Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, returns to Tampa Jan. 15-20, sponsored in part by The Tampa Bay Times. This much-anticipated engagement comes to the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall direct from a celebrated two-and-a-half year Broadway engagement.
With glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking production of Les Misérables, which broke box office records during its pre-Broadway tour, has left both audiences and critics awestruck, cheering “Les Miz is born again!” (NY1).
Cameron Mackintosh said, “I’m delighted that after a four-year absence this glorious production is once again touring the major cities across North America and is more spectacular than ever.”
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring one of the greatest scores of all time, with thrilling and beloved songs including “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Along with the Oscar-winning movie version, it has now been seen by more than 130 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe. Les Misérables is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 33rd year.
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Yesterday marked our 350th performance of Les Miz, making it my 150th performance as Fantine. It’s also the day that I made the mistake of reading a pretty negative review about my portrayal of her. It’s surprising how badly a few sentences can make a person feel. I know I’m not the first actor to feel gutted after trying so hard to be vulnerable in front of tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of strangers; I sincerely hope that my career is long enough for me to feel this way again. Because that is what art is: the chance to express vulnerability and humanity, knowing that it may be judged in a way the artist doesn’t like. But we have to keep trying, because the world would be so gray without it, ya know? So here’s to 150 more performances of Fantine, a character and story that I am so proud to share, even when it’s not perfect💜 • • • 📸: @murphymade
It was a pleasure to sit down with MARY KATE MOORE who plays Fantine for this exclusive Hotsptos interview:
When did the performing bug take a hold of you?
In High school was the first time I was in a musical as I did Hello Dolly my freshman year. That anxious adrenaline rush you get before you go on stage got me and I knew I wanted this to be my career.
What was your first professional/paid gig?
In college I worked for Lyric Theater of Oklahoma and I did a production of “Spring Awakening.”
When did you know it would be your career?
I think probably when I was cast in my first union job, which was Fiasco Theater’s production of “Into the Woods.” Before I was a member of Actors Equity I wasn’t sure it was going to happen for me.
How did you get cast in in Les Miz?
I first auditioned for the show in April of 2017, for an ensemble role. I did not get the job and was a little disappointed. About 2 weeks before rehearsals started in August of 2017, I got called back again and I got cast in the ensemble of the show, and understudied Fantine. I did that for 6 months, and then our Fantine didn’t want to stay. They re-auditioned me again, and I got the job. I found out 2 or 3 days after my 27th birthday in March of this year that I got the role. I have now done over 300 performances.
Is there a lot of pressure to play this iconic character?
I think when I first started there was pressure, but we are really lucky with this company that everyone is so supportive and we all recognize the responsibility we have for this production. Since we are all up there together we can focus on the story and it feels gratifying and wonderful.
Besides this role, what has been your favorite role?
When I did “Into the Woods” I was an off stage standby and I had to know 3 parts at any moment. It was so fun to go anytime because each time I played a different character. But my favorite role was the Bakers Wife.
What’s your dream/fantasy role?
Well, I recognize that I like very dramatic roles, and I think someday, maybe 10 years down the line, I would like to play Mother in “Ragtime.”
What should our readers expect from the touring company of Les Miz?
I think almost everyone knows the show, whether they have seen the original cast, the movie or listened to the music. This is the Les Miz they know and love just reimagined for our cast with new sets and incredible paintings from Victor Hugo. The characters are slightly re-imagined as well.
For more information on Mary Kate Moore, you can follow her on Instagram.com/MKathrynmoore.
The original Broadway production of Les Misérables opened at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987 and transferred to the Imperial Theatre on Oct. 17, 1990 running for 6,680 performances. The original U.S. national tour began in Nov. 1987 and visited more than 150 cities before closing in St. Louis, Mo. in 2006. Broadway audiences welcomed Les Misérables back to New York on Nov. 9, 2006 where the show played the Broadhurst Theatre until its final performance on Jan. 6, 2008.
To date, Les Misérables remains the 5th longest-running Broadway production of all time.
Les Misérables will play the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall, Jan. 15-20. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Regularly priced tickets are $38-$133 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at strazcenter.org.