After a 20 year wait, Les Miserables is finally back, this time bigger and better than before. The new, reimagined version of this musical was first created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Broadway musical. This current version includes new sets, re-orchestrated music scores, and pyrotechnics. For those who are keen, Les Miserables will be showing at the Esplanade Theatre till 17 July 2016 and tickets are available HERE.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, Les Miserables the Musical follows the lives of several characters in the 19th Century French Revolution period, touching on topics of redemption, contradictions in friendship and love as well as survival of the human spirit.
Since its inception in the 1980s, Les Miserables has since taken the musical scene by storm. Originated from the novel by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables was then made into a musical in 1985. It is undisputedly one of the greatest Broadway shows of all time.
Not only was the musical a hit, Les Miserables the movie, starring Hollywood’s greatest stars such as Russell Crowe, Anna Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, scored 3 Oscars and 3 Golden Globe awards 2012.
Despite its global fame, did you know that Les Miserables was once dismissed as “witless and synthetic entertainment?” For more, allow us to take you through 5 facts about the musical.
1. The early reviews of Les Miserables were atrocious
When the musical was first released in London’s Barbican Theatre, critics panned it. Newspapers such as The Daily Mail and City Limits called the musical out and described it as a “load of sentimental old tosh”.
Devastated, Producer Cameron Mackintosh made a trip to the box office only to find out that in less than 24 hours, tickets were already selling out fast. It was then that he decided to not take professional critics to heart and instead trust the power of word of mouth.
2. Today, Les Miserables is one of the oldest and most successful Broadway shows
This blockbuster has won over 125 major theatre awards including an Olivier, 8 Tonys, a Grammy, and 5 Helpmann Awards. The production has played over 45,000 professional performances worldwide to a total audience of more than 70 million people – even more than the population of Italy.
3. There is only one place which still holds the original production
Though different renditions of the play are still stellar performances which continue to touch the hearts of millions, the only place where you can still see the original musical is in London.
4. The singing you heard from Les Miserables movie was entirely live
To amp up the realism, Tom Hooper, director of the movie insisted that the entire cast sing live instead of lip-synching to pre-recorded tracks. Even though the live singing did potray raw honesty to the movie, the cast had to prepare their vocals months before the actual acting. On top of that, stars such as Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman had a whopping amount of weight to lose before filming commenced. They really deserved their Oscars!
5. After a 20-year hiatus, Les Miserables finally made its way to Singapore with its latest production of Les Miserables
Consisting of modernised staging, orchestrations and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this version of Les Miserables must not be missed!
This production has broken box office records America and in Canada for over three years, as well as in Japan, Korea, Spain and Australia.
Tickets have been on sale since November last year and will be available through all SISTIC channels. The musical will be held at Esplanade from 31st May 2016 onwards, with ticket prices starting from SGD58.
For more information, please head over to www.lesmis.sg.
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