Toronto's New Les Misérables, Starring Ramin Karimloo, Will Begin in September; Complete Casting Announced
By Michael Gioia
The Toronto premiere of the 25th-anniversary edition of Les Misérables, starring Ramin Karimloo (London's The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies) as Jean Valjean, will begin its limited engagement at the Princess of Wales Theatre Sept. 27.
Mirvish Productions will present Cameron Mackintosh's revised production of the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. Tickets are currently on sale through Dec. 22.
The production is part of the 2013-14 Mirvish Subscription Season. In March 1989, David & Ed Mirvish presented the Canadian premiere of the musical based on Victor Hugo's novel. This new version of the 1985 smash has fresh orchestrations, scenes and design elements. Rehearsals begin Aug. 19.
Newly announced cast members include West End actor Earl Carpenter as Javert, a role he has played in productions around the world; Genevieve Leclerc as Fantine, a role she most recently played in the North American tour of Les Miz; Perry Sherman (Next to Normal and Spring Awakening touring productions) as Marius; Ella Ballentine, Saara Chaudry and Madison Oldroyd, who will share the roles of Little Cosette and Young Eponine; and David Gregory Black and Aiden Glenn, who will share the role of Gavroche.
The ensemble includes Richard Leon Barth, Katie Beetham, Andreane Bouladier, Caroline Colantonio, Ben Gunderson, Brittney Johnson, Elena Juatco, Andrew Love, Cornelia Luna, Heather McGuigan, Marisa McIntyre, Matt McMahan, Tyler Murree, Jason Ostrowski, Kristen Peace, John Rapson, Rachel Rincione, Matt Rosell, David Silvestri, Alan Shaw, Aaron Walpole, Jonathan Winsby, Ashley Wright and Chris Zonneville.
As prevously announced, Karimloo, a native of Richmond Hill, ON, has played Valjean in London's West End. Genevieve Leclerc, of Quebec, will star as Fantine, a role she is currently playing in the U.S. tour of Les Miz.
Winnipeg actress Samantha Hill (Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera) will play Cosette. "Canadian Idol" Season 3 winner, Juno nominee and Broadway and Stratford star of Jesus Christ Superstar, Melissa O'Neil, will play Eponine. Toronto's Cliff Saunders, known for his roles in Beauty and the Beast, The Lord of the Rings and Broadway's The 39 Steps, will play Monsieur Thenardier. Starring in the current Toronto production of The Wizard of Oz, Lisa Horner will play Madame Thenardier. Mark Uhre, who has appeared at the Shaw Festival, will play Enjolras.
The U.S./North American national tour concluded Aug. 11. The 25th anniversary production is slated to hit Broadway March 1, 2014, with an official opening set for March 23, 2014.
This reconception of the smash 1985 London hit musical (the Broadway run began in 1987) has music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer. Original producer Mackintosh again produces (he is a co-producer of the current Oscar-nominated film version, too), and he has said he hopes to bring this revised version to Broadway, perhaps in 2014.
The 25th-anniversary production's directors are James Powell & Laurence Connor, who borrow visual elements from the paintings of Victor Hugo (on whose epic novel the show is based) and infuse a more naturalistic, conversational singing style in this version. (The beloved score remains.) The musical supervisor is David Caddick.
For more about the confirmed shows in the Mirvish Productions season in Toronto, including the current The Wizard of Oz, visit Mirvish.com.
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