‘Les Miserables’ set to storm the barricade in Toronto and on Broadway

Aaron Tveit stars as Enjolras in the film adaptation of Les Miserables.

Aaron Tveit stars as Enjolras in the film adaptation of Les Miserables.

Les Miserables is garnering much excitement with its upcoming return to stages across North America. With revivals set for both Toronto and New York City, the show will reach thousands of giddy theatregoers. Its reclaimed popularity, thanks in large part to the recent film release, has brought about great demand for the timeless musical all over the world.

Les Miserables will make its way back to the Toronto stage in September. The production will include fresh revisions from Cameron Mackintosh, making it a revamped and enthusiastic performance even for seasoned fans.  The Toronto production will star Canadian Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean, who has also brought the role to life in London to much acclaim. Also starring are Melissa O’Neil as Eponine, Mark Uhre as Enjolras, and Genevieve Lecler as Fantine. Word of the production, which will open at the city’s Princess of Wales Theatre, comes after an expected revival of the show last summer that was halted as a result of casting issues.

Canada isn’t the only place pining for adventures at the barricade.

Broadway will see a revival of the production in March 2014 helmed by Laurence Connor and James Powell. Les Miserables was last performed in New York City in 2006, just three years after the original Broadway production had closed. It seems that Broadway can’t last too long without such a classic musical theatre staple on the menu! The show’s fourth North American tour, which has been carrying on since 2010, is grossing over 1 million dollars a week and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon as fans across the nation show up in droves to see the musical live.

The star-studded film version of the musical’s release this winter revitalized an already beloved score and brought in even more fans, especially those of a younger demographic.  This week, the highlights album of the Les Miserables Motion Picture Soundtrack is the #1 selling soundtrack on iTunes in the U.K., Germany,  Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan. It remains at #4 in the United States. The film clearly struck a chord with worldwide audiences and along the way it earned eight Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture. With Les Miserables weighing so heavily on the collective conscious, it’s no surprise that word of multiple productions has been popping up all over North America.

Les Miserables practically defines the term “mega musical” with its resonating themes, beautiful sets and costumes, and the phenomenal talent required of its actors. Some musical scores simply have an immense power to capture universal feelings in such a passionate way that they cannot be ignored. Les Miserables is by and large a perfect example of that, as it has never vanished from the public eye for too long in the years since its first production. What’s great about Les Mis is that its mass popularity allows it to bring in fans that have never experienced musical theatre before and open their eyes to this medium. It has the power to be the kind of show that introduces people to the amazing sense of connection that musicals can create and prompts them to explore other productions. In a way, Les Miserables is representing the entire theatre community with its success – and the more people it brings together, the better.

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About Claire H.

Writer, performer, picture-taker, New Yorker. Find me on Twitter at @Claire_Hannum.
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  1. I’m going to see Les Mis in Toronto when it comes 😀