By Andrew Gans
08 Aug 2008
|Photo by Aubrey Reuben|
Richard Jay-Alexander, the Broadway producer-director who has staged concerts for Bernadette Peters, Barbra Streisand, Betty Buckley and Bette Midler, directs Les Misérables in Concert, which runs through Aug. 10 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 also feature musical direction by Kevin Stites, who was the musical director and conductor for the recent Broadway Les Miz revival; Stites now conducts the 55-piece Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Performances are nearly sold out for the three-performance run at the Bowl, which seats 17,400.
The star-studded mix of stage and screen actors boasts 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 Young Cosette during the original Broadway run of Les Miz, as Eponine; Broadway veteran Ruth Williamson (La Cage aux Folles, The Music Man) as Madame Thénardier; Jersey Boys Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young as Marius; Curtains' Michael McCormick as Thenardier; British actor Tom Lowe, whose West End credits include Les Misérables and Cats, as Enjolras; and Les Miserables' Michele Maika as Cosette with Sage Ryan (Robert Zemeckis' forthcoming "A Christmas Carol") as Gavroche and Maddie Levy (Oklahoma! and Oliver! at The Downey Civic Light Opera) as Young Cosette.
The Hollywood Bowl is presenting Les Misérables in Concert by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh and Music Theatre International.
Originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Les Miserables was penned by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo. It features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, with original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel and additional material by James Fenton.
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.