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Les Miserables is a popular Broadway musical which was introduced in 1980. Originally, Les Miserables was done in the French language. The idea for the play was given by Alain Boublil and it was based on the novel “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo. Claude-Michel Schönberg is responsible for composing the musical adaption of the book. This Broadway play was adapted in English by a respected lyricist and theatre critic named Herbert Kretzmer. The play premiered on screen at the Barbican Centre of London in 1985. It is today’s longest ever running musical and its popularity continues. As of 2011, Les Miserables was in its twenty-seventh year and is the third longest broadcasting play in the history of Broadway. Les Miserables has quite a complicated story plot. However, it is not only touching but imaginative as well. Les Miserables which translates into ‘The Miserable Ones’ celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary by performing at the Barbican Centre of London in front of audiences from around the World as one of the most admired musical productions.
Victor Hugo published his novel named Les Miserables one-hundred-fifty years ago on the 3rd of April, 1862. The novel by this amazing writer became very popular after its first publication in France and soon after it grew to be published in many other countries of Europe. At the beginning, most of the critics gave unfavorable opinions about the published novel. Actually, some of them went to the extreme by calling it an unethical book. However, history has revealed that it belonged with the most beloved classic writings. Additionally, the musical play adaptation of the novel has been acclaimed to be a masterpiece. There have been several adaptations since its publication in 1862. In excess of 25 films have been produced on the main theme of this historical fiction which involves real events that occurred in the past.
Jean Valjean appeared as the lead character who is sent to prison as a result of stealing bread for his sister’s children. He makes four failed attempts to escape from prison and he became a good man during the five years of his sentenced tenure. He is released from prison after 19 years of being sentenced because of his failed attempts of escaping. Sadly, he was shunned by society since he was an offender until he met up with Bishop Myriel. The bishop is a kind man and helps him by encouraging his efforts to be a new man with a better approach towards life. The two met when Jean tries to steal from the bishop. Despite this foolish act he is forgiving towards Jean and saves him from being arrested by Javert, a prison guard. Javert was the son of a convicted father and his mother was a gypsy. Fantine and Cosette are two other main characters among the large cast of the play. Fantine becomes a prostitute during this historical story. The music was composed by Claude Boublil along with with Alan Schonberg. In 1998, the film version of this play was presented with Liam Neeson performing the title role of Jean. This effort was quite interesting and very much admired by audiences. The award winning songs in Les Miserables add popularity to this acclaimed production. Its Broadway production was started on the 12th of March 1989 and closed on 18th of May 2003 after running about 7,176 performances on Broadway. A fully reorganized revival of the Les Miserables broadway play was opened in 2006 at Broadhurst Theatre. There have been more than 65 official recordings of the play from global productions including promos plus singles. The French written novel was translated into 21 languages so it can be produced in approximately 38 countries in the form of a theatrical play or movie.
The Les Miserable Broadway Play took 8 Tony Awards out of 12 nominations in 1987. It also won a Laurence Olivier Award in 1985 and in 2005, it came out in first place from a BBC Radio-2 listener poll by getting 40% of the votes for the “Nation’s Number One Essential Musicals.” In 2008, it was nominated for 7 John Kraaijkamp Musical Awards and won 4 of them. In 2010, the play achieved the London Theatre Show of the Year award (London Life Style Awards).
Venues and Cities that will host Les Miserables in 2012 and 2013 include:
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans LA
Sarofim Hall – Hobby Center in Houston TX
Cadillac Palace in Chicago IL
Music Hall Kansas City in Kansas City MO
National Theatre in Washington DC
Academy of Music in Philadelphia PA
Benedum Center in Pittsburgh PA
Miller Auditorium at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo MI
Palace Theatre in Cleveland OH
Belk Theatre at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte NC
North Charleston Performing Arts Center in North Charleston SC
Ziff Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami FL
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota FL
Barbara B Mann Perorming Arts Hall in Ft. Myers FL
Landmark Theatre in Richmond VA
The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester Massachusetts
Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick PAC in Baltimore, MD
Shubert Theater in New Haven CT
Chrysler Hall in Norfolk VA
Proctors Theatre in Schenectady NY
Rochester Auditorium in Rochester NY
Ohio Theatre in Columbus OH
The Buell Theatre in Denver CO
Sacramento Community Center Theatre in Sacramento CA
Queens Theatre in London
Lexington Opera Houe in Lexington, KY