Friday, January 14, 2011

The US National Tour: Les Miserables 25th Anniversary

The company of US Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Tour
The acclaimed re-imagined 25th Anniversary production of 'Les Miserables' that played a UK and world tour has spawned an American version. The North American tour opened in November 2010 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey and scheduled to play the listed dates below.

"Lovely Ladies" number
This all-new production of the hit musical has new directors and the "re-imagined" scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Other tweaks include updated costumes for some of the characters.

Excerpts of the New York Times review of the tour opening:
It has been more than half a century since show tunes regularly bounced from Broadway to the Top 40 charts, so it is easy to forget that “I Dreamed a Dream” (performed by Betsy Morgan as Fantine) is not this show’s only musical treasure. As Éponine, Chasten Harmon sings “On My Own,” a sad ballad of unrequited love, with forceful poignancy. Andrew Varela brings his first-rate voice to “Stars,” Javert’s pledge to find Valjean. “Master of the House,” led by the innkeepers Monsieur and Madame Thénardier (Michael Kostroff and Shawna M. Hamic), is a rousing, cheery number, even if it does celebrate corruption and greed. 
Justin Scott Brown (Marius), center.
Valjean (Lawrence Clayton) has his peak musical moment with “Bring Him Home,” a prayer that Marius (played by Jon Fletcher on opening night, filling in for Justin Scott Brown, who was ill) will survive the battle. But the dazzler, more than ever, is “One Day More.” It is sung by the company, but much of its chills-producing beauty comes from the electric stage presence of Jeremy Hays, who plays Enjolras, the leader of the student uprising.
The cast is uniformly excellent, directed with both fervor and discipline by Laurence Connor and James Powell, who did the new production in London.
Betsy Morgan (Fantine), Lawrence Clayton (Valjean), Jenny Latimer
(Cosette), Justin Scott Brown (Marius), Chasten Harmon (Eponine).
(all images: Deen van Meer)
Mr. Clayton is a strong, imposing Valjean who does not seem particularly tortured or vulnerable at first. But that aspect of the performance pays off later; when he seems a broken man, he has fallen from great heights. Another issue arises from the color-blind casting (Mr. Clayton is African-American) that is, happily, a given in contemporary New York theater. 
Read the Hopeful Traveler's review of the Les Miserables UK Tour and Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 which includes a list of related 'Les Mis' links.
The new 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables will play the following cities and theatres into 2012. More production photos below this list. See the next post for a video of the US tour:
Philadelphia, PA, Academy of Music, Jan. 4-15, 2011
Fort Lauderdale, FL, Broward Center, Jan. 18-30, 2011
Baltimore, MD, Hippodrome, March 1-6, 2011
Louisville, KY, Kentucky Center, March 8-13, 2011
Columbus, OH, Ohio Theatre, March 15-20, 2011
Detroit, MI, Fisher Theatre, March 22-April 3, 2011
Cleveland, OH, Palace Theatre/Playhouse Square, April 5-17, 2011
Milwaukee, WI, Marcus Center, April 19-24, 2011
Omaha, NE, Orpheum Theater, April 26-May 1, 2011
Fayetteville, AR, Walton Arts Center, May 3-8, 2011
Madison, WI, Overture Center, May 10-15, 2011
Nashville, TN, TPAC, May 17-22, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT, Capitol Theatre, May 25-June 5, 2011
Tempe, AZ, Gammage Auditorium, June 7-12, 2011
Los Angeles, CA, Ahmanson, June 14-July 31, 2011

Portland, OR, Keller Auditorium, Aug. 2-7, 2011
Seattle, WA, 5th Avenue Theatre, Aug. 9-27, 2011
Denver, CO, The Buell Theatre, Aug. 30-Sept. 10, 2011
Memphis, TN, Orpheum Theatre, Sept. 13-18, 2011
Birmingham, AL, BJCC Concert Hall, Sept. 20-25, 2011
Washington, DC, Kennedy Center Opera House, Sept. 28-Oct. 30, 2011
Toledo, OH, The Stranahan Theatre, Nov. 8-13, 2011
Appleton, WI, Fox Cities PAC, Nov. 15-20, 2011
Dayton, OH, Victoria Theatre, Nov. 22-27, 2011
San Antonio, TX, Jan. 3-8, 2012
Orlando, FL, Bob Carr PAC, Jan. 17-22, 2012
Tampa, FL, Straz Center, Jan. 31-Feb 12, 2012
Hartford, CT, The Bushnell, Mar. 6-11, 2012
Boston, MA, Boston Opera House, Mar. 13-Apr. 1, 2012
Atlanta, GA, Fox Theatre, Apr. 24-29, 2012
Cincinnati, OH, Aronoff Center, May 8-13, 2012

Additional cities will be announced at a later date. Visit the official US tour website at for more information.
The company on the barricade.
Andrew Varela (Javert)
Jeremy Hays (Enjolras), center.
Justin Scott Brown (Marius)
The finale with the Company.
Chasten Harmon (Eponine)
Lawrence Clayton (Valjean) & Betsy Morgan (Fantine) 
Michael Kostroff & Shawna Hamic (The Thenardiers)
Lawrence Clayton (Valjean) & Andrew Varela (Javert)
Andrew Varela (Javert) 
Lawrence Clayton (Valjean)
The company on the barricade.
"Master of the House" number
Lawrence Clayton (Valjean)


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