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Pop Filter Hot Pick: 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables

Whether you prefer the original in print -- Victor Hugo's groundbreaking French historical novel first published in 1862 -- or you are looking forward to seeing the brand new film adaption starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried, you're not going to want to miss the chance to experience the Pittsburgh premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s new 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables.

A centerpiece of the 2013 PNC Broadway Across America – Pittsburgh series, which is presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America, Les Misérables runs January 15th through January 27th at the Benedum Center in Downtown's Cultural District.

Think you've already seen Les Mis in all of its dramatic glory? Think again, and get ready to see the show in a whole new light. The 25th anniversary production of the show that became the world’s longest-running musical in 2006 is making its Pittsburgh premiere at the Benedum with all new staging, including breathtaking re-created scenery inspired by visuals painted by Victor Hugo himself.

Based on Hugo’s classic novel -- considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century -- Les Misérables will take theater-goers on epic journey that explores the human spirit alongside historical forces. Culminating with the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the epic tale follows the lives of several evocative characters, centered around the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his search for redemption. As the stories and songs unfold, Les Mis examines everything from the nature of justice and grace, the history of France and the architecture and urban design of Paris, to politics, moral philosophy, religion, and the universal nature of romantic and familial love.

Multi-sensory musical
An immersive production, Les Mis weaves narrative, history, song, music, movement, art, memory, and more. British-based theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh calls the new show "bigger and younger than ever before."

Mackintosh’s award-winning new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton, and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The original Les Misérables orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke and additional orchestrations by Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.

The unparalleled score features classic songs from the musical, such as “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Bring Him Home,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Master Of The House” and more. So be sure to pack the Kleenex.

Directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, the production is designed by Matt Kinley and uniquely inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Helping to bring the spectacular story to life are costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowlands, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft, and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions.

Portraying the central figure, the fugitive Jean Valjean, is actor Peter Lockyer. He is joined by Andrew Varela as Javert, Timothy Gulan as Thénardier, Shawna M. Hamic as Madame Thénardier, Genevieve Leclerc as Fantine, Jason Forbach as Enjolras, Briana Carlson-Goodman as Éponine, Devin Ilaw as Marius, Lauren Wiley as Cosette, and a talented ensemble cast. Erin Cearlock and Ava Della Pietra alternate in the role of Little Cosette/Young Éponine, while Joshua Colley and Hayden Wall alternate in the role of Gavroche.

From page to stage                                          
Originally opening in London at the Barbican Theatre on October 8, 1985, Les Misérables moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre on April 3, 2004 where it continues to impress to packed houses.

The show made its debut on Broadway on March 12, 1987 at the Broadway Theatre. It subsequently ran for 6,680 performances at the Imperial Theatre. A US national tour of the production visited more than 150 cities between 1987 and 2006. Les Miz landed back on Broadway in on November 2006, where the show played the Broadhurst Theatre until its final performance on January 6, 2008--making it the 3rd longest-running Broadway production of all time.?

Marking a momentous quarter decade, the legendary musical continues to make theatrical history. In an international first, Les Mis was featured three different productions in London simultaneously: the original show at the Queen’s Theatre, the 25th anniversary production at the Barbican and a celebratory concert at The O2 Arena which was presented in 500 cinemas throughout the US in 2010. Seen by some 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages, Les Misérables has also inspired a multi-platinum cast recording, Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast, over 2,500 productions in schools across the UK, US and Australia, and a soon to be released live recording of the new 25th anniversary production.

Ready for a sneak peek?
Check out this video preview of the new 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables.

Purchase tickets now.

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