The producers of Broadway's Les Miserables are planning an event to mark the tenth anniversary of the show on March 12, 1997. They say the event isn't finalized yet, soooo . . . Playbill On-Line asked if YOU were organizing such a special birthday for Les Miz, how would you do it? What cool things would you have? What would be the venue?
Playbill On-Line thanks all those who submitted suggestions.
Here is a selection of the results:
From toni paul:
You should have all the members of companies that have done the show on Broadway, in London, or on the road do a special performance like the "Chorus Line" Gala when it became the longest running show. They should also televise it.
From Abel Rego:
First, I would have Colm Wilkinson as Valjean and would have an open ballot for the theatergoing public to pick their "Dream Cast" to perform at the show. I think if they plan on having the performance actually performed at the theater, they should have it as a pay-per-view event so that the public can get to see the play and celebration occur as it's happening.
My second choice is if they plan on doing a concert format like the London celebration, then they should have it for free in Central Park for everyone to attend. I think this would shatter the extravaganza London put on because much more people would be able to attend.
My two suggestions are based on the fact that I feel not many tickets will be available to the public because celebrities are going to call their agents to get tickets because it'll be the place to be, even when they probably care less about the show, because of publicity reasons. My two suggestions are more geared toward the public because I hope and pray that Richard Jay Alexander and the rest of the people associated with the show don't forget that the public, not the bigwigs in the entertainment industry made the show the success that it is. We are the ones that go back to see it for the 1st to the 100th time.
To Mr. Alexander - Don't shut us out, you at least owe us that much. We the public deserve to be a part of the celebration also. Thank You and I'm hoping I can attend the celebration with many of the millions of Les Miz fans around the world.
I would have a performance by the original London cast with limited seats for the public. After, we would have a party with a Les Miz theme. Everyone would have to dress up as their fave character from the show. At the party, the food would be a just like the food in Les Miz's time frame. Also a writing contest on why Les Miz has come so far or why Les Miz is my favorite show could take place. The winners would fly out and be a part of the festival and meet some of the cast members. Either that or the winner could get a prop from the show that was no longer needed. I hope you have liked my ideas and I look forward to seeing what happens. Either way I know that it will be a terrific event because the cast and crew are so terrific!
From Robert Seier:
I don't think it's fair to those of us loyal Les Mizers, who see the show regularly and often, to hold a raffle for tickets to next year's 10th anniversary, as was suggested by one of the executive producers, or, worse yet, not to make tickets available to the public at all. Regardless of the price, we've earned the right to first crack at getting tickets to what should be a great a event for Broadway, and something that hold a great deal of meaning for us.
And while I'd prefer that the anniversary be held at the friendly confines of the Imperial Theatre, if that would be too small a venue to accomodate enough of us who want so much to be at OUR anniversary, why not, say, Radio City Music Hall? Certainly not the same as the Imperial, but for a one-shot event such as this, at least more of us might have a fair chance to attend.
From Antonio Tan:
There should be a number of events leading up to the anniversary of Les Miz:
On the first day, I suggest a big birthday bash either at the theatre or at a shopping mall, etc... with a concert featuring either the current cast, or some of the celebrated stars of the Broadway production, such as Colm Wilkinson, Debbie Gibson, Lea Salonga, Rachel York, Ed Dixon, Lacey Chabert, Terrence Mann, Judy Kuhn, David Bryant, etc...
After the concert, there should be autographs from the cast (the autograph session should be repeated a second or third time, excluding the concert, at various locations, like Macy*s or Saks 5th Avenue) . The public could either bring their own memorabilia of the show to be signed, or free small posters (posters that would've been used for advertising) could be distributed.
The second day, there could be a backstage tour at the Imperial Theatre.
A symphonic concert of the show could be given by the orchestra in the theatre on days or times Les Miz is not performing.
At the events, discout vouchers (for selected performances) should be given out to the public.
These are just some of suggestions of how Les Miz should be celebrated.
From Nicholas Cheng:
Get Colm Wilkinson and the entire original B'way cast of Les Miz to do a one night show!
