Musical Theatre West's LES MISERABLES, Starring Michael Hunsaker and Davis Gaines, Opens Tonight

Musical Theatre West (MTW) presents the exhilarating musical masterpiece, LES MISERABLES at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center tonight, April 10, through April 26.

Headlining the cast of exceptional talent is Ovation winner and Broadway star Davis Gaines (Man of La Mancha, Phantom of the Opera) as Inspector Javert. Norman Large, a member of the 1987 original Broadway production who became the second Thénardier on Broadway, reprises his role for the MTW production. Ruth Williamson (Broadway's White Christmas, La Cage Aux Folles, and The Music Man), who performed the role of Madame Thénardier in the Hollywood Bowl's production, recreates the role for MTW's performances.

DUE TO AN OVERWHELMING DEMAND A SECOND PERFORMANCE IS NOW ON SALE FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 7PM. Tickets are now on sale at MTW's Ticket Office, by calling (562) 856-1999, ext. 4 or online at Tickets start at $20.

One of the greatest musicals of all time, LES MISERABLES is based on Victor Hugo's landmark novel about social change and political revolution in 19th century France. From its celebrated opening in London in 1985, the production immediately captured the imagination and enthusiasm of audiences and critics alike. The original Broadway production opened two years later and went on to earn 12 Tony Award nominations, winning eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. It is the world's longest-running musical; seen by over 60 million people in 42 countries. The magnificent score includes such unforgettable songs as I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, and Bring Him Home. The production inspired filmmakers to create the big screen adaptation, which earned eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and three Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture.

MTW's production boasts an impressive cast of 30 performers and an orchestra of 16 musicians, whose credits includes Broadway, national tours, and regional credits and awards. Davis Gaines returns to MTW in the role of Inspector Javert. Gaines credits include more than 2,000 performances as The Phantom and later as Raoul on Broadway and national touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera. His additional credits include the world premiere of Whistle Down the Wind, Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing and Camelot with Richard Burton. Local audiences will remember Gaines for his two Ovation Award winning performances in Man of La Mancha with MTW, and Kiss Me Kate at the Cabrillo Theater, as well as his turn in the Mark Taper Forum's production of Parade.

Michael Hunsaker portrays Jean Valjean, a role for which he received the coveted Broadway World Award for his performance at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. A veteran who has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and throughout the United States, Hunsaker has appeared in productions ranging from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Brick) to West Side Story (Tony).

Norman Large recreates his Broadway turn as Thénardier, in MTW's production. As the Bishop of Digne in the original Broadway production of LES MISERABLES, he is featured on the Broadway cast recording. During the original Broadway run, Large stepped into the shoes of the "The Master of the House" and became the third person to portray Javert on the Great White Way. Large has enjoyed a varied career from principal artist with the New York City Opera to roles garnering him ten LA Ovation Award nominations.

In 2008, Ruth Williamson appeared in LES MISERABLES at the Hollywood Bowl in the role of Madame Thénardier. On Broadway, Williamson's credits include White Christmas (Martha Watson), La Cage Aux Folles (Jacqueline), and The Music Man, for which she received an Outer Critics nomination for her role as Eulalie Shinn. Off-Broadway she received a Drama Desk nomination for her role in The Green Heart, and appeared in The Good Times are Killing Me, and Queen Amarantha.

Rounding out the cast are such notable talents as Madison Claire Parks (Cosette), Cassandra Murphy (Fantine), Emily Martin (Eponine), and Devin Archer (Marius). (A cast and production listing is attached.)

MTW's production of LES MISERABLES is under the direction and choreography of DJ Salisbury with Andrew Bryan serving as musical director and conductor. The show is a new production of BOUBLIL and SCHÖNBERG'S LES MISERABLES, a musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg; music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer; original French text by Alain Boublil& Jean-Marc Natel, with additional material by James Fenton. The show was adapted and originally directed by Trevor Nunn & John Caird with orchestrations by John Cameron. The original Cameron Mackintosh production premiered in London in 1985, performed by The Royal Shakespeare Company. LES MISERABLES is licensed by Music Theatre International [MTI] by arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh, Ltd.

This production is made possible thanks to the generous contributions of 2014-2015 Honorary Season Producers: The Ackerman Family/Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation, Ken& Dottie Reiner, and Don & Marlene Temple. Joe and Edna Moore serve as the Honorary Producer for LES MISERABLES with Denne& Anne Goldstein and Ron & Sylvia Hartman serving as Associate Producers. Special student matinee performances are underwritten by Stanley Cohen, Anthony & Alice Kalomas, and Larry & Shari Nemirow. Paul Garman serves as Executive Director/Producer for MTW.

Tickets are now on sale for MTW's production of LES MISERABLES. For tickets or more information, go to or call(562) 856-1999, ext. 4.

Pictured: Davis Gaines as Javert and Michael Hunsaker as Jean Valjean. Photo by Tony Firriolo.

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