Walnut Street's Hot-Selling Les Miz, With Schoeffler and Panaro, Opens in Philly

News   Walnut Street's Hot-Selling Les Miz, With Schoeffler and Panaro, Opens in Philly The Walnut Street Theatre's new resident production of Les Misérables — shaping up to be one of the Philadelphia company's biggest sellers — opens May 21 after previews from May 13.

The Victor Hugo-inspired musical has already been extended three weeks, to Aug. 3, on the WST Mainstage.

This new resident production departs from the design tradition of the international hit musical; this time out, the stage floor is not a spinning turntable.

Broadway veterans and Philadelphia favorites are in the Mark Clements-directed company. Philly native and Broadway vet Hugh Panaro plays Jean Valjean, and WST and Broadway vet Paul Schoeffler is Inspector Javert.

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"I am excited to present the show without a turntable," scenic designer Todd Ivins said in a statement. "I am also excited about the way we make the space breathe…even though the setting is pre-planned, it remains dynamic and flexible. The scenery is also sculptural and is designed to interact with the lighting, and the visual result will be beautiful. I hope the audience will see a certain symbolic poetry in the environment and its movement while never being distracted from the performers or the narrative." Barrymore Award-winning director Clements directs a cast that includes Jessica Bogart (The Walnut's Philadelphia Story, La Vie En Bleu, Broadway's Oklahoma!, In My Life) as Fantine; Jeffrey Coon (Carousel, Beauty and the Beast) as Enjolras; Julie Craig as Cosette; Christina DeCicco (West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast and the national tour of Wicked) as Eponine; Ben Dibble (a Philadelphia favorite); Kelley Faulkner; Constantine Germanacos; Scott Greer (Of Mice and Men) as Thenardier; Darren Michael Hengst; Danielle Herbert; Joe Jackson; Mary Martello (known for many Philly turns); Michael Philip O'Brien; Katie O'Shaughnessey; Steve Pacek; Jennifer Page; Fran Prisco; Ilona Rubenstein; Nicholas F. Saverine; Peter Schmitz as The Bishop; Abigail Sparrow; Dawn Spence as Madame Thenardier; Denise Whelan and Josh Young, with Gianna Bruzzese and Laurel Gwynne Yaros as Young Cosette, Danielle Rosenthal and Maggie Fitzgerald as Young Eponine, and Brandon O'Rourke and Dante Mignucci as Gavroche. Extras include John Greenbaum, Mark Murphy, Joe O'Brien and CJ Sikorski.

Music and vocal director for Les Miz is Douglass G. Lutz.

The creative team also features lighting designer Jeff Nellis, sound designer Ryk Lewis, costume designer and shop manager Colleen Grady.

Les Miz was created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Music is by Schonberg, lyrics are by Herbert Kretzmer. Original French is text by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Additional material is by James Fenton. It was adapted and originally directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

Its score includes the internationally-popular songs "One Day More," "Bring Him Home," "On My Own," "I Dreamed a Dream" and more.

For tickets and information call (215) 574-3550 or (215) 336-1234. Tickets are also available online at www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com. Visit www.LesMisPhilly.com for more information.

Hugh Panaro (as Jean Valjean) and Paul Schoeffler (as Javert).
Hugh Panaro (as Jean Valjean) and Paul Schoeffler (as Javert). Photo by Mark Garvin