Kansas City Theater Review: “Les Miserables”


  • Music Hall, Kansas City, Missouri
  • May 2, 2023


It is often referred to as one of the world’s most popular musicals.  And it is, with good reason.  In 1985, “Les Misérables,” a musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, premiered.  Full of brilliant music, amazing production design and a cast for the ages, the show became a phenomenon wherever it played.  That includes the current National Tour, which opened in Kansas City this week.


After 19-years of hard labor, Jean Valjean (Nick Cartell) is released from prison.  His crime?  He stole a loaf of bread to feed the hungry children in his family.  Free, but on parole, he clashes with one of his guards, the strict Javert (Preston Truman Boyd).  Once released, Valjean quickly steals again, but an act of kindness leads him to change his life.  And his name.  He becomes a prosperous businessman, but soon finds he will never escape the vengeful Javert.


Javert (Preston Truman Boyd) confronts Jean Valjean (Nick Cartell) (photo by Johan perrson)
Javert (Preston Truman Boyd) confronts Jean Valjean (Nick Cartell) (photo by Johan Perrson)


I’ve seen the show a few times, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to review it.  And where do I start?  From a fan’s perspective, it is pretty much the perfect musical.  Not a false note – no pun intended.  The show is scaled back some from previous tours, but it is still a spectacle in every sense of the word.


The show is carried by the performances and amazing voices of it’s two leading men.  Both Mr. Cartell and Mr. Boyd put their own touch on roles that have been played the world over, taking the familiar and making it their own.  They successfully mix raw emotions and musical skills in two extraordinary performances.  Other stand outs include Haley Dortch as Fantine, Christine Heesun Hwang as Eponine and audience favorites Christina Rose Hall and Matt Crowle as Madame Thenardier and her crooked husband.


To sum it up, this production of “Les Misérables” is an amazing night at the theater, one that you will never forget.  

“Les Miserables” receives a score of 5 out of 5 stars.


To read my conversation with actor Preston Truman Boyd, please click HERE.


“Les MIserables” continues in Kansas City through Sunday, May 7th.  For informtion and tickets for this and future shows, please click HERE.  

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