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“Les Misérables” Returns to Raleigh on Feb. 11-23 with Lauren Kennedy Playing Her Role as Fantine

Lauren Kennedy will play Fantine and her real-life daughter, Riley Campbell, will play Fantine's daughter, Young Cosette (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Lauren Kennedy will play Fantine and her real-life daughter, Riley Campbell, will play Fantine’s daughter, Young Cosette (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Broadway star Lauren Kennedy will return to her hometown of Raleigh, NC to play the fired factory worker-turned-prostitute Fantine and Kennedy’s real-life daughter, Riley Campbell, will play Fantine’s daughter Young Cosette in Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre‘s gala joint production of Les Misérables, which will play Feb. 11-16 and 18-23 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

Lauren Kennedy and Craig Schulman, who plays reformed petty thief Jean Valjean, and Chuck Wagner, who portrays Valjean’s relentless and implacable pursuer, Inspector Javert, are all three veterans of the inaugural 1987-2003 Broadway production of Les Misérables. Riley Campbell, who is a fourth-grader and a student at North Carolina Theatre’s Conservatory, will make her theatrical debut in the role of Young Cosette.

According to the NCT and BBS news release:

“… Lauren Kennedy’s other Broadway credits include Lady of the Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, and Side Show as Daisy Hilton. Her extensive resume also includes Cinderella at the New York City Opera and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific in London’s West End. Lauren has appeared on the NCT stage many times, including starring roles in Evita (2011 and 1993), Annie Get Your Gun (2008), and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1998). She currently serves as the artistic director at Theatre Raleigh.

“… This will be [Craig Schulman’s] fourth production at NCT, having previously appeared as Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof (1997), Archibald in The Secret Garden (1998), and Father in Children of Eden (2003)….

“In the role of Javert is Chuck Wagner, [whose o]ther Broadway credits include Into the Woods and Beauty and the Beast, in addition to a long list of regional and national tour appearances. He’s also well-known for his roles on ‘General Hospital,’ ‘One Life to Live,’ ‘All My Children,’ and ‘As the World Turns.’

North Carolina Theatre is also proud to announce 14 students from their North Carolina Theatre Conservatory in North Raleigh who will be appearing in the production, including English Bernhardt in the role of Eponine. She’s previously appeared on our stage as Louisa in The Sound of Music and the title role in Annie. Thirteen year-old Reed Shannon will appear as Gavroche.

“[The show’s c]reative team includes artistic director Casey Hushion, producer Carolee Baxter, musical director Edward G. Robinson, and director Dave Clemmons. Dave Clemmons returns to his roots with this production, having performed in Les Mis on Broadway and played the role of Jean Valjean in the tour for two years. Dave is a visiting professor at the acclaimed Elon University Musical Theatre Program and in-demand teacher/lecturer at master classes across the country. He’s also the founder of his own casting company, and producing partner for StylesFour Productions. StylesFour has been producers/investors for the Broadway productions of Once (Tony Award [for] Best Musical), Driving Miss Daisy (starring James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave) and Spring Awakening (Tony Award [for] Best Musical).”

 

Chuck Wagner (left) and Craig Schulman reprise their Broadway roles as Inspector Javert and Jean Valean (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Chuck Wagner (left) and Craig Schulman reprise their Broadway roles as Inspector Javert and Jean Valjean (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Les Misérables — pronounced “Lay Miz-eh-rahb” — is French for “the wretched” or “the outcasts.” The musical is based on the epic 1862 novel that French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo (1802-85) wrote about former convict Jean Valjean, imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread and numerous escape attempts, and his relentless, self-righteous pursuer Inspector Javert. Set in revolutionary France — and on the mean streets and even in the underground sewers of the Parisian underworld — between 1815 and 1832, this magnificent musical breathes full, glorious new life into Hugo’s colorful, larger-than-life characters.

The original French version of this magnificent musical adaptation of Les Misérables featured a brilliant book by Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schönberg, marvelous music by Schönberg, and poignant lyrics by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. It premiered on Sept. 17, 1980 at the Palais de Sport in Paris, where it ran for 107 performances.

The English adaptation of Les Misérables debuted at the Barbican Centre in London on Sept. 30, 1985 and ran for 63 performances there before transferring on Dec. 4, 1985 to the Palace Theatre, where it ran for 18 years and more than 7,500 performances. The show’s phenomenal Palace Theatre run ended on March 27, 2004; then Les Misérables moved to the Queen’s Theatre and reopened in early April 2004.

Originally directed and adapted for English-speaking audiences by John Caird and Trevor Nunn and produced by Cameron Macintosh and the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English version of Les Misérables featured a terrific translation of the original French script by Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schönberg, with additional material by James Fenton; Schönberg’s soaring melodies; and eloquent new English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer (based on Boublil and Natel’s original French lyrics).

