"Little People": A Look Back at the Young Stars of Les MisÚrables

By Carey Purcell
March 23, 2014

Playbill.com looks back at performers who began their careers playing some of the "little people" in the musical Les Misérables.



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The latest Broadway revival of Les Misérables opens on Broadway March 23 at the Imperial Theatre. The Tony Award-winning, international hit musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel premiered on Broadway in 1987 and ran until 2003. A second production opened in 2006, running through 2008.

Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's musical has toured repeatedly and has been produced in more than 40 countries. With a cast of more than 20 actors, Les Misérables marked the stage debut of many actors and actresses, including the rotating cast of children who play young Cosette, young Eponine and the street urchin Gavroche.

Click through to see actors and actresses who began their stage careers in Les Misérables.

Lea Michele

Lea Michele

Before she was Rachel Berry on "Glee," Michele was singing "Castle on a Cloud" on Broadway. The rising star made her Broadway debut in Les Misérables, playing Young Eponine, Young Cosette and Gavroche. Michele's stage credits also include Ragtime, Fiddler on the Roof and Spring Awakening. She has appeared in the film "New Year's Eve" and voiced Dorothy in "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return."

Nick Jonas

Pop star Nick Jonas began his stage career in Les Misérables as Gavroche, before performing as Chip in Beauty and the Beast and Little Jake in Annie Get Your Gun. He revisited the French tragedy in 2010, playing Marius in the 25th anniversary concert before taking his leading man bow in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as J. Pierrepont Finch.



Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

The original Young Cosette from the first Broadway production of Les Misérables, Vivino went on to perform on Broadway in Hairspray, Wicked and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me.

Daisy Eagan

Daisy Eagan

Before making history as the youngest female actress to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her performance in The Secret Garden, Eagan served as an alternate for Young Cosette, Young Eponine and Gavroche. Her Broadway credits also include James Joyce's The Dead, and she has appeared in the films "Losing Isaiah" and "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding." She recently announced the touring production of her one-woman show One For My Baby.

Jason Tam

Jason Tam

After playing Gavroche in Les Misérables, Tam went on to play Paul in A Chorus Line and Xander in Lysistrata Jones. He is currently performing in the new Broadway musical If/Then in the role of David.

Brandon Espinoza

Brandon Espinoza

Most recently seen on Broadway in Gypsy, Espinoza's stage credits also include Big and The Will Rogers Follies. He made his Broadway debut as Gavroche in Les Misérables.

Ashley Tisdale

The "High School Musical" star toured with Les Misérables as a child, playing Young Cosette, before landing success on the Disney Channel with "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and releasing the solo albums "Headstrong" and "Guilty Pleasure."

Gerard Canonico

After playing Gavroche in Les Misérables, Canonico's career took a turn for rock when he performed in the Broadway productions of the rock musicals Spring Awakening and American Idiot.



Lacey Chabert

Lacey Chabert

The "Party of Five" star made her Broadway debut in Les Misérables and played Baby June in the TV movie "Gypsy" with Bette Midler before appearing in "Mean Girls." She has also been seen on the TV shows "The Spectacular Spider-Man," "Allen Gregory" and "Transformers: Rescue Bots."

 

Chris Trousdale

Chris Trousdale

Trousdale played Gavroche on Broadway and performed in The Broadway Kids before he joined the band Dream Street, performing with Jesse McCartney.

Eden Riegel

Eden Riegel

The soap opera star, who has appeared on "One Life to Live," "All My Children" and "The Young and the Restless," made her Broadway debut in Les Misérables. She also performed in The Will Rogers Follies and has lent her vocal talents to numerous video games, including "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," "Resident Evil 6" and "Final Fantasy XIII-2." 

Kimberly J. Brown

Kimberly J. Brown

Along with Les Misérables, Brown's stage credits include Four Baboons Adoring the Sun and Show Boat. She went on to appear in the TVB movie "Halloweentown" and "My Sister's Keeper" as well as the TV shows "Guiding Light" and "Low Winter Sun" and the movie "Tumbleweeds."