The Broadway production of Les Miserables has announced it will end its current run at the Imperial Theatre in September 2016, with John Owen-Jones set to return as Jean Valjean for the final performances from March onwards.
The current Broadway revival, which is the only production playing in North America, is set to close its doors for good on 4th September 2016 after 1,026 performances at the Imperial Theatre.
John Owen-Jones is the latest West End star to play the iconic role on Broadway. Ramin Karimloo reprised his role as Valjean from the London production when the new US version first came to Broadway, leading the show from March 2014 to August 2015 to critical acclaim. He was replaced by current star Alfie Boe, who continues in the role until 28th February 2016. John Owen-Jones, who has played Valjean both in the West End and on Broadway, will succeed Boe from 1st March 2016 for the duration of the show’s run.
Based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, Cameron Mackintosh’s multi award-winning production of the Boublil and Schönberg musical has been seen by 70 million people worldwide in 43 countries and in 22 languages. The London production is the longest-running West End musical, recently celebrating its 30th anniversary in October.
Les Miserables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent score includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Master Of The House” and many more.
The new US production opened at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on 23rd March 2014 and has received rave reviews. Directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, this latest re-imagining also has set and image design by Matt Kinley (inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo), costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paul Constable, sound by Mick Potter, projections realized by Fifty-Nine Productions, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt, musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Lowe.
Alongside Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, the current cast stars Will Swenson as Javert (who is covering the role for Earl Carpenter), Montego Glover as Fantine, Gavin Lee as Thernadier, Rachel Izen as Madame Thernadier, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, Chris McCarrell as Marius, Alex Finke as Cossette and Wallace Smith as Enjolras. Hayden Tee is set to take over the role of Javert from 29th January 2016.
John Owen-Jones is currently starring as The Phantom in the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. He holds the record as the longest-running actor in the role, with nearly 2,000 performances under his belt, and led the 25th Anniversary UK Tour of the musical in the title role in 2012. He also holds the record as the youngest actor to play the role of Valjean, first starring in the West End production at the age of 26. He has played Valjean in Les Miserables both in the West End and on Broadway, and in 2010, he was hand-picked by Cameron Mackintosh to reprise the role for the new 25th Anniversary UK Tour of the musical. He is also an established concert performer and has released four albums to date, the most recent of which, Rise, was released on 2nd March 2016.
Speaking about the news, producer Cameron Mackintosh said: “I am delighted that Broadway audiences have so enthusiastically embraced Les Miserables in its Broadway return. We made the decision last year to have a hiatus on all North American licensing of the show until 2017, so that Broadway would be the one and only place to see this magnificent new version of Boublil & Schonberg’s classic musical, and for one last holiday season. And having two of the best Valjeans of all-time – Alfie Boe followed by John Owen-Jones – could not be a better way for the show to finish off its final months on Broadway.”