They're bringing them home: Les Miserables will return to Toronto next year in a new production with an all-Canadian cast, the Globe and Mail has learned.
Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's mega-musical will reopen in July 2012 at the Royal Alexandra theatre for what producers Mirvish production and Cameron Mackintosh no doubt hope will be another long run.
The Royal Alex is where the popular show based on the Victor Hugo novel had its Canadian premiere in March of 1989, before going on to break all house records and helping launch the modern commercial theatre era in this country.
Who will be Toronto's new Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cosette and Javert? That is not know yet – auditions will be begin next week.
What we do know now is that the production opening in Toronto will look different from the original. It is the new 25th anniversary production directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell and with new scenery inspired by the paintings and drawings of Victor Hugo.
This new staging loses the famous Les Miz revolving stage and keeps the running time under 3 hours, which makes it cheaper to produce and easier to tour.
While the changes outraged original director Trevor Nunn, the new version has experienced great success with audiences in London, in Europe and currently on tour in the United States.
Les Miserables seems to have experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, perhaps kicked off when Susan Boyle went viral with her version of I Dreamed a Dream. In addition to the production in Toronto, 2012 will see a starry movie-musical version with Hugh Jackman as Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert.