Story By BWW News Desk
Cameron Mackintosh announced today that his acclaimed new production of Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece Les Miserables will come to Broadway in March, 2014 at a Shubert theater to be announced. This newly re-imagined Les Miserables is breaking box-office records across the country and around the world and inspired filmmakers to make the immensely successful movie which has been nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and has won 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture, as well as 4 BAFTA’s. The new production has been a sell-out since launching a U.S. national tour in November 2010, having already played in 64 cities throughout North America, grossing more than $130 million. International productions of the new Les Miserables have met with equal success and acclaim in the U.K, France, Spain and Korea. New productions are scheduled to open in the coming months in Japan, Canada, Australia and Brazil.
Cameron Mackintosh said “To my constant surprise, my productions continue to be enjoyed as much as ever by audiences all around the world and I’m thrilled to have the unique chance of redoing them all over as if they were brand new shows. I’m even more delighted that they are proving just as big hits at the box office in their new form as the originals, having recently reinvented Oliver!, Phantom and Miss Saigon to similar acclaim to the new Les Miserables. It’s marvelous that modern audiences are embracing them as contemporary musicals rather than revivals. I am delighted that Broadway audiences will now join the millions of Americans who have already flocked to see this glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.”
Philip J. Smith, Chairman of The Shubert Organization, said, “We’re thrilled Cameron is bringing LES MIZ back to Broadway, where it’s been a huge success, not once, but twice. Both times in Shubert theaters. In 1985, Bernie Jacobs, Bob Wankel and I went to London to attend the world premiere. We knew that night Cameron had created something great. We were right.”
Anita Gates in The New York Times calls this new production of Les Miserables “a splendidly reworked, unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish.” Benedict Nightingale in The London Times hails the new LES MIZ “a five star hit, astonishingly powerful and as good as the original.” Peter Filichia in The Star-Ledger calls it “a dynamically re-imagined hit. This Les Miserables has improved with age” and Roma Torre on NY1 News proclaims “this new production actually exceeds the original. The storytelling is clearer, the perspective grittier and the motivations more honest. Musical theatre fans can rejoice: LES MIZ is born again.” Terry Byrne in The Boston Globe said, “The new production of Les Miserables qualifies as a truly extraordinary theatrical experience. It is nothing less than stunning. This production is so breathtaking, you simply won’t want it to end.” Chris Jones in The Chicago Tribune called the new LES MIZ, “uncommonly raw, unusually emotional and strikingly intense. LES MIZ stands alone in its dramatic and emotional achievements. The storytelling is formidable; the theatricalization spectacular. This new production refreshes and rethinks without sacrificing any singularity of intensity or artistic occasion. It is not to be missed.”
Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Miserables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent score includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Master Of The House” and many more.
Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Miserables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, original adaption by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and additional material by James Fenton. The original Les Miserables orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke and additional orchestrations by Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.
The new production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and additional costumes by Christine Rowlands, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions.
Now in its 28th year in London, Les Miserables originally premiered at the Barbican Theatre in a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985. It transferred to the Palace Theatre in December of that year and then moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre in April 2004 where it is still playing to standing room only. In October 2006 Les Miserables took over the title of World’s Longest Running Musical followed by two other Cameron Mackintosh productions, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.
The Broadway production of Les Miserables originally opened at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987 and transferred to the Imperial Theatre on October 17, 1990 running for 6,680 performances. There have been four national touring companies of Les Miserables that have played more than 200 cities. Broadway audiences welcomed Les Miserables back to New York on November 9, 2006 where the show played the Broadhurst Theatre until its final performance on January 6, 2008. To date, Les Miserables is the 4th longest-running Broadway production of all time.
Seen by nearly 65 million people worldwide in 42 countries and in 22 languages, Les Miserables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals ever written, with new productions continually opening around the globe, with seven more currently scheduled. There have been 47 cast recordings of Les Miserables, including the multi-platinum London cast recording, the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast and complete symphonic albums and live recording of the New 25th Anniversary Production and now the motion picture soundtrack which has sold close to 1.5 million copies and has topped the Billboard and iTunes charts. The DVD’s of the 10th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall and the 25th Anniversary at The O2 have sold millions of copies worldwide.
There are over 2,500 productions of the Les Miserables School’s Edition scheduled or being performed by over 125,000 school children in the UK, US and Australia, making it the most successful musical ever produced in schools.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the legendary musical Les Miserables made theatrical history with an international first – three different productions in London at the same time. The Original Production at the Queen’s Theatre, the acclaimed New 25th Anniversary Production at the Barbican (where the show originally premiered) and a celebratory concert at The O2 Arena. The O2 Concert was presented in over 500 cinemas throughout the United States on November 17, 2010 and is now available on Blu-ray DVD through Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
The Universal film version of Les Miserables co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title Films, and directed by Tom Hooper, has grossed $150 million domestically and nearly $400 million worldwide since its Christmas Day release. The film received the Golden Globe Award as Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) and received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. The DVD/Blu-ray of the hit movie and the extended deluxe 2-disc edition of the soundtrack featuring an additional 22 tracks will be released on March 22.
The sumptuous definitive new book, Les Miserables – From Stage to Screen, will be available for sale beginning April 16. It tells the story so far of the World’s Longest Running Musical in words, pictures and rare facsimile memorabilia and is written by Benedict Nightingale and Martyn Palmer, with the foreword by Cameron Mackintosh.