Les Mis�rables: Lea Salonga joins cast four days earlier then originally announced.

Lea Salonga is to play Fantine from the 2 Mar 2007, four days earlier then expected, in the Broadway musical Les Mis�rables. It was originally announced that Salonga was to play the role of Fantine from 6 Mar 2007.

Ms Salonga played the role of Eponine in 1993 in the original Broadway production of the musical. She assumes the role of Fantine from Daphne Rubin-Vega who left the show on 18 Feb 2007 to join the cast of Off-Broadway show Jack Goes Boating. Ensemble members Nikki Ren�e Daniels and Haviland Stillwell have both played the role of Fantine since Rubin-Vega's departure.

Lea Salonga became a musical star at the age of seventeen when she was cast for the role of Kim in the 1989 London premiere production of Miss Saigon, produced by Cameron Macintosh. Salonga won an Olivier Award as Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. In 1991, she reprised her performance on Broadway to further critical acclaim, and received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Les Mis�rables, which opened on 9 Nov 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre for a special limited six-month engagement, has extended its run and is currently taking bookings to 27 Aug 2007.

The musical opened to mostly good to luke warm reviews, New York Times said "Appears to be functioning in a state of mild sedation. It isn�t sloppy or blurry. But its pulse rate stays well below normal, and so most likely will yours." whilst the Associated Press wrote "Its melodies are as grandiose as the story, stirring, tuneful and totally capturing the emotion of the moment."

You can read more of the critics reviews here.

Les Mis�rables is about love and bravery in 19th century France during the revolutionary struggles. Jean Valjean, released on parole after 19 years on the chain gang, finds that the 'ticket-of-leave' he must display by law, condemns him to be an outcast. Only the saintly Bishop of Digne treats him kindly and Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by the police, and is astonished when the Bishop lies to save him, also giving him two precious candlesticks. Valjean decides to start his life anew. Things go well but 8 years later, an encounter with a face from the past threatens everything he now holds dear.

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Les Mis�rables is a musical by Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Sch�nberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It features music by Claude-Michel Sch�nberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, with original French text by Alain Boublil & Jean-Marc Natel and additional material by James Fenton.

Directed by Trevor Nunn & John Caird, the musical is designed by John Napier with lighting by David Hersey, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Elise Napier and sound by Andrew Bruce and John Weston.

The cast also features Alexander Gemignani (Jean Valjean), Norm Lewis (Javert), Gary Beach (Thenardier), Jenny Galloway (Madame Thenardier), Aaron Lazar (Enjolras), Adam Jacobs (Marius), and Ali Ewoldt (Cosette).

Joining the above cast are Victor Hawks (Brujon), Tess Adams, Gabrielle Piacentile, Kylie Liya Goldstein (Young Cosette/Eponine), Jacob Levine and Brian D'Addario (Gavroche), J.D. Goldblatt (Montparnasse), James Chip Leonard (Claquesous), Jeff Kready (Babet), Drew Sarich (Grantaire), Justin Bohon (Joly), Nehal Joshi (Lesgles), Blake Ginther (Feuilly), Daniel Bogart (Combeferre), Robert Hunt (Courfeyrac),and Doug Kreeger (Jean Prouvaire).

The original Broadway production opened on 12 Mar 1987, at the Broadway Theatre, winning seven Tony Awards that season, including Best Musical. The show went on to play a total of 6,680 performances.