Did you hear the people singing yesterday? To be fair, it was mostly the screams of excited Les Misérables fans when they heard the show was coming back to Broadway, set for a new opening in March 2014. Details right now are scarce – although we do know that the new production will be based on the current West End revival of the piece, which contains slightly different staging and other adjustments.
As for casting, it’s too early in the game for official announcements – which is where the fun comes in. Below, see some dream picks for all the big roles when the show hits Broadway next year. Because this production is obviously happening in part because of renewed interest because of the Oscar-nominated movie, the film cast (and the publicity they would bring) seem obvious choices. But for this (day)dream I dreamed, let’s assume that the stars of the film are all Les Mis’d out (no matter how much Anne Hathaway may want a Tony), and it is other performers’ moment. See some of our picks below, and then add your own.
Jean Valjean: Anyone who saw the Les Mis 25th anniversary concert (and if you haven’t, do it now) would have to have a heart full of stones to not fall in love with Alfie Boe’s version of “Bring Him Home.” While the actor has played the part before, perhaps now is the time for him to be Broadway-bound? For this difficult role, we think if Hugh Jackman is out, it’s going to have to go to a theater professional, as opposed to a Hollywood name.
Javert: One of the biggest baddies in musicals, I’d love to see Alan Rickman (who despite being 66, has no problem looking any age at all) tackle the role. When it comes to people who can scare you with very few words, Rickman is tops. There are definite questions about his singing ability (especially for a difficult role like Javert), but he proved he’s got at least some vocal chops when he sang a bit in the movie version of Sweeney Todd. Let’s at least explore this further, OK?
Fantine: Anne Hathaway may be thisclose to an Oscar for her portrayal on film; this is a great part for any actress. Scarlett Johansson famously auditioned and lost out for the movie, but perhaps the Broadway return could be her ticket. The Tony-winner is currently starring in the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway; Les Mis could be her professional musical debut.
Eponine: Lea Michele, call your agent. Although she may have lost out for the movie role she famously auditioned for, originating Eponine in a new Broadway production could be just the thing to get the Glee star back on the Great White Way. Need further convincing? Check out Michele’s version of “On My Own” from when she was Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl production in 2008.
Marius: New Smash star Jeremy Jordan got some national buzz when he sang his heart out during the final moments of the Smash season premiere a few weeks ago. But the singer is no stage novice – last year he was the lead in Newsies on Broadway. The lovesick young student is at the emotional center of the barricade revolution — and Jordan already has some experience on stage of rising up against the big guys.
Enjolras: The movie Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) has been on Broadway before, so a return engagement from him seems most possible. If that doesn’t pan out, how about Glee and Boss star Jonathan Groff? The Broadway vet hasn’t met a song he couldn’t slay, and the fiery passion of Enjorlas would be natural for Groff, who was a revolutionary in Hair during Shakespeare in the Park in 2008.
The Thenardiers: Is it blasphemous to say I hope it’s Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter? Who would you all like to see?
Do you hear the people ‘Like’?: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Django Unchained’ come out on top in Facebook pre-Oscar data
‘Les Mis’ returning to Broadway in 2014 as re-imagined adaptation
Oscar Predictions: EW’s final forecast for all 24 categories