Les Misérables (2012) - This "Le Miz" is the Gold Standard Version of Victor Hugo's Masterpiece
"Les Misérables" (2012) is adapted from the classic 1862 French novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, who is also known for his much earlier novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Anyone familiar at all with Broadway knows that "Les Misérables" is almost a permanent tenant there, going away on vacation every so often but always returning (it resumes there again in early 2014).
|The ubiquitous Broadway promo|
The first French theatrical production was in 1980, and the original London production was in 1985, with Broadway itself following in 1987. "Les Misérables" ran until 2003 (after changing theaters in 1990), an astonishing eighteen years straight - but even that only scratches the surface of the musical's impact on the theater world.
Basically, you were not able to walk very far in New York City over the past thirty years without at some point seeing some poster or ad or subway card that had that familiar "Les Misérables" advertisement (as on the poster above). The point of mentioning the stage history is to hammer home for those who may not be aware that "Les Misérables" is not some sudden phenomenon: instead, it is the classic "overnight sensation" that took over thirty years to build. The wonder is not that "Les Misérables" was adapted into a high-profile film and that the film was a huge success, but that it took so long to do it. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in particular sparkle in this version of "Les Misérables," but the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.
|Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean|
|Anne Hathaway in real life|
To support her daughter, Fantine becomes a prostitute. When a man attacks her, Fantine fights back, but Fantine is the one arrested by Javert, who just saw her responding to the man and not the man's provocation. Valjean steps in and secures Fantine's release and has Fantine hospitalized. Valjean then finds out that a man believed to be him has been arrested. After much soul-searching, Valjean reveals his identity to the court. Javert tries to arrest him immediately, but Valjean slips away, going to the hospital to promise the dying Fantine that he will personally look after Cosette. Fulfilling this pledge, Valjean pays off the Thénardiers so that they will let him have Cosette, and provides her with a new home.
|Javert responding to the student uprising|
|Valjean and Fantine|
|Cosette and Marius|
|Marius prepared for battle|
|Javert, ready for battle|
|The early stages of a revolt are often pretty|
|Javert walking past the dead|
|Anne Hathaway is stunning as Fantine|
|Russell Crowe doing a Britney Spears "Toxic" tribute|
|Sir Cameron Mackintosh must have been delighted|
Below is the trailer for "Les Misérables."