'Les Miserables' 25th anniversary concert, with Nick Jonas as Marius, to air on PBS -- EXCLUSIVE

les-mis-nick-joansImage Credit: Dave M. Benett/Getty ImagesU.S. fans of Les Misérables who couldn’t get to the 25th anniversary concert at London’s O2 arena last October (or one of the movie theaters that screened it in a one-night-only event), will finally be able to see it on PBS come March 6. PBS will air the U.S. premiere of Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert at The O2, featuring Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), Lea Salonga (Fantine), Nick Jonas (Marius), Norm Lewis (Javert), Matt Lucas (Thénardier), Jenny Galloway (Madame Thénardier), and Katie Hall (Cosette). The concert hits DVD on Feb. 22. Les Misérables, which opened in London on Oct. 8, 1985, has played in 42 countries and has been seen by nearly 60 million people.


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  • Lex

    Nick Jonas? Really? REALLY?

    WHY?

    • LML-H

      I know. Couldn’t Michael Ball do it again? Ugh.

      • veronica

        ugh michael ball was too old for the part during the last concert on pbs and that was fifteen years ago. it would be almost ridiculous now.

      • John

        Maybe because Michael Ball was too old for the role even during the 10th Anniversary Celebration. I’m not arguing that Michael Ball has an amazing voice, he does. But, I thought the Jonas boy did a repectable job and he fit the age range for the role of Marius.

      • travisdogg

        LOL. Nick Jonas was the weakest link of the cast. I saw the show in October and I wanted to rip my ears out every time he started singing (if that’s what you call it). He did NOT do a respectable job.

      • travisdogg

        I wanted to add that his acting was soooo stiff. If I took a shot every time he held his arms straight in front of him, I would have passed out by the end of the show

      • Chelsea

        Judging from the way the crowd cheered when Michael Ball began singing in the encore of One Day More (with the Original London Cast actors reprising the roles they created) he’s still well loved.

        Nick Jonas did better than I expected. He has a nice enough voice but not the power or control to keep up with trained musical theatre actors. He was sadly outclassed and I spent the production wondering why one of the capable former West End Mariuses, taking on smaller roles in the O2 concert, couldn’t step in and show him how it’s done.

      • me

        “Nick Jonas was horrible”. This is right up there in overdone cliche-land with “Saturday Night Live hasn’t been funny for years” and “Jay Leno sucks”. Marius is supposed to be a young kid, not one of the Four Tenors. Of course he doesn’t sing as well as Ball. He’s a kid. If you want to hear Josh Groban, watch something else.

      • Chelsea

        Dear me,

        If you want to bring age into it I believe Katie Hall, the Cosette Nick sang opposite was around the same age and Samantha Barks (Eponine) only two years older yet they managed to perform at a higher standard. It’s not a question of age but a question of talent and training here and Nick Jonas fell short.

      • Ca

        Because he sings very well, and he’s the better part of the show. Nick Jonas was FANTASTIC.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Then again, if Nick Jonas weren’t in this, I’m not 100% sure we would’ve gotten a post about this concert at all.

      So, there’s that.

      • Gleeful

        I agree with you. Only Nick Jonas and Lea Salonga ( Mulan, Alladin, Miss Saigon ) are recognized in the US.

    • Judith

      He starred in Les Miserables on Broadway when he was 12 years old.

      • Bethan

        Actually, it was 2003 so he would have been 11. He also played Marius on the West End in London for a 3 week limited run. The response was so amazing and all shows sold out, so they asked him to stay an additional 2 weeks. I’m sure he would have done more but he had a 4 month tour of his own that he had to get back to.

    • Jeremy Sheer

      dude go on youtube watch him sing on Les Miserables, and say that again amature

      • Sonja

        I watched the youtube videos because I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. I’ve been to Les Mis shows in London and he doesn’t measure up to even one of those – not even speaking of Michael Ball who could blow him off stage with a single note.
        It was good thinking by Cameron Macintosh to get him as a draw for a younger audience and press coverage they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, but Marius he’s not (yet).

    • potch

      I heard from some friends that saw it in London that he was actually very good… and they are not fans.

      • World-Traveler

        Speaking as someone who was at the O2 in London I will say — he was not bad, but he was not “very” good. Main problem was that he could NOT be heard over the other singers when singing duets. His solo, “Empty Chair at Empty Tables” was fine. Another problem was lack of emotion in his face and in his singing. There is a great deal of difference between playing a child role and then a major character. NJ would probably make a fine Marius if he worked on his acting a bit more.

    • Anna

      pshhh nick jonas did rlly good n he’s super sexy, dont hate, I watched on tv!!!!!!!!!

    • bbkenn

      I thought that too, but he’s actually good, just watching it now.

      • Babita

        I think the question slhuod be: Are the Jonas Brothers upset or offended by this? My guess is that they’re not. It was a joke, obviously. That’s kind of the point of any President giving a speech at the Correspondent’s Dinner.If it weren’t this joke, people probably would have been mad about the Senator Boeher is orange joke. Someone would have picked on something. I’m really not seeing the problem because it was clearly a joke.

