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London Les Miserables Breaks Record on Oct. 9

Les Miserables--whose romantic rebels will soon be returning to Broadway--will become the longest-running musical to play the West End.

The London production of the musical, based on the classic epic novel by Victor Hugo, will celebrate its 21st birthday on October 8th and surpass Cats for the record of longest-running musical on Broadway or the West End the next day (with 3,872 performances).  The show plays the Queen's Theatre.  Cats, which played in London through May 11th, 2002, closed exactly 21 years after opening.

On October 7th, both the record-breaking milestone and Les Miserables's birthday will be celebrated with a special finale, featuring original cast members Colm Wilkinson, Patti LuPone, Frances Ruffelle and Michael Ball.  On October 8th, BBC Radio will also air an (edited) version of Les Miserables, performed by the current London cast and backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The Phantom of the Opera--which has run approximately three years less than London's Les Miserables--is Broadway's longest-running musical.  The Fantasticks--which ran for decades at Off-Broadway's Sullivan Street Playhouse--remains the longest-running musical in the world.

Les Miserables features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, with original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel and additional material by James Fenton.  The musical will soon return to Broadway; it will begin previews at the Broadhurst Theatre on October 24th and open on November 9th.  Alexander Gemignani, Norm Lewis, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Aaron Lazar are among the stars of Les Miserables, which is directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

Les Miserables originally opened on Broadway on March 12, 1987, and ran for 6,680 performances.

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