Most devoted musical theater fans don’t like to settle for only half of a cast album — and it’s no different when it comes to movie musical soundtracks. The Oscar-nominated musical Les Miserables put out a highlights recording when it was released in theaters this past December, but that CD only included around half of the movie’s songs. Fortunately for fans, on March 19 a two-disc deluxe edition of the soundtrack featuring many more tracks will be released.
The failure to produce a complete cast recording soundtrack earlier was mostly a result of a hurried post-production phase that only gave the movie’s music and sound team time to mix and produce a limited number of tracks. This deluxe edition that is coming out will include many beloved songs from Les Miserables that were left out of the highlights album, including “Who Am I?” “Do You Hear the People Sing?” “Little Fall of Rain,” and “Beggars at the Feast,” along with numerous musical sequences such as “Fantine’s Death”.
It turns out that you just can’t keep a good show closed. Though the original 15-year Broadway run of the global hit Les Miserables ended in 2003, and a Broadway revival in 2006 was relatively short-lived, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced today that he’ll be bringing the beloved musical back to Broadway next year.
The production of Les Miserables that will be coming to Broadway in March 2014 is a re-imagining of the musical which has been successfully touring across the U.S. and internationally. The New York Times has referred to this version of Les Miz as “a splendidly reworked, unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish”.
The combination of the attention that Les Miserables has recently received due to its successful, award-winning film adaptation starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, and the positive buzz that the touring production has received, is most likely what has prompted the show’s return to Broadway.
Cameron Mackintosh stated, “I am delighted that Broadway audiences will now join the millions of Americans who have already flocked to see this glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.”
The new film version of the stage phenomenon Les Miserables, which opened to excellent box office on Christmas Day, fared well today on the awards level when the Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Les Miserables nabbed a total of eight Oscar nominations, including the most coveted award, Best Picture.
The nominations that Les Miserables received were mostly as expected. The greatest amount of buzz has surrounded Hugh Jackman (as Jean Valjean) and Anne Hathaway (as Fantine), and they earned the movie musical’s only two acting nods, for Best Performance By a Leading Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
As a period piece, it’s not surprising that Les Miserables took nominations for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Given that it’s a musical, and one that notably used the unusual technique of live singing, it also is no surprise that it got a Best Sound Mixing nod.
Perhaps the biggest shoo-in for a nomination was composer/lyricist team Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Herbert Kretzmer for Best Original Song. As has become tradition for film musicals, the team especially wrote a number, “Suddenly” (sung by Hugh Jackman), for the movie, in the hopes of getting the Oscar nomination for original song — and they did.
The Les Miserables film is not the only Les Miz-related item topping charts this week. Due to all the hoopla surrounding the new movie, its accompanying soundtrack (Les Miserables: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack) is also selling well, placing #1 on Billboard’s Soundtracks chart and #33 on the Billboard 200. Since its December 21 release, the Les Miserables movie soundtrack has sold more than 43,000 copies. The album’s most popular track is one of the musical’s best-known songs, “I Dreamed a Dream” (sung by Anne Hathaway), which has sold over 20,000 copies.
Although the “Highlights” soundtrack does not feature all of the music heard in the 2 hour 40 minute long movie, the 20-track recording does include all of the major songs and musical sequences from the movie musical, among them “Master of the House,” “Stars,” “On My Own,” “One Day More,” “Bring Him Home,” and a new song written specifically for the movie called “Suddenly”.
Over the years, Les Miserables has had many different recordings, including the London cast album, the original Broadway cast recording, and others. Many of these albums have also experienced a boost in sales, with the Broadway recording hitting #2 on the Top Cast Albums chart, the London recording at #5, the 25th anniversary production’s accompanying recording at #7, and the Royal Albert Hall concert recording at #8.
Broadway musical theater fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Hollywood box office grosses have revealed that the new Les Miserables movie had a very strong opening day. The 2nd highest ranking Christmas Day opening of all time, Les Miserables earned $18.1 million on its first day in movie theaters, drawing out holiday audiences eager to see Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe go head-to-head on the big screen. The film has also enjoyed a largely positive critical response, currently at 73% positive on RottenTomatoes.com.
While Broadway fans have flooded message boards with reviews of the movie adaptation of the beloved musical, the movie’s great box office performance can be counted as a plus for most Broadway fans whether they like Les Miz or not, because when a new Hollywood movie musical does well it bodes well for future film musicals. There is already buzz that Les Miz‘s success means there will soon be a screen adaptation of Miss Saigon, the other major musical success by Les Miz‘s songwriting team, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil.
Fans of the worldwide sensation Les Miserables don’t have to wait one day more to finally see the much-anticipated movie version of the musical. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and featuring an international all-star cast, Les Miserables opens nationwide in movie theaters today, and is likely to be a hit with the Christmas Day movie theater-going crowd who have gathered with their families for the holidays.
Based on the classic Victor Hugo novel that tells the stories of multiple characters during a period of revolution in 1800s France, Les Miserables was one of the great stage musical hits of the 1980s, becoming a huge success in London, on Broadway, and all across the globe. The long-awaited movie adaptation stars Hugh Jackman as convict-turned-philanthropist Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his police inspector nemesis Javert. The film also stars Anne Hathaway (singing one of the musical’s signature numbers, “I Dreamed a Dream”), Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, and Broadway’s own Aaron Tveit (Next To Normal) in key roles.
As usual with movie musicals, which have been a Hollywood rarity for decades, the Broadway community will be eager to see how the Les Miserables film is received by the public at large because, if it does well, that will be considered a good omen for more Hollywood musicals. Furthermore, many Broadway fans will be anxious to see whether or not the movie lives up to their expectations in its adaptation of the familiar and well-loved musical.
Music Theatre International (MTI), which licenses productions of the musical Les Miserables, in conjunction with Universal Studios, the studio behind the soon-to-open film version of the beloved musical, is presenting the “24,601 Faces of Les Miserables Sweepstakes,” offering fans an opportunity to win memorabilia from the movie and musical.
You can enter the Les Miz sweepstakes by uploading a video of yourself describing your favorite Les Miz moment, a photo or video of you and friends at a showing of the movie, or by uploading a photo or video of yourself from a production of Les Miserables (or a production of the Les Miserables School Edition) that you participated in. You also need to give the photo/video a title, include a small description, and be sure to tag the picture with the number “24601″.
Four winners will be selected to win an assortment of prizes, such as the Les Miserables libretto autographed by the show’s creators, promotional materials from the film, the original Victor Hugo novel, the original Broadway cast recording of the show, and the Les Miserables in Concert 25th Anniversary DVD.
Entries are being accepted through the end of day January 3, 2013. Winners will be selected at random each Friday of the sweepstakes. Click here for more information about entering the contest.