Excitement & Cast Bust Out for Hollywood Bowl Les Miserables Concert this Summer
Well, it was just a matter of time as the Broadway rumor mill had been grinding steadily about the highly-anticipated summer presentation at the Hollywood Bowl of Les Miserables in Concert. We learned last week through a casting notice put out in LA, that Richard Jay-Alexander has been asked to direct this milestone event because by now, everybody knows that when the Hollywood Bowl does it...they do it big, and they do it great. Jay-Alexander was in Los Angeles and attended a day of casting calls for Gavroche and Young Cosette. We immediately rang his cell phone, where we caught him (off-guard) at the airport on his flight back and he wouldn't talk, saying that it was really the Hollywood Bowl's place to make any and all announcements. So, we called the Hollywood Bowl and they told us that it was true and that Kevin Stites has been named Musical Director/Conductor.
But, the espionage continues. There have been rumblings along the Rialto of people who had been cast in roles and everyone was pretty much sworn to secrecy, as they also knew who else had been hired and the Bowl today confirmed what we sort of already knew, and happily, last night on both coasts, two of the leads - Melora Hardin from The Office was a guest on Carson Daly and Lea Michele who was making her debut at Feinstein's, both told their respective audiences of their excitement at being cast in a show, in which they both admitted to being among an amazing group of performers. But, to their credit, neither of them mentioned anyone else in the cast.
So, last night, in all the chat rooms and blogospheres, people went "insane" with excitement that Hardin was cast as Fantine and Lea Michele will be playing Eponine. The rest of the cast currently in place, and according to the Hollywood Bowl press office are Rosie O'Donnell (Madame Thernardier), Lea Michele (Eponine), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Javert), J. Mark McVey (Jean Valjean), Melora Hardin (Fantine) and Lea Michele (Eponine) and Aaron Lazar (Enjolras). For Rosie O'Donnell, this is surely a dream come true, since as well all know she loves Les Miz and has wanted to play Madame Thernardier for a long time. It looks like the time has come. Congrats Rosie!
The roles uncast at the moment are Marius, Mssr. Thernardier and Older Cosette. We reached Richard Jay-Alexander at home and he said "Well, I guess the cat's out of the bag...so to speak! I was in LA for the casting session and also got to do my first walk of the Bowl, which was really exciting. I met with the designers, and Brian Grohl from the Hollywood Bowl and Steve Linder of IMG Artists, who have worked the Bowl for awhile and there is unprecedented excitement about Les Miserables.
For me, personally, it's a wonderful opportunity to revisit a show that I love with all my heart and I was thrilled when Cameron Mackintosh and Richard Salfas (of Music Theater International) called me to discuss working on this production. The Hollywood Bowl is presenting Les Miz, by special arrangement with Mackintosh and MTI and I'm really excited about the way that the cast is shaping up and hope to deliver a thrilling evening for the audiences, who last summer were treated to a spectacular production of South Pacific, which I got to see images of in my meetings with the Bowl. That's all I can share with you for the moment, because I think that's all I know. We start rehearsal in July, and the performances are August 8th, 9th and 10th. You can go to the Hollywood Bowl web site for tickets."
Hear the People Sing! The world's longest running musical comes to the Bowl in a staged concert adaptation – Boublil and Schönberg's brilliant realization of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. Winner of eight Tony Awards, this timeless masterpiece will transport you to post-revolutionary France where you will be moved by its power and magic. An all-star cast and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra will bring you this sweeping story of love, passion and redemption.
The three performances will be Friday, August 8, 2008, 8:30 PM, Saturday, August 9, 2008, 8:30 PM and Sunday, August 10, 2008, 7:30 PM.
AARON LAZAR - ENJOLRAS
Aaron Lazar recently garnered critical acclaim for his performance as 'Enjolras', the leader of the student revolutionaries, in the 2006 Broadway revival of Les Miserables, earning a 2007 Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. Lazar starred on Broadway as 'Fabrizio Nacarelli' in Lincoln Center's Tony Award winning production of The Light in the Piazza, a role he also played to national television audiences on PBS' Live from Lincoln Center broadcast. Other Broadway/West End appearances include: The Phantom of the Opera, Oklahoma!, The Scarlet Pimpernel, the Broadway workshops of Barry Manilow's Harmony, Dirty Dancing, and 'Gabey' in the historic 2005 production of On The Town at the English National Opera. Aaron will make his Carnegie Hall debut this April 4, 2008. www.aaronlazar.com