Les Miserables as a Musical

Topics: Les Misérables, Broadway theatre, Musical theatre Pages: 2 (670 words) Published: May 16, 2011
Keith Hamrick
Creative Presentation – Les Miserables as a Musical
Les Miserables (Les Mis for short) is a musical that was composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schonberg with the libretto, or text, by Alain Boublill and lyrics by Herbert. It is one of the most performed and well-known musicals in the world. On October 8, 2006 Les Miserables celebrated 21 years on London’s West End and became the longest running West End musical in history, reaching 9,500 performances. The show continues to be shown at London’s Queen’s Theatre. Based on the Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Miserables, it is set in the early 19th century France and with a cast of interlacing stories. We watch as they struggle for redemption and revolution while they are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others. The Tony Award-winning score features the songs I Dreamed a Dream, a solo sung by the character Fantine, and On My Own, a solo sung by the character Eponine, which have had many professional artists record covers of these songs. Originally released as a concept album, Les Miserables’s first musical stage adaptation was in Paris in 1980 and was a “smash hit” with the French audience. They did have to shut down after three months because the booking contract expired and they could not extend the run to meet the demand. In 1982, about six months after Cats opened in London, producer Cameron Mackintosh got a copy of the original French concept album from Peter Farago. Farago asked Mackintosh to produce an English version. Mackintosh was doubtful but finally decided to produce it. So he assembled a British team to adapt the French music for a British Audience. This took two years. On October 8, 1985 the English version opened in London at the Barbican Arts Centre. Although the critic’s remarks were negative, with some “condemning it for turning a piece of classical French literature into a...
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