Playbill Poll: Who Should Play Eponine in 2014 Broadway Revival of Les Miz? Readers Respond

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28 Jul 2013

Samantha Barks
Samantha Barks
Universal Pictures

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 Eponine in the upcoming 25th-anniversary Broadway revival at the Imperial Theatre?

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Playbill.com polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter asking who should take on the role of the tragic, yet hopeful street urchin Eponine, who sings the iconic ballad "On My Own."

Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary.

Elizabeth Diaz: Samantha Barks because she is a great actress and has a beautiful voice. She is also a genuine and talented person.
Nathan Bottorff: Samantha Barks. She was fantastic in the film version. It's time she came to Broadway.
Diana Puertas: Samantha Barks. She's been the best Eponine since Lea Salonga. She did such an amazing job at the O2. She has the voice and a sweet vulnerability to the role.

Stage and screen actress Samantha Barks, who brought Eponine to life on the big screen in the recent film adaptation of Les Miz, played the role in the London production in 2010 and again in the show's 25th anniversary London concert at the O2 Arena. Barks, the most popular choice among our readers, received great praise for her portrayal of Eponine, both on stage and on screen. The actress, who is currently appearing in the Hollywood Bowl production of Chicago and has also been seen on the West End stage in Oliver! and Cabaret, would be making her Broadway debut if she played Eponine in the forthcoming revival of Les Misérables.

Jennifer Damiano
Thomas Murphy: Jennifer Damiano. Vulnerable, intense and likeable. Plus, if she could belt out N2N like that I'm sure her On My Own would be Epic!!!
Judy Muller: Jennifer Damiano! I think she would make a phenomenal Eponine. Her voice would be perfect and a refreshing take on the role. I would love to see her belt out "On My Own" and see how she would take on "A Little Fall of Rain!"

Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano, last seen in the Public Theater's staging of Venice, has played conflicted young adults such as Natalie in Next to Normal (the role that earned her a Tony nomination in 2009) and Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. She would no doubt offer a thrilling take on "On My Own," as she has both the acting and vocal chops suited for the role of Eponine.

Krysta Rodriguez
Nicole Vázquez: how about someone like Krysta Rodriguez or Jennifer Damiano? It would be refreshing to see someone who hasn't played the part before take on that role.
John McKenzie Williams: Krysta Rodriguez...PHENOMENAL actress and KICK-BUTT singer. She would totally be TONY front runner.

Krysta Rodriguez, who is currently starring on Broadway in First Date, would be an exciting choice for Eponine in the 2014 Broadway revival. The actress, who has also appeared on Broadway in The Addams Family, In the Heights, Spring Awakening, A Chorus Line and Good Vibrations, demonstrated her versatility as an actress when she took a brief hiatus from the stage to film the second and final season of the NBC musical drama "Smash."

Laurie Veldheer
Craig Hammerlind: Laurie Veldheer.

Laurie Veldheer, who made her Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated Best Musical Newsies, currently stars as Sophie Sheridan in Broadway's Mamma Mia! and was recently seen as Millie in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. With her stage career on the rise, Veldheer would seem an ideal choice for Eponine.

Lea Michele
Kim Yee: Lea Michele because she is just that good.

"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." We would love to see her reprise her performance and return to Broadway.

Rachel Potter
Kaitlin Emily McLellan: I would love to see Rachel Potter in the role.
Nathan Hinds: Rachel Potter for sure... She could put a cool twist on it I think and make it her own. There's nothing I hate worse than a boring Eponine, and I think she could make it interesting.

Rachel Potter, who was last seen as the Mistress in the Broadway revival of Evita, is known for her powerful belt, and no doubt she would bring that same power to Eponine's "On My Own." The actress also appeared in The Addams Family on Broadway.

Natalie Weiss
Hope Cantwell: Natalie Weiss.

Natalie Weiss, who was an understudy in Broadway's Everyday Rapture, is currently on tour with the 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables. The performer, known for her powerful voice, can be heard on multiple recordings by rising theatrical songwriters. It's about time that Weiss had the chance to shine on Broadway, and Eponine in the 2014 Broadway revival might be the ideal choice.

Ariana Grande
Austin Jon Satinsky: I think Ariana Grande should play Eponine in the revival of Les Mis. She has a beautiful voice and Broadway hasn't seen her in too long.

Ariana Grande was last seen on Broadway in Jason Robert Brown's 13. Since then, the actress played Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon series "Victorious" and "iCarly" and will reprise the role on the spinoff "Sam & Cat." Grande, who is known for her television projects, would make her Broadway return if she was cast in the revival of Les Miz.

Vanessa Carlton
Preston Thompson: Vanessa Carlton

Singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, known for her hit single "A Thousand Miles" and her debut album "Be Not Nobody," studied dance at the School of American Ballet. We would love to see what the singer could do in her New York stage debut.

Leigh Ann Larkin
Chauncy McButterbeans: Leigh Ann Larkin was such an earthy and well-sung Petra in A Little Night Music and I think she'd bring a similar sincerity and directness to Eponine.

Leigh Ann Larkin, who was last seen on Broadway in A Little Night Music, also starred in the 2008 revival of Gypsy alongside Tony Award winner Patti LuPone. The actress was most recently seen in concert with the popular music group The Skivvies, but we'd love for her to move from the concert stage back to The Great White Way.

Lindsay Mendez
Noah Eisenberg: Lindsay Mendez!!

Lindsay Mendez, who currently stars as Elphaba in the hit Broadway musical Wicked, has had a busy year. The actress, who was previously on Broadway in Godspell, went on to the popular Off-Broadway musical Dogfight and developed her own musical song cycle with Godspell's Michael Holland, entitled You're Gonna Hate This. If and when the actress flies out of Oz, we'd love to see her on Broadway (yet again) in the revival of Les Miz.

Demi Lovato
@maarkm: OBVIOUSLY DEMI LOVATO

Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato, who recently released her fourth album "Demi," rose to fame in the Disney television musical "Camp Rock." The singer, who is also a Disney Channel favorite and starred on the comedy series "Sonny with a Chance," has demonstrated that she boasts more than just a powerful voice. We would love for her to make her New York stage debut in an iconic role and hear her take on Eponine.

Ashley Spencer
@tmsilvestri: Ashley Spencer. Most honest portrayal.

Ashley Spencer has been seen on Broadway in Hairspray, Grease, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and, most recently, Rock of Ages. The actress took on the rock 'n' roll diva Sherrie in Rock of Ages, and Eponine would offer the actress a chance to display another aspect of her many talents. 

Annaleigh Ashford
@Ladybirdplane: @ANALEIGHASHFORD I think she would be great and bring some spark to the role.

Annaleigh Ashford, who received her first Tony Award nomination this season for her portrayal of the quirky Lauren in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, brings a "spark" to each of her Broadway outings. We would love to see what Ashford — who was also seen on Broadway in Hair, Legally Blonde and Wicked — could do with the role of the ill-fated Eponine.

Kelsey Fowler
@NJMedicMan: Kelsey Fowler would make a beautiful Eponine. Her gifted voice, passionate and fiery heart surely make her a contender!
@tps41196: @KelseyFowlerNYC have you seen, or heard her act? She would nail that part.
@AbbyDePhillips: Kelsey fowler!! She's fabulous and talented and as a high school girl, knows exactly how eponine feels! She's perrrrfect grin

Kelsey Fowler was last seen on Broadway as Young Bonnie in Bonnie & Clyde. The young actress, who was also seen in Sunday in the Park With George, Mary Poppins and Grey Gardens, is the perfect age for Eponine, and we think she's more than ready to take on a more demanding role.