Playbill Poll: Who Should Play Fantine in 2014 Broadway Revival of Les Miz? Readers Respond
By Playbill Staff
With the creative team of the 2014 re-imagined revival of the Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables in the midst of auditions, we wondered: Who should play the iconic role of Fantine in the upcoming 25th-anniversary Broadway revival at the Imperial Theatre?
Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary.
Nik Cassin: Lea Michele
"Glee" star Lea Michele made her Broadway debut in the original Broadway production of Les Misérables, alternating in the roles of Young Cosette and Young Eponine as well as understudying Gavroche. The actress, who is known for her work in the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening, also starred in the Hollywood Bowl production of Les Miz, taking on the role of Eponine and giving a beautiful performance on "On My Own." If she is not considered for the role of Eponine, this could be her chance to take a stab at the tragic character Fantine, the mother of Cosette — a full-circle moment for Michele.
JohnMichael Schott: Julia Murney. When I saw her in Wicked, it was my second time seeing the show, but it felt like my first time. Her performance blew me away.
Two-time Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Murney, who has been seen on Broadway in Lennon and Wicked, was a popular choice among our readers. The actress, who is no stranger to dramatic roles — playing the high-flying, conflicted witch Elphaba in Wicked and, most recently, starring as a mother of a severely autistic son in the Off-Broadway drama Falling — is a perfect choice for the role of Fantine in the Broadway revival of Les Miz.
Robert James Seale III: Katharine McPhee would be great.
Since former "American Idol" contestant Katharine McPhee is no longer starring on television in the NBC musical drama "Smash," this could be her time to make her Broadway bow. Several readers suggested the singer, who proved her acting abilities in "Smash," starring as up-and-coming actress Karen. McPhee has yet to make her Broadway debut, but is certainly no stranger to the world of theatre.
Ken Kamlet: I think Katharine McPhee or Megan Hilty ... It would be fun to make them both audition & see who gets the part!
We would love to see Megan Hilty back on stage. The actress, who was nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performance as Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5, had been busy with the NBC musical drama "Smash." But, since the show was cancelled after its second season, her schedule might be more flexible for a Broadway return.
Trent Williams: Stephanine J. Block. It will get her the Tony she so deserves.
Stephanie J. Block, who also starred in Broadway's 9 to 5, received her first Tony Award nomination this year, for her tour-de-force performance as the title character in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The actress, who stepped in for actress Sutton Foster in the revival of Anything Goes and has been a favorite Elphaba of the long-running musical Wicked, has proved her versatility as a performer. Her other Broadway outings include The Pirate Queen and The Boy From Oz. We're sure that she would be a great choice in Les Miz and could even earn another Tony nod for her performance.
Jake Siwek: Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald is a five-time Tony Award winner for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun and Porgy and Bess, in which she starred opposite Norm Lewis, who played Javert in the last Broadway revival of Les Miz. We would love to see McDonald and Lewis reunite on Broadway, and Les Misérables may be the perfect opportunity.
Miriam Necastro: Sierra Boggess! Need I say more?
Drama Desk Award nominee Sierra Boggess, who starred in the 25th anniversary performance of Broadway's longest-running musical The Phantom of the Opera, was last seen on Broadway in Master Class. The actress, who played the title role in Broadway's The Little Mermaid, has the vocal abilities for many of the roles in the epic, Tony-winning Les Miz by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer. If not Fantine, we'd love to see her as Cosette!
Rachael Weise: Alice Ripley!
Tony Award winner Alice Ripley received great acclaim and won the 2009 Tony for her performance as bipolar matriarch Diana in Broadway's Next to Normal. And, Ripley already played a Broadway stint as Fantine, who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter and dies shortly thereafter.
Matt Rickmeier: Jessie Mueller. She is such a rising star and she could bring a great interpretation to the role.
Since making her Broadway debut in the 2011 revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Jessie Mueller received a 2012 Tony nomination and went on to play Cinderella in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods, Helena Landless in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, succeeding Kelli O'Hara. All of the roles she has played have been completely different, and we would love to see what the actress could bring to the role of Fantine.
Christopher Collinsworth: Laura Osnes
Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes shines as a princess in Broadway's Cinderella, in which she plays the title role and received her second Tony nomination. Fantine would be a 180-degree spin from her current Broadway project, and we would love to see what Osnes could do with such a dramatic undertaking.
@hensonmilam: SUTTON FOSTER @sfosternyc
Tony Award winner Sutton Foster proved, yet again, to be a thrill on the New York stage in the recent one-night-only concert performance of Jeanine Tesori's Violet. (Read the Playbill.com recap of the evening here.) We are confident that she would be perfect for Fantine in the Les Miz revival.
@ktgreeno: @SamanthaBarks, I think it'd be really interesting to see what she does with Fantine. Or @sierraboggess could amaze us all again.
Samantha Barks sang "On My Own" to perfection in the recent film adaptation of Les Misérables. The actress would provide an interesting take on the role of Fantine, having just performed Eponine on the big screen.
@A_Little_Wicked: @Deeroscioli bc she has this beautiful voice and she isn't doing anything right now (I think). She would just be so perfect!
Dee Roscioli was seen on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked in 2010. The actress could make her way back to Broadway in the 2014 revival of Les Miz. She has both the acting and vocal chops for the iconic role of Fantine.
Brian Frank Anne Hathaway! Her Broadway debut is long overdue and her performance in the film proves it's her turn to grace the Great White Way!!
Anne Hathaway received the Academy Award for her performance as Fantine in the film adaptation of Les Misérables. It's about time she graces the Great White Way, and what better way to do it than in an Oscar (and perhaps Tony-winning) turn as Fantine?
Aristotle Todd Domingo: Lea Salonga...best Fantine yet.
Tony winner Lea Salonga, London and Broadway's original Kim in Miss Saigon, is known for her performance as Fantine — both on Broadway and in the 25th anniversary concert. We would love to see her sing "I Dreamed a Dream" once more!
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