By Adam Hetrick
06 Dec 2012
Music Theatre International announced the release of the live performance rights to the full-length version of Les Misérables, which has only been performed by a handful of professional U.S. theatre companies in recent years. The Broadway and West End productions, as well as the U.S. national tour have kept the title restricted from licensing.
The only version that has been available for production is the Les Misérables School Edition, an abridged adaptation for school-age performers that was released in 2001. That title has proven immensely popular, with over 3,000 school productions in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
The licensing window for the full-length version of Les Misérables will be open for a limited time, according to MTI. Applications are now being accepted at MTIShows.com for productions beginning in June 2013.
Based on Victor Hugo's classic novel, Les Misérables has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer based on the original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with additional material by James Fenton.
John Caird and Trevor Nunn directed the indelible original production, which used a sparse, revolving stage to tell the tale of prisoner Jean Valjean and his redemption. The sung-through musical includes such songs as "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "Stars," "Bring Him Home," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "One Day More," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "Master Of The House" and "A Little Fall of Rain."
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Les Misérables premiered at the Barbican Theatre on Oct. 8, 1985. It transferred to Broadway Feb. 28, 1987, and played a record-breaking 6,680-performance run, which ended in 2003. It was revived on Broadway in 2006. The London run continues.