FACTS ABOUT LES MISERABLES:
Opened: Broadway version, 12 March, 1987
Les Miserables Director: Trevor Nunn and John Caird
Les Miserables Music By: Claude-Michel Schönberg
Les Miserables Lyrics By: Alain Boublil (Original French lyrics), Herbert Kretzmer (English adaptation)
Theatre: Broadway Theatre
Tony Award Nominations: 12
Tony Awards Won: 8
Notes: 3rd longest running Broadway show as of 2011.
The musical Les Miserables has entertained audiences since the original French version debuted in 1980. Written and composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg with French lyrics by Alain Boublil, the original production of Les Miserables opened in Paris in September of 1980, at the Palais des Sports. Schönberg adapted the story from Victor Hugo's novel of the same name. Hugo's title translates into "The Miserable Ones" in English.
The story of Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, a parolee from a Bange prison in Toulon, who ends up skipping out on his parole and being hunted by a policeman named Javert for much of his life. After turning his life around thanks to the kindness of a local Bishop, his past catches up and he's forced to flee once more. He eventually takes part in the failed June Rebellion in Paris.
Herbert Kretzmer and James Fenton adapted the play for the first English production. Some changes were made, including the addition of a prologue that provides a more detailed background for Jean Valjean. The English version of the musical was not a direct translation from the French, and included a large amount of essentially "new" lyrics. This version debuted in September 1985 at Barbican Arts Centre north of London. The cast included Patty LuPone in the role of Fantine.
The London production would eventually find a home in the Queen's Theatre in London's prestigious West End Theatre district. This production is still running as of spring 2011, and recorded its ten-thousandth performance in January of 2010.
The original Broadway production of Les Miserables opened in March of 1987 at the Broadway Theatre. This production would be nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning 8, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score. The musical transferred to the Imperial Theatre in 1990, where it played until May of 2003, accumulating 6,680 performances. A revival in 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre increased that number to 7,176.
Les Miserables still tours, making easy for audiences around the world to see this powerful work.
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