Following a popularity resurgence due to a disappointment of a movie, Les Miserables is back on the Great White Way and it is back with a vengeance. Let's be honest here; even though they put on a happy and supportive face, more qualified Broadway performers were replaced with marquee names for Tom Hooper's movie adaption of the world famous musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel. Those marquee names on the whole performed bravely but were nowhere near the quality that you will find in the current production on Broadway.
Led by the fantastic Ramin Karimloo, this Les Miserables is powerful and poignant to the end. Mr. Karimloo who has had stints as The Phantom of the Opera and and in Sunset Boulevard displays incredible vocals and range as Jean Valjean, the convict that turns his life around with the help of a forgiving priest. Even at a whisper his voice resounds throughout the theater and his performance of "Bring Him Home" brings the house down. Will Swenson as the obsessed inspector Javert displays grit and determination through his vocals on a near maniacal chase of Jean Valjean. Cassie Levy as Fantine, Nikki M. James as Eponine, Samantha Hill as Cosette, and the rest of the cast give strong and moving performances through the whole show.
The set design by Matt Kinley and the lighting by Paul Constable transport us to the dark and gritty France on on the verge of and in the middle of a revolution. In fact, I really cannot say anything negative about this production except for the length of it. At 3 hours, it is a long show, but to be fair I knew that going in. To this production's credit, I did not mind it too much and I believe this will be playing for a long time.