History of Les Miserables

Les Miserables pic

Les Miserables
Image: thoughtco.com

Tanya Taupier currently works as executive director of human resources at Aetna in Connecticut. One of Tanya Taupier’s favorite activities is seeing Broadway musicals, including classics such as Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.

One of the most prolific stage productions of the 20th and 21st centuries, Les Miserables has been translated into 21 languages and produced in twice as many countries since its debut in the 1980s. It started life as a simple concept album, and nearly ended in obscurity after a few months of performances in a Parisian sports arena. A co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, however, launched the musical to its tremendous heights.

Despite weak reviews from critics upon its 1985 debut, it has proven itself with considerable staying power, including thirty years of productions at the West End. The American production on Broadway did not last this long, but was ultimately performed more than 6,600 times over the course of sixteen years, winning eight Tony Awards during this time. More recently, a film version has renewed interest in this classic musical.