    • Lori Moran

      I just watched it and thought he was pretty good. I was actually pleasantly surprised.

    • marlene

      nick jonas can’t hold a candle to michael ball. what a disapponitment. if everyone who thought the 25th was great would watch the 10th they would see quite a difference.

    • Heidii

      honestly i think that the reason so many people are complaining about nick jonas’ perfomance is because of his previous reputation on disney channel. personally i did not like him when he was with the jonas brothers nor did i like that show they had for a while… however i have been a huge fan of les miserables since i was a little girl and i must say i am very impressed with him. if we all saw him do this before anything happened with disney then everyone’s comments would be much more positive. stop judging him on his past, he obviously belongs in theatre

      • Jaime

        It’s because of his past he was in this show as Marius in the first place. If he would’ve auditioned for the role, he would have never gotten close. Cameron Mackintosh said himself that Nick Jonas was doing a good job…of filling the seats (due to his massive fan base from Disney and The Jonas Brothers). And isn’t money all that matters? Clearly it’s not the integrity of the show, or Cam Mac never would have let him set foot on that stage.

      • David

        I had never heard of Nick Jonas until I watched his performance as Marius and I thought he was dreadful.

      • Jakeline

        If you make a poster about the Horn seoticn, it’d be noticed. They always put up pictures of posters about them on their twitter!! It’s pretty sweet.Or you can make a poster about the Bulldozers, JT, Garbo, Jack Lawless, and Ryan Liestman. Those are usally good too.I mean, I love JB so so much. But the posters are like so repetitive that it’s like they don’t even care to read them anymore unless they stand out COMPLETELY!!!

    • Sara

      I belive Nick did a great job for being outside of his comfort zone but Jean Velijean knocked it out of the park AMAZING!!!!!

    • Charley

      Why are you being so hard on Nick Jonas. His whole career started on Broadway. His voice sounded beautiful and his acting was spot on. I was pleasantly surprised by his performance. My personal favorite was the briliant man who played Jean Valjean but, Nick Jonas as Marius was an excellent choice. At least it’s not a bad as Taylor Swift as Eponine.

    • Elizabeth

      Jonas was so weak. His face was straining and distorted the whole time which made his acting so unbelievable. Such a shame.

  • veronica

    I saw him as Marius in London and he was actually pretty good. I was very surprised at him not being the weak link in the cast.

  • G

    He was in Les Mis on broadway a child but I didn’t know he ever played Marius.

  • Aprilcot26

    I had to click on the link to the story just to make sure I read it correctly. Gah.

  • jj6

    this makes me cry and not in a good way. i shall stick with my original london cast recording thank you very much.

    • Jeremy Sheer

      watch him sing on youtube from this show and say that again

      • U_Suk

        I did and he still sucks.

      • Greenapple

        I originally watched “Red and Black” on youtube and thought the Marius was awful, so I looked up who it was that was ruining an otherwise very good performance, and saw that it was Nick Jonas… Very disappointed in his performance.

    • Sarah

      Hahaha this made me crack up! I totally agree!!

  • dazzlechild

    Or the 10th anniversary concert in the Royal Albert Hall!

  • TC

    I’ll tune in for Lea Salonga. Way to boost your credibility, Les Ms. I guess we can expect some nasal-y, whiny “singing.”

    • Stephanie

      I saw this concert and Nick Jonas was A-W-F-U-L. It was Ramin (Enjorlas) who saved the show. The men who played Javert and Jean were fantastic but Ramin has a fantastic energy- it reminded me of Michael Ball from the 10th an. concert.
      But seriously Nick Jonas was awful. As was the girl who played Cosette. But the girl who played Eponine was incredible. Good concert, I’m getting it because of Ramin, but really- everyone should buy the 10th anniversary dvd. It’s superior. ^_^

      • Chelsea

        I’ll second the love for Ramin.

        Ramin is not always pitch perfect but he has the passion, power, and charisma that Enjolras needs. He was certainly one of the high points of the show and I’ve been a fan since I saw him in Phantom of the Opera two years ago.

      • Jane

        I agree that Ramin was wonderful, and has been Marius before. It’s a shame they didn’t let him do it for the O2 concert. Nick Jonas was just underwhelming. I’ve never seen him before…I’m 51 years old, but there were countless young men on stage at the O2 that could have done Marius much better.

      • Just stumbled upon this showing on PBS

        I completely agree with you! He was lucky to have such an amazing cast with him… But if I were him I’d be embarrassed

    • Alan

      If Lea Salonga is now doing Fantine, who played (adult) Eponine?

      • World-Traveler

        Samantha Barks

      • one_love

        I was luck enough to see Norm Lewis and Lea salonga play Javert and Fantine live on Broadway in 06. I cant wait for this!

