Anyone who has driven in any major city in their life has more than likely seen a poster for Les Miserables on tour at a local theater. In Cleveland specifically, the show was last at Playhouse Square in 2013 (and 2011 before that). The musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel is the fifth-longest-running show on Broadway and has toured 44 countries. As if that didn’t make it popular enough, add in the 2012 movie starring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and it’s a safe bet most of the world has met the infamous Jean Valjean.
For those who have somehow managed to not know what “Les Miserables” (Les Mis as it is called by theater goers), the story follows the life if Jean Valjean, a man who was imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread, receives parole, and then breaks that parole and spends his life being hunted by the villainous Javert. As the show unfolds, you get snippets of other stories that weave together: the mother Fantine who sells her body to get money for her sick daughter in a town far away, the rebellious soldiers fueled by the idea of revolution, and the heartsick Eponine who must watch as her love Marius falls for another woman. In a 2 and a half hour (originally nearly 4 hour) show, there is clearly a lot more that happens, but this gives you at least a brief outline.
So how does a show that is so famously and widely known go on tour and appeal to new generations of
These brilliant actors, combined with a set that was both simple and powerful as a storytelling aspect, made for a perfectly modern rendition of a classic show. If you missed this run, fear not, as we only had to wait a few years in between tour stops in the past, and it’s likely for a show of level of success, it will only be a few more before it is back.