by Maria Puente, USA TODAY
It's the musical that will never go away: Les Misérables will return to Broadway next year with a reworked production and a fistful of awards for the Oscar-nominated movie version of Victor Hugo's 19th-century French historical novel.
Producer Cameron Mackintosh announced Tuesday that the "newly imagined" stage musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, winner of a shelf-full of Tonys and box-office records, will return in March 2014.
Never one for false modesty, Mackintosh crowed his delight in a news release:
"To my constant surprise, my productions continue to be enjoyed as much as ever by audiences all around the world, and I'm thrilled to have the unique chance of redoing them all over as if they were brand-new shows," he said. "I'm even more delighted that they are proving just as big hits at the box office in their new form as the originals."
The new Les Mis has been on tour in the USA since November 2010, playing in 64 cities and grossing more than $130 million, Mackintosh says.
In London, where the original show is in its 28th year, it's the longest-running musical ever.
In New York, it is the fourth-longest-running Broadway production. Originally, it opened in New York in March 1987 and ran for 6,680 performances. It opened again in November 2006 and ran for a little more than a year. At least four national touring companies have taken it to some 200 cities since then.
Critics in New York and London have raved about the new production, which features new staging and scenery inspired by Hugo's paintings, calling it "splendid," "spectacular" and "powerful."
Meanwhile, the movieLes Mis, also co-produced by Mackintosh, has grossed over $400 million worldwide, won the Golden Globe for best musical, and is nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor for Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, and best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway as doomed Fantine. The Oscars will be awarded Sunday.
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