Culture & Arts

Les Miserables Anniversary: Celebrating Its Broadway Premiere With A Look Back At Early Reviews

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Les Miserables, the third-longest running musical in the history of the Great White Way. The ultra famous production, starring Irish tenor Colm Wilkinson and Brit Frances Ruffelle, lasted an impressive 16 years on Broadway, racking up a total of 6,680 performances. But did you know the critics weren't crazy about the show when it first came out?

Similar to, say, the mixed public opinion surrounding present Les Mis star, Anne Hathaway, writers and reviewers landed on both sides of the fence after Trevor Nunn and John Caird showcased their adapted musical, first in the UK and later in New York City. While one reviewer deemed the work "a wonderful human pageant," another had far less nice things to say, describing the musical as "witless and synthetic entertainment."

Scroll through the slideshow below to get a taste of the reviews accompanying the production's 1980s debut, and let us know what you think of the crowd favorite in the comments.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community