''Les Miserables'' closes
on Broadway after 16 years
and 6, 680 performances

After 6,680 performances, the Broadway "Les Miserables" brought down the final curtain. An invitation-only gala final performance on May 18, 2003, at the Imperial Theatre included members of the original 1987 cast, friends and relatives of the current cast and members of the show's creative team.

The final performance lasted well over three hours as theatergoers regularly interrupted the proceedings with repeated bursts of applause. After the cast took their bows, producer Cameron Mackintosh; the show's authors, Alain Boulil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, and its two co-directors, Trevor Nunn and John Caird, took to the stage to express their thanks.

"For a musical about a man who stole a loaf of bread," said producer Cameron Mackintosh on stage after the curtain call, "we've done pretty well."

There was always speculation that "Les Mis" would eventually earn the longest runner crown, but it was one of the shows hardest-hit by the terrorism because after 14 years, it was almost exclusively driven by tourism and travel, which dried up. It had been drawing up to 91 percent capacity in August 2001, but that number fell to as low as 29 percent in the weeks that followed the Word Trade Center attack. New Yorkers rallied to Broadway's aid, but not so much for "Les Mis" because most everyone already had seen it.

[ Les Miz is Broadway's third longest running musical, behind "Cats and " "Phantom of the Opera." ]   A North American national tour continues, as well as stagings throughout the world.

The US National Tour of Les Mis played its 6,000th performance on Friday, May 2, 2003, during a two-week engagement at the Community Center Theatre in Sacramento, California. It was the Tour's 15th year.

The London West End production opened in October, 1985, [ and continues to be the longest running musical to date, followed by Phantom and Cats.  ]

How many revolutions did the turntable make? How many Valjeans were there? If you're interested in the details, visit our Les Mis trivia page.

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