Les Misérables (/ ( )/; French pronunciation: [le mizeʁabl(ə)]), colloquially known in English-speaking countries as Les Mis (/ /), is a sung-through musical based on the 1862 novel of the same name by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. The musical premiered in Paris in 1980, and has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and original French-language lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. An English-language libretto was written by Herbert Kretzmer. The London production has run continuously since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks.
Set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his desire for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister's starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a bishop inspires him by a tremendous act of mercy, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Transformed by the bishop's generosity, Valjean's restored humanity moves him to adopt the orphaned girl Cosette and makes a vow to her dying mother that he will protect her with his life. Still pursued by Javert, he must lead a cautious life in Paris. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists attempt to overthrow the government at a street barricade.
Have you seen a live performance, and what are your favorite songs?
My favorites songs: "I Dreamed a Dream", "Come to Me", "Stars", "Do You Hear the People Sing?", "A Heart Full of Love", "One More Day", "On My Own", "Drink With Me", "Bring Him Home", and "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". I have not seen a live performance.