The Broadhurst Theatre will house the return of the Victor Hugo-inspired musical epic that will have been away from Broadway for only three years and five months. The hit — Broadway's third longest-running show behind The Phantom of the Opera and Cats — closed May 18, 2003, at the Imperial Theatre.
The original production's director, John Caird, will come to New York to stage this remount, which will borrow the set of the current North American tour (which closes this summer after almost 18 years). The touring cast won't automatically shift to Broadway. Expect an all-new cast, although one might speculate that some members of the tour may indeed show up in the company — as might members of past international productions.
Playbill.com learned that marquee-value names are being explored for the Broadway run, although no casting has been announced.
Opening night is set for Nov. 9. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in June, with group sales staring in late February.
Currently on the marquee of the Broadhurst is the Broadway bow of Alan Bennett's The History Boys, which is scheduled for a limited 20-week engagement (which allows for the announcement of the Les Miz booking). History Boys performances begin April 14. Les Miz will become the longest-running musical in the world in October, when it breaks a performance-count record in London, where this version of the show originated under the the guidance of a mostly British production team, including co-directors/adapters Caird and Trevor Nunn, designer John Napier, and with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.
(For the record, music is by French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Kretzmer, with original French text by Frenchmen Alain Boublil & Jean-Marc Natel and additional material by James Fenton).
On Oct. 9, in London, Les Miz will pass the 21-year-old record of Cats there to become the longest-running musical ever on the West End (or Broadway) with 8,372 performances. That's a run nearly three years longer than Broadway's record-holder The Phantom of the Opera.
Les Miz opened in London in October 1985, and in New York in March 1987.
The original Broadway production at the Broadway Theatre won nine Tony Awards in eight categories that season (both John Caird and Trevor Nunn won for Best Director), including Best Musical. The show went on to play a total of 6,680 performances (it moved to the Imperial).
Mackintosh — producer of Cats, Les Miz and Phantom — said in a Feb. 16 statement, "2006 has been a very special year for me with Phantom becoming the longest running musical ever on Broadway and soon, in London, on Oct. 9, Les Misérables becomes the longest-running musical in the world. So the opportunity to bring Les Miz home to Broadway in the exquisite and intimate Broadhurst Theatre, next door to Phantom, to celebrate this historic achievement is irresistible. I am sure that the timeless power of the show will be an unforgettable experience both for new audiences and serial Les Miz-ers."
Les Misérables was first presented by Cameron Mackintosh and The Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre in October 1985. The musical transferred to the West End's Palace Theatre later that year, where it played for 19 years. It transferred to the Queen's Theatre in April 2004, where it continues today.
Les Miz has lighting design by David Hersey, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and sound by Andrew Bruce.