Internationally-renowned performer Alfie Boe will return to Broadway to star as ‘Jean Valjean’ in Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new Broadway production of Claude-Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil’s Les Miserables, now in its second year at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). Boe begins performances in Les Miserables Tuesday, September 1. Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo will give his final performance as Valjean on Sunday, August 30. Boe made his Broadway debut as Rodolfo in Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed production La Boheme, for which he and his co-stars received a special Tony Award in 2003 for their performances. Boe joins Earl Carpenter who is Javert in this his second Broadway stint.
Boe is beloved by millions of Les Miz fans for his towering performance in the legendary 25th Anniversary Concert at London’s O2 Arena in October, 2010, which instantly turned him into a star. The Evening Standard proclaimed, “Alfie Boe is a stunning Valjean.” The legendary concert was subsequently released on DVD and Blu-Ray, selling millions of copies worldwide. In 2011, Boe played a sold-out six-month engagement as Valjean in the original West End production of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre. His performances as ‘Valjean’ rapidly propelled him into a platinum-selling recording artist and a hugely-successful concert performer worldwide.
Said Cameron Mackintosh, “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 Miserables. 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, widely-known as Britain’s favorite tenor, hails from the Lancashire, England fishing port Fleetwood. After studying and singing opera at London’s National Opera Studio and the Royal Opera House, Boe was chosen by director Baz Luhrmann to star as Rodolfo in his Broadway production of La Boheme. He went on to release numerous highly-successful solo albums in the UK and the US and has toured extensively in both regions.
His newest solo album is Serenata, a collection of romantic Italian songs, which was released in November, followed by a highly-successful UK tour that concluded at the O2 Arena. In July, Boe will co-star with Pete Townsend in his Classic Quadrophenia at London’s Royal Albert Hall. His live opera appearances include The Pearl Fishers at the English National Opera and Romeo ET Juliette at the Royal Opera House. He was recently featured in the popular ITV series “Mr. Selfridge” as music-hall singer Richard Chapman and released his autobiography, My Story. In addition to his acclaimed performances as Valjean at the London O2 25th Anniversary Concert and in the West End production, Boe performed “Soliloquy (What Have I Done?)” as well as “Bring Him Home” with Colm Wilkinson, John Owen-Jones and Simon Bowman for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as part of the Royal Variety Performance in 2010. In 2012 he performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. www.alfie-boe.com
Now in its second year on Broadway, this newly-reimagined production of Les Miserables opened on Broadway March 23, 2014 to critical acclaim. The Associated Press raved, “A glorious Les Miserables! This terrific new production is beautifully sung and acted.” NY 1 said, “LES MISERABLES is born again. This is as close to perfection as we’ll ever get in the theater.” And The Huffington Post proclaimed, “This is a Les Miserables for the 21st century! It stirs the audience and rocks the rafters.” The new Broadway production of Les Miserables is now exclusively the only place in North America where the shown can be seen.
Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Miserables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent 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.
Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Miserables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has 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 original Les Miserables orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.
The new production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, with set and image design by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and projections realized by Fifty-Nine Productions. Musical staging is by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt. Musical supervision is by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Lowe.
While the original London production of Les Miserables prepares to celebrate its record-breaking 30th Anniversary on October 8th of this year, the new version of the show is making history playing to packed houses on Broadway, and in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Spain. In 2015, all four of Mackintosh’s ‘mega-hits’ were back in London’s West End: the original productions of Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera, the smash hit new production of Miss Saigon, now in its second year, and the limited return engagement of Cats.
The original New York production of Les Miserables premiered first at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987, later moving to the Imperial on October 17, 1990, where it played until May 18, 2003, for a total Broadway run of 6680 performances. Les Miserables is the 5th longest-running Broadway production of all time.
Seen by 70 million people worldwide in 43 countries and in 22 languages, Les Miserables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals ever written, with new productions continually opening around the globe. The worldwide gross for Les Miserables is $2.5 billion. The 2012 Universal film version of Les Miserables co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title Films, is one of the most successful musical films ever, grossing more than $450 million. The film received the Golden Globe Award as Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) and received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won three Academy Awards. The film’s soundtrack debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Album chart and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
There have been 47 cast recordings of Les Miserables, including the multi-platinum London cast recording, the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast and complete symphonic albums and live recording of the New 25th Anniversary Production.
The cast of Les Miserables features Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean (through Sunday, August 30) acclaimed British actor Earl Carpenter as Javert, Tony Award and Olivier Award nominee Gavin Lee as Thenardier, Erika Henningsen as Fantine, Samantha Hill as Cosette, Rachel Izen as Madame Thenardier, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, Chris McCarrell as Marius and Wallace Smith as Enjolras.