If you haven’t already heard, Les Misérables – Cameron Mackintosh’s critically acclaimed musical phenomenon, is playing on Broadway right here in Philadelphia. I had the enormous pleasure of attending the opening night last week on Tuesday, January 9th. The energy in the room was palpable, and the performances were absolutely electric. Les Misérables is one of my all-time favorite musicals, so I was beyond excited to finally see it live at The Academy of Music. Presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and The Shubert Organization, Les Misérables production is welcomed back to Broadway Philadelphia for a two-week engagement after a 5-year absence. It is currently running from January 9–21, 2018.
Les Misérables premiered in London over 30 years ago and the notoriety of this beloved story has only grown since. It is based on the novel written by Victor Hugo and takes place during 19th-century France. Lucky for me, I had great parquet seats in row A so close to the stage, but honestly any seat in The Academy of Music is a good seat. The emotions that you will go through during this musical is off the chart. I’d suggest bringing tissues as there were few dry eyes in the house after the final curtain call.
Featuring new staging and reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The production is designed by Matt Kinley with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions.
The direction by Laurence Connor and James Powell finds that satisfying balance between refreshing and familiar that so many revivals aim for and miss. Sound by Mick Potter brought the stakes of the barricade to vivid life as the audience hears bullets whizzing by. The lighting design by Paule Constable supports the production by making it easy to find soloists on a stage filled with 20 or more cast members. The juxtaposition of the cool and warm light works as a thermostat for scenes. It’s an eternal winter where Javert roams while Cosette and Marius tend to have a warm magic hour summer glow about them. The cast was spectacular and really transported you to a different era. It’s hard not to get fully encompassed into the ensemble.
If you’re looking for something to do this week, I’d highly recommend getting tickets to this amazing show while you still can. Whether you’re a long-time Les Mis fan or a not, it is worth a trip to the Academy!
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting kimmelcenter.org.
Stay tuned for more adventures…