No one could have guessed on October 8, 1985, when Les Misérables opened in London at the Barbican Theatre, that it would become a worldwide phenomenon, but audiences embraced it from the start, creating a “people’s musical” that has played in 42 countries and has been seen by nearly 60 million people. In 2010, the legendary musical celebrated its 25th birthday, and to mark the occasion, producer Cameron Mackintosh staged an extraordinary concert at the O2 Arena in London.
LES MISÉRABLES 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT AT THE O2 will be seen in the U.S. for the first time on WTTW, on Saturday, February 12 from 7:00-11:00 pm.
With more than 500 actors and musicians — including Alfie Boe, Jenny Galloway, Katie Hall, Nick Jonas, Norm Lewis, Matt Lucas, Lea Salonga and Colm Wilkinson — LES MISÉRABLES 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT AT THE O2 includes the October 2010 cast of the long-running original production at London’s Queen’s Theatre and members of the original 1985 London cast.
Heading the cast is Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), one of Britain’s leading tenors and best-selling recording artists, who shot to fame while starring in Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for his performance. Matt Lucas (Thénardier), one of Britain’s most successful comic actors and writers, was seen as Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Jenny Galloway is regarded as a legendary Madame Thénardier and has played the part many times, including the 10th Anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga (Fantine) flew in from Manilla to reprise her role. No stranger to Les Miz, Salonga has played Eponine in London and Fantine on Broadway. She became an international star by creating the role of Kim in the original production of Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and subsequently on Broadway. Salonga joined her former Les Miz co-star Norm Lewis, who played Javert in the Broadway production, and who received rave reviews for Sondheim on Sondheim at Studio 54 in New York.
Nick Jonas (Marius), one third of the phenomenally successful pop music artists The Jonas Brothers, played the part of Gavroche for the final nine months of the show’s original Broadway run. Singer Katie Hall is Cosette, a role she performed in London’s West End production as well as the sell-out 25th Anniversary UK Tour and at the Barbican.
Based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name and set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables features the stories individuals struggling for redemption and revolution. The magnificent score includes the 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.
When Les Misérables celebrated its 21st London birthday on October 8, 2006, it became the world’s longest-running musical, surpassing the record previously held by Cats in London’s West End. In January 2010, the West End production broke another record by celebrating a historic 10,000 performances.
Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Misérables 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 and additional material by James Fenton. The original London 1985 production of Les Misérables was adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.
For more than 50 years, audiences have turned to WTTW for distinctive programming that informs, inspires, educates, and entertains. WTTW reaches 1.5 million weekly households over a four-state area, making it the most-watched public television station in America. Recognized for its award-winning local and national productions, WTTW is committed to presenting the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children's programming across its four distinct television channels: WTTW11, WTTW Prime, its Spanish-language channel WTTW V-me, and WTTW Create, its “how-to” channel. For more information, please visit www.wttw.com.