Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Philadelphia

Les Misérables
National Tour
Review by Rebecca Rendell

Also see Rebecca's review of Wolf Play

Nick Cartell and Gregory Lee Rodriguez
Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman
for MurphyMade
The national tour of Cameron Mackintosh's acclaimed production of Les Misérables has come to Philadelphia, and it is a dream come true. Top notch vocals, lush costumes and sets, and impressively tight pacing make this an epic production. If you have never seen the musical before, this is a great opportunity to find out why more than 130 million people in 53 countries have made Les Misérables one of the most popular musicals in the world. If the show already has a special place in your heart, get ready to fall in love all over again.

Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a convict who is released from prison after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread and attempting escape. At his most desperate moment, Valjean is saved by the grace of a generous bishop. Valjean resolves to turn his life around completely, but no matter how successfully he remakes himself, the past is never far behind. Featuring songs like "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "Bring Him Home," "Do You Hear The People Sing?," and "One Day More," Les Misérables tells a powerful story of faith, redemption and love.

Nick Cartell gives a powerhouse performance as Jean Valjean. Preston Truman Boyd is a perfect foil for Cartell, bringing robust vocals and a truly dark edge to the role of Inspector Javert. Christine Heesun Hwang makes a stunning emotional connection to the audience as Éponine. Although he is not necessarily as operatic as the rest of the cast, Matt Crowle gives a unique comedic energy to master of the house Thénardier.

The set and costume designs are almost as impressive as the ensemble. Inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, Matt Kinley's set designs fill the stage and transport the audience back to the 1800s. Cunning use of projections by Finn Ross, Jonathan Lyle, and Fifty Nine Productions create an additional layer of movement and intensity. Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland have successfully designed a staggering array of lush costumes for the company.

Any production of Les Misérables has a tremendous reputation to live up to. Fortunately for Philadelphia, the touring production lives up to that legacy and delivers a new exciting energy that is all its own. It is truly great to hear the people singing behind the barricade once again.

Les Misérables ran through November 13, 2022, at Academy of Music, Kimmel Cultural Campus in Philadelphia PA. For more information on the touring production, visit

Nick Cartell: Jean Valjean
Preston Truman Boyd: Inspector Javert
Matt Crowle: Thénardier
Christina Rose Hall: Madame Thénardier
Haley Dortch: Fantine
Devin Archer: Enjolras
Christine Heesun Hwang: Éponine
Gregory Lee Rodriguez: Marius'
Addie Morales: Cosette
Cora Jane Messer and Hazel Vogel: Little Cosette/Young Éponine
Harrison Fox and Gabriel Lafazan: Gavroche
Ensemble: Kyle Adams, Daniel Gerard Bittner, Ciaran Bowling, Jenna Burns, Ben Cherington, Steve Czarnecki, Kelsey Denae, Arianne DiCerbo, Genevieve Ellis, Randy Jeter, Daelynn Carter Jorif, Olivia J. Lu, Eden Mau, Andrew Marks Maughan, Benjamin H. Moore, Nicole Morris, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, Julia Ellen Richardson, Ethan Rogers, Christopher Robin Sapp, Emily Somé, Christopher James Tamayo, Kyle Timson, J.T. Wood, and David Young.

Director: James Powell and Laurence Connor
Set Design: Matt Kinley
Costumes: Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland
Lighting: Paule Constable
Sound: Mick Potter
Projections: Finn Ross, Jonathan Lyle and Fifty Nine Productions