Alfie Boe returns to Broadway as Jean Valjean tonight


International singing sensation Alfie Boe returns to Broadway tonight in the role of Jean Valjean in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables.

He is joined by fellow newcomers to the cast Montego Glover (as Fantine) and Alex Finke (as Cosette). Ramin Karimloo, Erika Henningsen and Samantha Hill, all played their final performances in the musical on 30 August 2015.

Cameron Mackintosh previously commented:

“I first had the idea of asking Alfie Boe to play Valjean watching him in a production of Kismet at the English National Opera in which he was co-starring with my great friend, Michael Ball, the original Marius. It turned out to be one of the great decisions of my life, and I will never forget what happened at the O2 Les Miz 25th Anniversary concert when an unknown operatic tenor transfixed not only the 32,000 people who watched live in the arena, but also the hundreds of thousands watching live in cinemas around the world. A star was truly born that night and true musical theater magic happened. That magic was re-created night after standing room night in Alfie’s sold-out six-month engagement in the West End production of Les Misérables. Now, as the original production London production miraculously prepares to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, to have Alfie join this fabulous Broadway company while the show continues to break records in separate companies of this acclaimed new production in Spain, South Korea, Japan and Australia, is beyond any dream I could have dreamed.”

Alfie Boe made his Broadway debut as Rodolfo in Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed production 'La Boheme,' for which he and his co-stars received the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre in 2003. Other credits include the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of 'Les Misérables' and 25th Anniversary Concert at London's O2 Arena, 'The Pearl Fishers' at the London Coliseum and 'Romeo ET Juliette' at the Royal Opera House. He has also released 8 studio albums to date.

Les Misérables opened at the Imperial Theatre on 23 March 2014, following previews from 1 March 2014, and is currently taking bookings to 27 March 2016.

Les Misérables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, original adaption by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and additional material by James Fenton.

The principal cast currently includes Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), Earl Carpenter (Javert), Montego Glover (Fantine), Brennyn Lark (Eponine), Chris McCarrell (Marius), Alex Finke (Cosette), Gavin Lee (Thenardier), Rachel Izen (Madame Thenardier), and Wallace Smith (Enjolras).

Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables is "an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The score includes the classic 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."

This newly re-imagined production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and additional costumes by Christine Rowlands, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions. The original Les Misérables orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke and additional orchestrations by Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.

Les Misérables originally premiered at the Barbican Theatre in a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985. It transferred to the Palace Theatre in December of that year and then moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre in April 2004 where it is still playing today.

In October 2006 Les Misérables took over the title of World’s Longest Running Musical followed by two other Cameron Mackintosh productions, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 'The Phantom of the Opera' and 'Cats.'

The Broadway production of Les Misérables originally opened at the Broadway Theatre on 12 March 1987 and transferred to the Imperial Theatre on 17 October 1990 running for 6,680 performances. The musical returned to Broadway on 9 November 2006 where the show played the Broadhurst Theatre until its final performance on 6 January 2008.

The Universal film version of Les Misérables co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title Films, and directed by Tom Hooper, has grossed $150 million domestically and nearly $400 million worldwide since its 2012 Christmas Day release. The film received the Golden Globe Award as Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) and received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

- by Tom Millward

Photo by Matt CrockettAlfie Boe