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The barricades have once again gone up on Broadway. Are they worth dropping everything and joining this time? The answer is a resounding "Oui!" Bring your flag.
Mark Kennedy, Associated PressBuy Tickets
Acclaimed British actor Earl Carpenter will return to the role of Javert in Cameron Mackintosh's new production of Claude-Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil's Les Miserables beginning Tuesday, May 12 at Broadway's Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). Will Swenson will give his final performance as Javert Sunday, May 10. Carpenter performed the role on Broadway last summer while Swenson was on hiatus from the production for another project.
The cast of Les Miserables features Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean, Oliver Award nominee Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins) as Thenardier, Erika Henningsen as Fantine, Samantha Hill as Cosette, Rachel Izen as Madame Thenardier, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, Chris McCarrell as Marius and Wallace Smith as Enjolras.
Carpenter performed as Javert in the acclaimed sold-out Toronto production of Les Miserables at the Princess of Wales Theatre opposite Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo as Valjean. Richard Ouzounian of The Toronto Star said, "Earl Carpenter is brilliant. I doubt I have ever seen a more morally conflicted Javert than the one Carpenter gives us, leading from seeming certitude to total despair as he realizes he has believed in nothing at all." John Coulbourn in The Toronto Sun wrote, "Karimloo's strong, impassioned take on the one-time criminal Jean Valjean is pitted against Earl Carpenter's equally fine performance as the unbending Inspector Javert - and the two provide some of this productions's finest moments as they play a deadly game of fox and hound across the width and breadth of 19th century France."
Carpenter began his West End career in Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre in 1996, as Courfeyrac. In 2008 he played the part of Javert at the Queens Theatre and then in the 25th Anniversary U.K tour. He was then the Bishop of Digne at London's O2 Arena concert in 2010.
In 2003 Carpenter joined the London cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's theatre as 'walking cover' to the Phantom. He took over the iconic role in February 2005 giving over 1000 performances. He had the honor of opening the 25th Anniversary Concert of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, as the Auctioneer and reprised the role of the Phantom in Cameron Mackintosh's new 25th Anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera 2012/13 UK tour.
Other West End, UK and European tours have included Peron in Evita, Commander Khashoggi in Queen's We Will Rock You, the world premiere of the Gypsy Kings musical Zorro, Joe Gillis in the original tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, Beast and Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the Dominion Theatre and UK tour, Archibald Craven in the Scottish premiere of The Secret Garden, Count Danilo in Carl Rosa Opera Company's The Merry Widow, Alan Ayckbourn's Between the Lines, King Richard in the UK touring production of Robin, Prince of Sherwood and Simeon in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and original company of Cameron Mackintosh's The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and subsequent Prince of Wales run as Darryl van Horne.
Earl has also worked with many organizations including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Chichester Festival Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company helping to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2011. He is Conceptual Founder of the online media giant Reelkandi.tv, Creative Director for Ginger Boy Productions and in 2009 he devised the concert, Three Phantoms, which has since extensively toured the UK and Scandinavia.
Now in its second year on Broadway, this newly-reimagined production of Les Miserables opened on Broadway March 23, 2014 to critical acclaim. The Associated Press raved, "A glorious Les Miserables! This terrific new production is beautifully sung and acted." NY 1 said, "LES MISERABLES is born again. This is as close to perfection as we'll ever get in the theater." And The Huffington Post proclaimed, "This is a Les Miserables for the 21st century! It stirs the audience and rocks the rafters."
International productions of the new Les Miserables have met with equal success and acclaim in the U.K., France, Spain, Japan and Korea and Australia. This new version of Les Miserables, which premiered in the U.K. in 2009, inspired filmmakers to make the immensely successful Oscar/Golden Globe/BAFTA-winning movie.
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, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.
The new production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, with set and image design by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and projections realized by Fifty-Nine Productions. Musical staging is by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt. Musical supervision is by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Lowe.
The original production of Les Miserables can now only be seen in London where it's currently in its 30th record-breaking year. Les Miserables originally premiered at the Barbican Theatre in a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company in October 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. 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 original New York production of Les Miserables premiered first at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987, later moving to the Imperial on October 17, 1990, where it played until May 18, 2003, for a total Broadway run of 6680 performances. Les Miserables is the 5th 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. The worldwide gross for Les Miserables is $2.5 billion. 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 the motion picture soundtrack which sold close to 2 million copies and 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.
Photo by Michael Le Poer Trench
Article reprinted with permission from www.BroadwayWorld.com
5 reviews, average rating: (4.0 Stars)
I saw this on the second night of its debut and it was amazing. The casting... more
One word, Wow! Attended the matinee on March 19 and was overwhelmed by c... more
Saw it on the 15th March and was magical! The cast is great With incredib... more
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