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Ch. 33- LES MISERABLES

In This Episode

LES MISERABLES

COMPOSER: Claude-Michel Schonberg

LYRICIST: Herbert Kretzmer

BOOK: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michele Schonberg, Jean-Marc Natel

SOURCE: Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserables (1862)

DIRECTOR: Trevor Nunn and John Caird

CHOREOGRAPHER: Trevor Nunn and John Caird

PRINCIPLE CAST: Randy Graff (Fantine), Terrence Mann (Javert), Colm Wilkinson (Jean Valjean)

OPENING DATE: Mar 12, 1987

CLOSING DATE: May 18, 2003

PERFORMANCES: 6,680

SYNOPSIS: Jean Valjean is a convicted thief who attempts to rebuild his life with a new family while being mercilessly hunted by the pious Inspector Javert. As these two men battle for their souls, the Paris streets are littered with a political revolution that will forever alter the lives of these two men. 

Robert Meffe traces the development of Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, and Herbert Kretzmer’s epic mega-musical, Les Misérables through inception and how it created the template for musicals that would successfully fuse their scores with popular musical forms. Significantly, the creative team of Trevor Nunn and John Napier struggled to adapt the French novel’s storyline in a way that would resonate with a contemporary British audience both in pacing and the application of universal themes. The show’s success inspired a fleet of musicals whose plots waxed epic including The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, and Titanic.

Robert Meffe- Broadway: Associate Conductor of Little Women and the last six years of Les Misérables, keyboards for Evita (2012 revival), Newsies, The Phantom of the Opera, Avenue Q, Spelling Bee, Grey Gardens and Bombay Dreams.  National Tours: Music Director of Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, Associate Conductor of Les Misérables, Sunday in the Park with George. Off-Broadway: Myths & Hymns, Violet, The Prince and the Pauper, and Gutenberg! The Musical!.  TV: Encore! (Disney+), Earth to America (TBS), Renee Fleming-Live at Lincoln Center (PBS). Mr. Meffe is currently the Head of the MFA Musical Theatre Program at San Diego State University.  

SOURCES

Les Miserables, Original London Cast Recording. First Night Records (1985)

Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, directed by Tom Hooper, NBC Universal (2012)

Les Miserables: The Dream Cast In Concert starring Lea Salonga and Colm Wilkinson, directed by Gavin Taylor, Sony Pictures (1998)

The Complete Book of Les Miserables by Edward Behr, published by Arcade (2016)

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