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'Cleveland is a great place to open a show': Theatrical producer Sir Cameron MacKintosh kicks off US tour of Les Misérables at Playhouse Square

Four Ohio actors share the stage with an incredible cast from around the country, with the show running through October 30 at the Keybank State Theatre

CLEVELAND — The world’s longest running musical of all time has kicked off its national tour in Cleveland, with an impressive cast including four people from Ohio.

Les Misérables has been seen by over 130 million people worldwide in 53 countries and 22 languages, and now the Tony Award-winning musical theater production is playing through October 30 at Playhouse Square.

Sir Cameron MacKintosh, who has been widely considered to be the most prolific producer of musical theater over the past 50 years, stopped in Cleveland last week to celebrate the show's launch, which he called "COVID-interrupted."

"Cleveland is a great place to open a show," Sir MacKintosh said, sharing how shutting down production for almost three years during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed him and his partners to bring together "a completely different set of wonderful new performers."

He added: "I think Cleveland audiences are in for a great treat with a really terrific production."

Broadway, TV and movie actor Preston Truman Boyd, who stars as Inspector Javert in the show, is thrilled to be bringing this story of love, courage and redemption back to live, in-person audiences across the country, and to return to Northeast Ohio to get things rolling.

"Cleveland is second only to New York as far as seats go," he said, saying that going to the theater is "ingrained in Clevelanders." 

Preston should know. He's coming through our city before with national tours of both Young Frankenstein and Jersey Boys. This show, however, is Preston’s first national tour post-pandemic and for him, the timing is perfect to tell this story.

"This show has stood the test of time, especially now," he said. "People really need to hear this story and see someone overcome so much. It's the survival of the human spirit and overcoming great hardship. It's a message that I hope people bring into their everyday lives when they leave the theater every night.

Being back in front of a live audience is not something Preston takes for granted. "Having the audience back in the seats and feeding off of that energy is something that we've all missed," he said. "It's why we do this, to make that human connection with the audience. So to have that back is very special."

Sir MacKintosh agrees, and is hoping the people who make it out to this show share that sentiment.

"There is nothing like live theater, and through the ups and down the whole world has gone through during the pandemic we were deprived for so long," Sir MacKintosh said. "Every performance is individual and that's something no one can cram into a Cineplex or onto Netflix...  and seeing a show on this scale, which is going to  become harder and harder to do in these post-pandemic times with how the economy is going, these are things you can never take for granted. And I think our audience never takes that for granted."

Preston is joined by an all-star cast, including Baldwin Wallace University graduate Addie Morales playing the role of Cosette. The ensemble features Baldwin Wallace graduates Ethan Rogers and Eden Mau ‘and Otterbein graduate Steve Czarnecki.

Those interested in seeing the show in Cleveland can purchase tickets through Playhouse Square, here.

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