Friday, September 17, 2010

Meet the Cast of the 25th Anniversary Touring Production of 'Les Miserables'

John Owen-Jones (Valjean) and Earl Carpenter (Javert)
Sometimes things happen by luck. If I was not exploring the internet the day before my flight to London to check if the shop Dress Circle was open on a Sunday, I would have likely missed this store event which was occurring on the Friday prior.

So in a way it was by luck that I found myself at Dress Circle on this Friday afternoon. Four of the actors appearing in the 25th Anniversary Tour of 'Les Miserables' made a store appearance at Dress Circle to autograph the Les Miserables 2010 Cast 2CD set. It was a special event to attend after witnessing their performances the day before and finding it a revitalized musical with an excellent ensemble.
Gareth Gates (Marius) and Madalena Alberto (Fantine)
Appearing at the signing were John Owen-Jones (Jean Valjean), Earl Carpenter (Javert), Madalena Alberto (Fantine) and Gareth Gates (Marius). Also appearing was Claude Michel-Schonberg, the composer of 'Les Mis'. Standing in line it was obvious not only fans of the show were there but the many fans of Gates. He is a runner-up on the first season of the reality competition show Pop Idol on which American Idol on U.S. television is based upon. In addition he has sold over 3.5 million records in the UK alone and starred in the last West End revival of 'Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'.

A simple diversion for the afternoon and what a souvenir to gain.

The autographed CD
Here is a quick rundown on the multiple recordings available: The Les Miserables 2010 Cast preserves the changes in the show after the 1985 Les Miserables Original London Cast was produced and is far far superior to the New York Les Miserables (1987 Original Broadway Cast) Recording. The other English language versions are the live Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert at Royal Albert Hall and the 1990 Les Miserables Complete Symphonic Recording which preserved the entire score and includes music not recorded on the original London or Broadway recordings.

On DVD is Les Miserables: The 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.
The event taking place in the Dress Circle basement
The line of persons waiting for the in-store event along Monmouth Street
Madalena Alberto (Fantine) and composer Claude Michel-Schonberg


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