The timeless classic “Les Misérables” is returning to Detroit as the final show on Broadway in Detroit’s 2022 season.
Live at the Fisher Theatre from Thursday through Jan. 8, the sixth longest-running Broadway show is guaranteed to be a hit with new and returning audiences, said company manager Chris Danner.
“I’m one of the few people that have the opportunity to be out in the front of house and I hear people as they’re walking out … say that this is the best cast and the best production (they’ve) ever seen,” Danner said.
The Cameron Mackintosh production of Boublil and Schönberg’s “Les Misérables” will feature Michigan-born Nick Cartell in the role of Jean Valjean, University of Michigan student Hayley Dortch debuting as Fantine, and Marshall-native Matt Crowle as Thenardier.
Cartell played the role of Jean Valjean, or Prisoner 24601, for a little over two years before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to performances in 2020, according to his website.
After making his Broadway debut in the 2012 revival of the 1970s musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Cartell went on to perform roles in “Phantom of the Opera” and an off-Broadway production of “Frankenstein.”
Danner, a Michigan native, said he started working with “Les Misérables” after being recruited by a celebrity manager in 2000.
“I started working for the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids as their box office manager… and one day David Copperfield came through for one of his shows and I started talking to his manager,” Danner said. “He literally called me a month later.”
During his time with “Les Misérables,” Danner said he’s done 20 tours and is excited to bring the show home for the holiday season.
“It’s going to be a really big show. It’s 11 semi-trucks of equipment that takes days to unload… and we actually hire about 100 local people just to unload, not counting (our team of) 85 people,” Danner said.
While other shows that have been around for decades have started to cut costs, “Les Misérables” hasn’t stopped growing, Danner said. If anything, the longer the production has gone on the more it means to the cast.
“When we were locked down because of COVID for a couple of years we really were able to kind of look inward and kind of realize that we really are important and valuable to people who need that kind of escape,” he said.