Les Misérables made its Broadway debut on March 12, 1987 at the Broadway Theatre and closed on May 18, 2003, after 16 years and 6,680 performances. The show won eight 1987 Tony Awards® (including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score) and introduced “Bring Him Home,” “I Have Dreamed a Dream,” “A Little Fall of Rain,” “One Day More,” and “Who Am I?” to the show-tune repertoire.

The 2012 British motion-picture version of Les Misérables, directed by Tom Hooper (The Damned United and The King’s Speech) from a screenplay by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, and Claude-Michel Schönberg, starred Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, Samantha Barks as Éponine, Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, and the original West End Jean Valjean Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop of Digne. The original West End Éponine, Frances Ruffelle, will play a prostitute.

SECOND OPINION: Feb. 5th Durham, NC Indy Week mini-preview by Byron Woods: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/les-misrables/Event?oid=3774989; Feb. 2nd Raleigh, NC Midtown Raleigh News preview by “Midtown Muse” Lori D.R. Wiggins: http://www.midtownraleighnews.com/2014/02/01/3580803/raleigh-thespian-to-make-broadway.html; Feb. 2nd Raleigh, NC WRAL.COM interview with Lauren Kennedy, conducted by Sarah Hall for “GoAskMom”: http://www.wral.com/broadway-star-lauren-kennedy-to-share-raleigh-stage-with-daughter/13349166/; and Jan. 31st Raleigh, NC BroadwayWorld.com Raleigh preview by the BWW News Desk: http://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/North-Carolina-Theatre-to-Open-LES-MISERABLES-Feb-11-20140131.

Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre present LES MISÉRABLES, starring Lauren Kennedy as Fantine and her daughter, Riley Campbell, as Cosette at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-14, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-21, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and 23 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $52.65-$120.40 (including fees).

BOX OFFICE:

Duke Energy Center Box Office (information only): 919-996-8700 and info@dukeenergycenterraleigh.com.

NCT Box Office: 919-831-6941, ext.6944.

Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/803968. GROUP RATES (10+ tickets):

Broadway Series South: 919-996-8707, group@raleighconvention.com, or http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/broadway-series-south/group-sales.

North Carolina Theatre: 919-831-6941, ext. 5204, or http://www.nctheatre.com/tickets/group-sales.

SHOW: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/lesmiserables-4014 and http://nctheatre.com/shows/les-miserables.

PRESENTERS:

Broadway Series South: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/broadway-series-south and https://www.facebook.com/broadwayseriessouthraleigh.

North Carolina Theatre: http://www.nctheatre.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Carolina-Theatre/24276860186.

2014 BSS SEASON: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/broadway-series-south.

2014 NCT SEASON: http://nctheatre.com/2014-shows.

NCT BLOG: http://www.nctheatre.com/stage-notes.

VENUE: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/venue/memorial-auditorium.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/directions.

PARKING: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/parking.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio describe the 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15th, performance.

OTHER LINKS:

Les Misérables (1862 historical novel): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables (Wikipedia).

The Novel (e-text): http://openlibrary.org/works/OL1063591W/Les_Miserables (Open Library at the Internet Archive).

Victor Hugo (French novelist, 1802-85) http://www.gavroche.org/vhugo/ (Victor Hugo Central, compiled by John Newmark), http://www.victorhugo.gg/ (the States of Guernsey’s Official Victor Hugo website), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo (Wikipedia).

The France of Victor Hugo: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist255/ (Robert Schwartz of Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA).

Les Misérables (1980 Paris, 1985 West End, and 1987 Broadway musical) http://www.lesmis.com/ (official website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia), and http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?ID=5340 (Internet Broadway Database).

Study Guide: (Utah Shakespeare Festival). Claude-Michel Schönberg (music): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude-Michel_Sch%C3%B6nberg (Wikipedia).

Alain Boublil (French lyrics and book): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Boublil (Wikipedia).

Herbert Kretzmer (English lyrics): http://www.herbertkretzmer.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Kretzmer (Wikipedia).

Trevor Nunn (English book): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Nunn (Wikipedia).

John Caird (English book): http://www.johncaird.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Caird_%28director%29 (Wikipedia).

Les Misérables (2012 film) http://www.lesmiserablesfilm.com/ (official website), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707386/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables_%282012_film%29 (Wikipedia).

Dave Clemmons (BBS and NCT guest director): http://www.texasmusicaltheaterworkshop.com/portfolio/dave-clemmons/ (Texas Musical Theater Workshop bio) and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dave-Clemmons-Casting-Masterclasses/55283883094 (Facebook page).

Lauren Kennedy (actress): http://www.laurenkennedy.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/slaurenkennedy (Facebook page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Kennedy (Wikipedia).

Craig Schulman (actor): http://www.craigschulman.com/ (official website).

Chuck Wagner (actor): http://chuckwagner.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Wagner (Wikipedia).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing robertm748@aol.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail robertm748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

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