz's third national tour in 1988. Her Cosette reached Broadway in 1990, and five years later, Piro came back to play Cosette's mom, Fantine — the role she plays now.
On March 12, Les Miserables started its 15th year on Broadway, with no sign of a Cats or Saigon-like collapse in sight. As of April 8, the Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schonberg musical, based on Victor Hugo's novel, had played 5,799 performances.
Betsy Joslyn is Madame Thenardier, Sandra Turley is Cosette, Peter Lockyer is Marius, Catherine Brunell is Eponine, and Christopher Mark Peterson plays Enjolras.
McVey is well versed in the role of the noble, downtrodden Valjean -- he essayed the role in London and in the American national company, as well as in a previous stint on Broadway beginning in 1991. Courtesy of the Publicity Office, which reps Les Miz, here are a few other interesting facts about the longevity of the musical hit:
* Les Miz is the fourth longest-running Broadway show of all time.
* As of March 2001, the Broadway production had grossed more than $355 million, with 8 million people having seen the show.
* 375 actors have performed in the Broadway company.
* 1,558 people have worked on the show in various capacities.
* 210 people are currently employed in direct association with the show.
* 451 shows have opened on Broadway since Les Miserables opened.
* The onstage turntable has circulated 186,368 times.
* 429 shows have closed on Broadway since Les Miserables opened.
* The last six U.S. presidents (including Dubya) have seen the show.
Tickets ($20-$85) for regular performances of Les Miserables at the Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street, can be ordered by calling (212) 239-6200.