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.
Consultant and human resource director Tanya Taupier enjoys musical theater, particularly Broadway shows. One of the musicals of which Tanya Taupier is most fond is Les Miserables, which is set during the French revolution and retells the story of a Victor Hugo novel with several songs.
Les Miserables was first performed in 1985 at the Barbican Theatre in London. The first performance, attended primarily by critics, led to many bad reviews, though some critics defended the piece. The public, however, embraced the new musical warmly, attending in droves despite the mediocre reviews. The response to the musical was so strong that it was able to run for 18 years at London’s Palace Theatre, before transferring to the Queen’s Theatre, where it has continued to run.
Its success has been bolstered many times through new performances and interpretations. The play crossed the ocean, moving to New York’s Broadway stages in 1987, and earned a film adaptation. A strong performance of a song from the musical on British television led to further renewed interest, and the play has become almost synonymous with musical theater in general.
The Phantom of the Opera
Tanya Taupier works as the executive director of Aetna’s human resources department in Hartford, Connecticut. When she is not working, Tanya Taupier enjoys Broadway musicals, with The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables being two of her favorites. Recently, Filipino actress Ali Ewoldt became the first woman of color cast as Phantom’s Christine Daaé, the love story’s leading lady.
With InStyle calling her debut worthy of a standing ovation, Ewoldt said she was honored to be cast in the role and hopes it helps open the door to further diversity on the street sometimes referred to as The Great White Way. The actress’s first Broadway role was as Cosette in another classic, Les Misérables.
Ali Ewoldt’s story mirrors that of another history-making Filipino actress, Lea Salonga. In 1993, the Tony Award-winner became the first Asian woman to play Eponine in Les Mis. Salonga later went on to star in many other musicals, release her own albums, and sing in multiple Disney movies before making the move to television. In 2007, she returned to Les Misérables to play the role of Fantine.
As a child, Ali Ewoldt remembers seeing Lea Salonga perform her historic role. Now she hopes she can inspire other young actresses the way Salonga inspired her.