Monday, January 28, 2002

'Les Miz' second longest-running show

The Associated Press

        NEW YORK — As France prepares to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Victor Hugo's birth next month, a musical version of one of the writer's classics marked its own milestone. Les Miserables played for the 6,138th time in New York on Friday night, making it the second-longest running show in Broadway history.

        The epic musical, which traces intertwining lives in 19th-century France, swept past A Chorus Line, which had a 6,137-performance run from 1975 to 1990. The next target is Cats — which closed in New York in 2000 after a Broadway-record 7,485 shows.

        Friday night's audience included a number of original Les Miserables cast members, including Colm Wilkinson ( the original Jean Valjean), Judy Kuhn (Cosette) and David Bryant (Marius). Amid falling balloons and gold ribbons, they joined the current cast in a specially written show-ending number that drew liberally from “One,” the hit from A Chorus Line.

        Producer Cameron Mackintosh later saluted that actors and thanked Hugo, who was born in 1802, “for not charging me any royalties” on his famous novel.

        The show has grossed $370 million in New York since its March 12, 1987, opening.


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