By Andrew Gans
26 Feb 2008
A Bowl spokesperson confirmed to Playbill.com that Richard Jay-Alexander, the Broadway producer-director who has staged concerts for Bernadette Peters, Barbra Streisand, Betty Buckley and Bette Midler, will direct the Aug. 8-10 performances at the famed outdoor venue. Jay-Alexander returns to the epic musical having served as the associate director and executive producer of the original Broadway, touring and Canadian companies of Les Misérables. The concerts will also feature musical direction by Kevin Stites, who was the musical director and conductor for the recent Broadway Les Miz revival; Stites will conduct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
The Bowl also confirmed that the cast will boast J. Mark McVey as Valjean, a role the actor has played both on Broadway and in London's West End; Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, the star of Broadway's Ragtime, Man of La Mancha and Kiss Me, Kate, as Javert; Melora Hardin, the singer-actress who plays Jan Levinson on TV's "The Office," as Fantine; Spring Awakening's Lea Michele, who played the young Cosette in the original Broadway production of Les Miz, as Eponine; Emmy Award winner and former Grease, Seussical and Fiddler on the Roof star Rosie O'Donnell as Madame Thénardier; and Aaron Lazar as Enjolras, a role the actor played to much acclaim in the Les Miz revival.
Additional casting is expected shortly.
Les Miz was first presented by Cameron Mackintosh and The Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre in October 1985. The musical transferred to the West End's Palace Theatre later that year, where it played for 19 years. The production transferred to the Queen's Theatre in April 2004, where it continues today.
The original Broadway production — directed and adapted by Trevor Nunn and John Caird with Richard Jay-Alexander as associate director — ran March 12, 1987-May 18, 2003. The musical won eight 1987 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The recent Broadway revival — also directed by Caird — played Nov. 9, 2006-Jan. 6, 2008.
The beloved score includes such tunes as "Bring Him Home," "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," " Master of the House," "Castle on a Cloud," "Do You Hear the People Sing?" and "One Day More.
Show times at the Bowl are Aug. 8 and 9 at 8:30 PM and Aug. 10 at 7:30 PM.
The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, CA. For tickets, call (323) 850-2000. Visit www.hollywoodbowl.com for more information.