From Brian Pier, Springfield, IL:
I would literally interpret the lyric "Do you hear the people sing?" and allow an invited audience to sing along with the performance. And, of course, I would invite myself. (Any producer of the 10th anniversary performance should invite Miz-ites like me!)
From Nicholas Simons:
1. Have all the Jean Vajeans from the NYC Production come on stage after the show.
2. Have a fireworks celebration in Times Square complete w/ ticker tape parade the afternoon before.
3. Finally, have Mr. Mackintosh himself give a speech at curtain call to the buying public.
4. Have a after-bash party at the Jekyll &;Hyde Club.
The tenth anniversary of 'Les Miserables' should be celebrated at a large venue, such as Radio City Music Hall, not at Central Park. Central Park in March (or at any other time, for that matter) is a very bad idea. Remember last March? The temperature was below freezing and it was snowing. The atmosphere is all wrong. Public facilities (such as restrooms) will be a problem--Porta-pots just don't cut it. Furthermore, it could turn into a real zoo. Cameron Mackintosh would be wise hold the concert in a classier venue.
Since the London folks already did a concert version, how about a free under-the-stars showing, of the full show, maybe in Central Park.
Hold a gala at Radio City Music Hall, preferably on March 12, 1997. Have the original B'way cast reprise their roles, but have Craig Schulman instead of Colm Wilkinson because Schulman has played Valjean more times than anyone else and he's better than Wilkinson. (And Philip Quast instead of Terrence Mann wouldn't be terrible, either). Sell tickets to the public, just as at any other concert. Air the concert on television and release a video tape recoding and a sound recording, as well.
DO NOT hold the concert or any other event in Central Park; that is a recipe for disaster.
I think they should hold a concert in a way like the London one at the Royal Albert Hall. I think they should get as many world-wide casts as possible, and hold a large free concert in Central Park, with fireworks at the end. and a laser show that will have the Les Miz sign high in the air, it should also be choreographed to music from the show. I think this is a great idea.
I read that they were considering Central Park fo the tenth anniversary.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!
Stick with Carnegie Hall, the Paramount, or Radio City or even Madison Square Garden.
I think they should have the performers from the Original Broadway cast. They should have a lottery that selects fans to take over small parts in the musical. It should be at Radio City Music Hall. They should have the NY Philharmonic there also. It should be a concert with fireworks at the end. I think they should have all the Valjeans that were on Broadway come at the end and sing.
Les Miz should do a variation of what they did in London-- Audition a teen chorus (13 to 19) of about 200 people to back up the current B'way cast in a one-night show of Les Miz at MSG. The teens would really make a nice accompaniment.
From Wong, Richard (TCC):
How about erecting street barricades in every major city in which Les Miz has played or will play? To attract television coverage, you could even set them afire!
From Matt Maser:
I'm a student at Catawba College in North Carolina. If I were to plan the birthday for Les Miserables I would take the first New York cast and fly the whole show to Red Rocks, CO, where they would perform a one-night-only event starting at 7 PM. I think this would be an ideal spot because of the full moon over head, and pyrotechnic fireballs on the rock stanchions. With a packed house, this would be a night to remember. You could also decorate the amphitheater in the time period that the show takes place. I think the show should be open to the public. My reason behind this is because the public has made Les Miserables the success that it is today and without that public Les Miserables would net be having a 10th anniversary.
I would love to see some blend of current and former Broadway cast members put on a special performance. It would be great if it was recorded,espeically if Craig Schulman were to perform as Jean Valjean, because there are many non-original cast members out there who deserve to be on a recording. It would be neat to have a web page where fans could "sign" a card for Les Miz's Broadway 10th Anniversary,and if the event isn't open to general public, like I hope it is, there could be a contest to win tickets.
For Enjolras (my fave!) I believe no other than Ron Bohmer should perform him! Besides most people are familiar with him. He did perform this part for twp years straight. Please, I beg you,get him,he's the best!
From Barbara Laffoon:
If I were planning the Broadway Les Miz 10th Anniversary celebration, I would put on the show using an "All Star" cast of American actors. There are many great actors who have passed through the Broadway cast as well as the American tours.
I would hold it at the Imperial Theatre in NY and I would invite the people who responded to your poll (VBG). I guess that would include me, wouldn't it? (G)