PHILADELPHIA - Broadway Philadelphia is kicking off the New Year with a revival of the smash hit "Les Misérables."
Based on the French novel by the same name, the Tony Award-winning musical debuted on Broadway 30 years ago.
Now the show is back with new staging and reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of the book's author, Victor Hugo. So, if you think you've seen Les Misérables before, you likely haven't seen it like this.
"Les Mis has a very different feel to it," says Director Laurence Connor. "It isn't your conventional musical. There isn't dance numbers as such. It's definitely a drama-driven show and with such a large ensemble."
The show is set in 19th-century France.
"It's epic. It's romantic," gushes The Kimmel Center's Director of Programming and Presentations, Fran Egler.
It follows a fugitive who tries to right his wrongs, "it's basically about a man who is accused of a crime and he gets out of hard labor after 19 years," says Josh Davis who plays Inspector Javert "and he's going to try to remake his life."
The story line remains the same and producers have kept the classic score.
"The music is anthemic and powerful," says Connor.
But the revival includes an all new set design.
"You get a sense of the tenements. You get a sense of the buildings of which the poor are sort of growing out of," says Connor who adds that projected Images inspired by the paintings of 19th century writer and artist Victor Hugo move across the stage, transporting audiences to another time and place, "It allowed us to create very visual spaces but very clearly locate where we were."
"I think that will be visually inspiring," adds Davis.
Les Misérables runs January 9-21 at the Academy of Music. For tickets and show times, visit www.TheArtsinPhilly.org