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BWW Special Feature: The Two New Stars Of LES MISERABLES 2014 Answer Our Questions!

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Last month, BroadwayWorld announced the official casting of the four major roles in Cameron Mackintosh's highly anticipated Broadway revival of Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil's mega-musical Les Miserables - Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean, Will Swenson as Javert, Caissie Levy as Fantine and Nikki M. James as Eponine - and, now, two more of the major roles have been cast - Andy Mientus as Marius and Charlotte Maltby as Cosette - and just as the first four did for us, now those spectacular two new stars recount some of their fondest memories of attending the show as observers, reflect on the prescient themes of Victor Hugo's timeless novel and reveal what specifically drives their passion for the powerful material, as well as look ahead to the new production of the international stage sensation arriving back on Broadway in 2014.

For more information on the 2014 Broadway production of Les Miserables, check out BroadwayWorld's casting announcement coverage, available here and here.

Also, visit the official site for Les Miserables on Broadway here.

A World That Is New, That Is Free

BWW Special Feature: The Two New Stars Of LES MISERABLES 2014 Answer Our Questions!Andy Mientus (Marius)

Tell us about the first time that you saw LES MISERABLES and what that experience, or the show means to you?

I saw the National Tour of Les Miserables in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA when I was a young teenager. At that point, the only Broadway musicals I had seen were RENT, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW on various trips to New York City with my family. My dad was an enthusiastic rock music fan, so those were the kind of shows we always took in, and thus those were the shows I responded to. When I saw Les Mis however, I was overwhelmed by the orchestral sweep of the music, drawn in by the epic scope of it.

What moment in Victor Hugo's story means the most to you personally? Furthermore, what moment in the musical is the most powerful of all to you? Why?

I am about halfway through the novel (it's hefty), but I have been really moved by Hugo's religiously motivated Liberalism. I don't mean to make political generalizations, but I think most people would agree that the very religious tend to have conservative values. Valjean, on the other hand, finds God and is inspired to share his wealth with the poor, to care for those like Cosette who cannot help themselves, to be empathetic to those like Fantine whose lives have led them down an unfortunate path- ideals which I identify with as a liberal. I was raised Catholic, but as an adult, my liberal beliefs put me at odds with my spiritual ones. Hugo's work is teaching me that religion and liberalism are not mutually exclusive. As for the musical, I don't think there is a better first act closer than "One Day More." It's an iconic theater moment.

What message does LES MISERABLES have for a 2014 audience that perhaps is even more resounding than it was when the musical premiered thirty years ago? What theme or idea of the novel and musical is most pertinent to today, do you think?

A lot has been said about the Millennial generation being a selfish one, "Generation Me", whereas Les Miserables is about doing the unselfish thing. All of the hero characters in the story are called upon to make personal sacrifices for the greater good and even if they themselves don't come out on top in the end, we see how their sacrifice affects others positively. I think that is a wonderful and relevant message.

Is there anything else that you'd like to share about why doing this new production of LES MIS is special/meaningful to you?

This will be my Broadway debut! I have been working toward this all my life, but I never imaged that I would have the fortune to make my debut in a role and a show like this. It will also be very special because one of my classmates from the University of Michigan will be making his debut with the show as well. I'm sure we will be big blubbering messes on opening night and I can't wait for it!

BWW Special Feature: The Two New Stars Of LES MISERABLES 2014 Answer Our Questions!Charlotte Maltby (Cosette)

Tell us about the first time that you saw LES MISERABLES and what that experience, or the show means to you?

I can't remember the first time I saw LES MIS. I do, however, remember, as a kid playing the complete symphonic recording in my living room. It was that CD with an international cast and I was obsessed with it. I thought it was so cool that you could listen to the CD and hear the entire show and get the whole story. It got me wanting to do musical theatre in the first place. I'd lock myself in my room, put the CD in my archaic Discman, and play every single character I was a great Enjolras!

What moment in Victor Hugo's story means the most to you personally? Furthermore, what moment in the musical is the most powerful of all to you? Why?

Ok this is a tough one. If we're talking personally then I'm gonna pull the cliche card and say, "On My Own." I may not be able to relate to being a peasant in post-revolutionary France but I, as with anyone who survived their teens, can relate to unrequited love. I mean, there's a reason every girl sings the song. If we're talking about the most powerful moment in the show overall then I'm gonna have to say the end of the first act with "One Day More." I'm pretty sure it's the only moment where the whole cast looks beyond their current situations and optimistically stands together looking toward the future. It's a pretty inspiring moment and of course musically thrilling.

What message does LES MISERABLES have for a 2014 audience that perhaps is even more resounding than it was when the musical premiered thirty years ago? What theme or idea of the novel and musical is most pertinent to today, do you think?

LES MISERABLES represents the power of change and the power of youth, which I feel is very pertinent in today's times. It is really exciting to introduce the show to a new generation of theatergoers, as well as create a new world that will intrigue audiences who have already seen the show.

Is there anything else that you'd like to share about why doing this new production of LES MIS is special/meaningful to you?

It's my Broadway debut!

Here's to this sensational array of talent aligned for the new revival of Les Miserables and be sure to stay tuned to BroadwayWorld for continuing updates on the casting and production as we head into 2014!

After all, next year, for Les Miserables it is "another day, another destiny," and another chance at "a world that is new, that is free," as well - and how!

BWW Special Feature: The Two New Stars Of LES MISERABLES 2014 Answer Our Questions!

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