For the first time since January 1997, the Broadway hit musical Les Misérables is returning to the Forrest Theatre for a limited engagement opening April 25.
Les Misérables is a collaborative effort produced by Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg. The musical has enjoyed a 13-year run on Broadway and has won eight Tony awards.
Based on Victor Hugo’s epic novel of the same name, Les Misérables takes place in the early 1800s during a time of civil unrest in France. Jean Valjean, played by Ivan Rutherford, is freed after 19 years on a chain gang. He turns his life around after a charitable encounter with the Bishop of Digne.
With the assistance of fake papers, he is elected mayor of a small town called Montreuil Sur-Mer. Known as Monsieur Madeline, Valjean takes in a dying prostitute named Fantine (Joan Almedilla). While Fantine lays dying, she asks Valjean to fetch her illegitimate daughter, who has been living with the Thenardiers, (J.P. Dougherty and Aymee Garcia) a couple who keeps a Montfermeil inn.
While in Montreuil Sur-Mer, Valjean rescues a man pinned underneath a cart. This display of brute strength reminds Javert (Stephen Bishop) of a convict who broke his parole years ago. Javert then goes on a manhunt to find the elusive prisoner No. 24601. Unable to see an innocent man enter prison, Valjean reveals himself and flees town.
Valjean takes Cosette from the Thenardiers and raises her in Paris. Nine years later, the death of popular leader General Lamarque begins an insurrection between the wealthy and the working-class. Among the rebels is Marius, (Tim Howar) a student captivated by Cosette’s (Regan Thiel) beauty and mystery. As war breaks out, the characters are thrown around like toy boats in a child’s bath tub.
Les Misérables is a tale of the oppressed rising up against unlikely odds. It has been ranked among the most highly regarded musicals including West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady.
The musical successfully mixes the intricacies of human relationships and Hugo’s political thought.
Les Misérables also features Raegan Kotz as Eponine and Stephen Tewksbury as Enjolras. The show runs from April 25 to June 4. Tickets are on sale now at the Forrest Theatre box office, 1114 Walnut Street, and Ticketmaster.