Do you hear the people sing? Les Mis is on its way to Walton Arts Center. From book to stage, Les Misérables combines history, passion and the dream of One Day More!
Through the many renditions of the story, Victor Hugo’s timeless tale continues to speak volumes to every generation of theater goer.
Written by French author Victor Hugo (who also penned The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame), the story takes place in France during the early to mid-19th century, focusing on several characters whose lives intertwine through a series of coincidences and happenstance. So, what’s the plot of Les Miserables?
The story begins in 1815, and mainly follows Jean Valjean, an escaped convict who was sentenced to 19 years in prison after stealing a loaf of bread for his sister, and for attempting to escape incarceration. He tries to begin life anew, but struggles as he is a former convict. Eventually, he is saved by the Bishop of Digne, but is constantly followed by a policeman called Javert, who is suspicious of Valjean's actions and seeking to return him to prison.
Les Misérables was originally released as a French-language concept album, and the first musical-stage adaptation of Les Misérables was presented at the Palais des Sports in 1980. However, the production closed after three months due to that expiry of the booking contract.
In 1983, about six months after producer Cameron Mackintosh had opened Cats on Broadway, he received a copy of the French concept album from director Peter Farago. Farago had been impressed by the work and asked Mackintosh to produce an English-language version of the show. Initially reluctant, Mackintosh eventually agreed. Mackintosh, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company, assembled a production team to adapt the French musical for a British audience. After two years in development, the English-language version opened in London in October 1985, by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Centre, then the London home of the RSC. The success of the West End musical led to a Broadway production.
The London production has run continuously since October 1985, making it the second longest-running musical in the world after The Fantasticks, the second longest-running West End show after The Mousetrap, and the longest-running musical in the West End (followed by The Phantom of the Opera). In 2010, it played its ten-thousandth performance in London, at Queen's Theatre. In October 2010, the show celebrated its 25th anniversary with three productions running in London: the original production at the Queen's Theatre; the 25th Anniversary touring production at its 1985 try-out venue, the Barbican Centre; and the 25th Anniversary concert at London's O2 Arena.
The Broadway production opened March 12, 1987 and ran until May 2003, closing after 6,680 performances. It is the fifth longest-running Broadway show in history and was the second-longest at the time. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.
Subsequently, numerous tours and international and regional productions have been staged, as well as concert and broadcast productions. Several recordings have also been made. A Broadway revival opened in 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre and closed in 2008, and a second Broadway revival opened in 2014 at the Imperial Theatre and closed in September 2016. The show was placed first in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of Britain's "Number One Essential Musicals" in 2005, receiving more than 40% of the votes. A film version directed by Tom Hooper was released at the end of 2012 to generally positive reviews as well as numerous awards nominations, winning three Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and four British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
DATE: June 18-23, 2019
LOCATION: Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
TICKETS: Starting at $38