WOB to Present LES MISERABLES in Summer 2014
The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre's Executive Producer & CEO, Bill Kiska, announced that the international blockbuster Les Miserables will play the theatre during the summer of 2014. As Frederick's only year-round producing theater, Way Off Broadway is preparing to reach a milestone when its 2014 Season opens in January. Way Off Broadway will be celebrating twenty years of entertainment at its theater located in the Willowtree Plaza on the west side of the City of Frederick.
For two decades, Frederick's only dinner theater has been bring professional stage shows to the area. During that time, many theaters across the country came and went, but Way Off Broadway continued to grow. For the theater's 20th Anniversary Season, the line-up will include some classic favorites and present-day blockbusters.
Les Miserables will run June 20 - August 23, 2014 and transport audiences to revolutionary-era France. This international smash-hit may be the most popular musical in the world. In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter.
Based on the novel by French author Victor Hugo, Les Miserables had its world premier in London in the fall of 1985. Twenty-eight years later, Les Miserables is still running in the West End.
In December 1986, Les Miserables crossed the pond and had its American premier at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC before moving to New York's Broadway Theatre for its opening on March 12, 1987. Three years later, the show transferred to the Imperial Theatre where it would run until it closed in May 2003 after over 6,600 performances.
The show became a blockbuster and audience favorite. The original New York production won seven Drama Desk Awards, five Outer Critic Circle Awards, three Theatre World Awards, and eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Starring as Jean Valjean, both in London and on Broadway, was Irish actor Colm Wilkinson. To date, the role of Valjean is Wilkinson's only Broadway appearance, though he has had a very success career on the theatre in London and Toronto.
Only three years after it closed on Broadway, producer Cameron Mackintosh brought a revival of Les Miserables back to New York in 2006. That allowed the show to be running in the states for its 20th anniversary. Over the years, Mackintosh produced anniversary concerts bringing together stars from productions around the world. A newly staged version recently opened in Toronto and Mackintosh again announced that Les Miserables would be returning to Broadway in the spring of 2014.
In 2012, Les Miserable was turned into a major motion picture with a star-studded cast that include Hugh Jackman as Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Sacha Baron Cohen as Thénardier, and Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thénardier. At the 2013 Academy Awards, the movie took home three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for, including one for Hathaway for Best Featured Actress.
The show has become truly legendary and can honestly claim being the biggest international blockbuster of all time having been produced in forty-two countries and translated into twenty-one languages.
Les Miserable is a part of The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre's 20th Anniversary Season which also includes Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, Singin' in the Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, Way Off Broadway's 20th Anniversary Revue, and the original holiday production, It's Christmas.