Lipscomb University Theatre to Stage Full Production of LES MISERABLES in November 2013


First Night Award winning directors Mike Fernandez (Doubt, 2010) and Justin Boccitto (Hairspray, 2011) will join forces to co-direct Les Miserables as Lipscomb University Theatre's homecoming musical in early November 2013.

Fernandez, chair of Lipscomb's theater department, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon at the conclusion of negotiations for performance rights to the acclaimed musical, based upon the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, which features music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, with lyrics by Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer and a book by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

"We're very excited to announce that our students will be given the opportunity to perform in this spectacular musical," Fernandez said.

The release of performance rights to Les Miserables, which have only been made available previously for concert productions, has been eagerly anticipated by theater companies throughout the world. The musical has been touring in the United States in celebration of its 25th anniversary as one of America's most beloved musical theater titles.


The musical adaptation of Les Miserables was originally conceived and produced in France in 1980, before its English language adaptation, which premiered at London Barbican Centre in 1985, where the production overcame bad notices through word of mouth, launching the beginning of what has become an international theatrical sensation. Les Miserables opened on Broadway in 1987, claiming Tony Awards for best musical, best book of a musical and best score for a musical.

Also on Thursday, Crossville's Cumberland County Playhouse announced it will mount a production of Les Miserables, running March 3-May 8, starring Nathaniel Hackmann (currently on tour with the musical) as Jean Valjean.

Lipsomb University Theatre's most recent musical was a revival of The Pajama Game earlier this month, directed by Beki Baker and choreographed by Boccitto, and in 2011 the school's production of Hairspray, directed and choreographed by Boccitto, was named First Night's Outstanding Musical.

pictured: Justin Boccitto (top) and Mike Fernandez (bottom)

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor outstanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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