Reimagined ‘Les Miz’ breathes new life into Broadway classic
Producer Cameron Mackintosh dreamed a dream of refining the world’s long-running musical spectacular “Les Misérables,” and with the 25th anniversary stage production of the popular show, his dream has been realized.
Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, “Les Misérables” opened to a packed house Tuesday night at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, whisking the audience away to 18th century France for a tale of redemption and love rising from the ashes of revolution and suffering.
The story of “Les Misérables” — often shorted to “Les Miz” — spans several decades, beginning in 1815, when protagonist Jean Valjean (played by Peter Lockyer) is released on parole by inspector Javert (Andrew Varela) after serving 19 years for stealing bread to feed his starving family. Unable to find honest work with his own personal scarlet letter — his ticket-of-leave — Valjean steals from a bishop who had offered him food and shelter. When the authorities arrive to arrest Valjean, the bishop responds with mercy and forgiveness, lying to protect Valjean and admonishing him to a better way of life.
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