Cliff Saunders and Keala Settle Will Be "Masters of the House" in Les MisÚrables Revival; Kyle Scatliffe Also Cast
By Michael Gioia
Producer Cameron Mackintosh announced Nov. 20 that Canadian actor Cliff Saunders, Tony Award nominee Keala Settle and Kyle Scatliffe have been cast in the 2014 Broadway return of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables.
Saunders, who has been seen on Broadway in The 39 Steps, and Settle, Tony-nominated last season for her standout performance in Hands on a Hardbody, will play the Thenardiers. Saunders is currently performing the role of Thenardier in the Toronto production of Les Miz, starring West End actor Ramin Karimloo (The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies), who will reprise his performance as Jean Valjean for Broadway.
Scatliffe, currently co-starring in the West End production of The Scottsboro Boys, will make his Broadway debut as the revolutionary Enjolras.
Also cast in the Broadway revival — which will begin performances March 1, 2014, at the Imperial Theatre, the show's home on Broadway for nearly 13 years and 5,244 performances — are Andy Mientus (Broadway debut, Spring Awakening national tour, "Smash," Off-Broadway's Carrie) as Marius, Charlotte Maltby (Broadway debut, Les Miz at the St. Louis Muny, current musical theatre student at the University of Michigan) as Cosette, Tony Award nominee Will Swenson (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Little Miss Sunshine) as Javert, West End and Broadway actress Caissie Levy (Ghost, Hair, Murder Ballad) as Fantine and Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon; Fetch Clay, Make Man) as Eponine.
Opening night is set for March 23. The complete ensemble will be announced next month, and tickets are currently on sale.
The 25th-anniversary, re-imagined production of Les Misérables, featuring fresh scenic and narrative elements and new orchestrations, is currently playing Toronto with Karimloo as Jean Valjean.
The new production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley (inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo) with costumes by original designer Andreane Neofitou and additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions. The new version inspired filmmakers to create the recent award-winning film of the same name.
The original New York production of Les Misérables premiered at the Broadway Theatre March 12, 1987, and later moved to the Imperial Oct. 17, 1990, where it played until May 18, 2003, for a total Broadway run of 6,680 performances.
This will mark the third time Les Miz plays Broadway. Its first revival (staged by the original creative team, including Trevor Nunn and John Caird) was presented in 2006.
The Tony-winning score includes such classics 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 more.
Les Miz, written by Boublil and Schönberg, is based on the 19th-century novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, original adaption by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and additional material by James Fenton.
The original Les Miz orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke and additional orchestrations by Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.
The original London production is still running and is in its 28th year. The musical premiered at the Barbican Theatre in a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985. It transferred to the Palace Theatre in December of that year and then moved to its current home at the Queen's Theatre in April 2004 where it is still playing. Les Miz is the fourth longest-running Broadway production of all time.
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