Broadway and West End Swap 'Les Mis' Valjeans, Oct.22
John Owen-Jones, originally from South Wales, became the youngest actor ever to play the massive role of Jean Valjean at the age of 26 at the Palace Theatre. He recently returned to the London production for its record-breaking 21st anniversary year, also performing the role for a special concert version of the show for BBC Radio. John also spent four years playing The Phantom in the London production of The Phantom of the Opera, making him the West End's longest-running Phantom. John's first solo CD recording "Hallelujah" was recently released.
Drew Sarich performed the role of Grantaire in the original cast of the current production, assuming the role of Valjean this July. He was also recently seen on Broadway as Armand in Lestat. Off-Broadway: revival of Jacques Brel…, Tony n' Tina's Wedding. He also created the role of Quasimodo in Disney's stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Berlin. Other European credits: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hair (Berger), Jekyll & Hyde (Jekyll/Hyde), Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus and Judas). In 2000, Drew released his first album "Say It!" Drew's new band, International Victim, has just finished their debut album, "I.V.," for Soul-Made Productions.
The current Broadway production of Les Miserables opened at the Broadhurst on November 9, 2006. It currently features Drew Sarich as Jean Valjean, Robert Hunt as Javert, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Gary Beach as Thenardier, Ann Harada as Madame Thenardier, Megan McGinnis as Eponine, Adam Jacobs as Marius, Ali Ewoldt as Cosette and Max von Essen as Enjolras. The original production of Les Miserables is the third longest-running show in Broadway history.
John Owen-Jones (left) and Drew Sarich (right) as Jean Valjean