      • McFudge

        I saw a touring production of Les Miz with Sutton Foster as Eponine……….before she was Sutton Foster, if you know what I mean. You could tell there was something special about her. When she sang On My Own I cried. Too bad she isn’t part of this concert.

      • JayNYC

        Lea was by far my favorite Eponine (that was, what? 1996?), and believe it or not, Debbie Gibson was my #2. :-)

  • LAJackie

    I saw the concert when they showed it on the big screen. Nick Jonas WAS the weak link. He may have been able to sing in tune but he just doesn’t have a theatre voice. There was no strength or timbre there. This was even more apparent when Michael Ball sang toward the end of the concert.

    • emjay

      I agree. I saw the concert in a theater and my friends all said that he was the weak link. ALTHOUGH, I’m sure there are many young fans of his who were exposed to musical theater and that can’t be a bad thing.

    • Ben G

      I have to totally disagree. You cannot say he doesn’t have a theatrical voice. His rendition of Empty Chairs was beautiful and showed nice range. You cannot compare Michael Ball’s voice to Nick Jonas, they are two entirely different singers with different ranges. Overall it was a solid performance.

      • Zeer

        No, all the other singers blew him out of the water. Different ranges don’t matter, what matter was that his voice had no strength or emotion to it. It fell flat. He sings through his nose. Next to professionally trained singers, it’s like he’s a nobody with a crap voice. It was really sad actually, and he should not have been in such a huge production of a theatrical piece.

      • Doug

        Not only was his voice weak but everytime he sang his facial expressions reminded me of someone on pain. He may be a great singer for Disney (and I am a former Disney employee, so I know what i am talking about) but he is NOT a broadway or theatre star by any means. Recording artists have vastly different abilities from those who do this as a real performance needing to show emotion and tell the story with thier voices as well as thier facial expressions.

  • Jim S

    He’s not at the level of the rest of the cast, but he channels his theatre voice here. None of his usual pop whining.

  • Liz

    This makes me feel old. I saw Nick Jonas as Gavroche and remember when a younger Lea Salonga played Eponine (not at the same time/place of course).

  • Kate

    Will you remind us sometime closer to March 6? I kind of want to see this and will in no way remember that and my DVR doesn’t go that far into the future.

  • Travis S

    Why is Colm Wilkinson in the picture?

    • Betsy

      this confused me also! i kept reading the credits and going back to the pic!

      i agree w/ emjay that at least some tweens who wouldn’t necessarily watch PBS will be exposed to this now. And Lea will always be Eponine to me.

    • Stephanie

      He, along with a few others I’ll keep secret, make a nice appearance in the end.
      …and someone totally owns Jonas as well. he was out of his element, out of his league.

    • World-Traveler

      The original 1985 London cast came on stage during the curtain call. The four are singing One Day More, which started with just the members of the original cast and they were joined by their 2010 counterparts.

      • one_love

        was Patti Lupone there?

      • World-Traveler

        Patti Lupone was not there.

  • Julie

    Amazing how much negativity is out there and many didn’t even see him perform. Nick Jonas was actually quite good, he has a beautiful voice for theater and I was surprised. Although, he was not able to project as well as some of the older cast, you have to give him credit. He was hand picked by Cameron McIntosh himself. I checked out Nick Jonas’ background. He has quite an impressive Broadway resume under his belt. Michael Ball will always be a superb Marius, but anyone who stepped in to that role would have been doomed by comparison. I prefer to judge the young Jonas on his own merits. The production was excellent and I am looking forward to watching it again on PBS.

    • Steph

      I saw it and thought, considering the event, 25 years, he was a terrible choice and the worst of the performers. He did try, I’ll give him that- but this show was to celebrate all the years it’s achieved and they should have brought the big guns out, not whiny pop stars. That’s what I think, I’m sure there’s a truck load of tween girls who think different. Not to mention my mother who loved him, but I’ll forgive her,hehe.

    • Steph H.

      I was skeptical, too, when I heard Nick Jonas did a West End stint as Marius, and then was part of the 25th anniversary concert. Like Julie, I was very surprised at Nick’s voice. I think his Jonas Brothers voice is nasally and whiny, but his broadway voice was surprisingly clear and strong. He’s definitely no Michael Ball, but I think he did very well.

      • Jack

        He doesn’t HAVE a “Broadway” voice. For Pete’s sake, the ensemble members with bit parts blew him off stage. He didn’t belong on that stage at all.

  • Ben G

    I actually wasn’t a fan of Nick Jonas until I saw him in the production. He did quite well, he has a nice range and sounds nothing like his pop vocals. It was nice to see someone younger play Marius. In Victor Hugo’s novel, Marius was barely 20 when he fought at the barricades. So it seemed more appropriate to have someone younger fill the role. It made the relationship between Cosette and Marius more realistic.

  • orlandonut1

    I watched the 25th anniversary edition on dvd on saturday, it was absolutely fantastic. It gave me goosebumps, n brought a tear 2 my eve. Loved it. :) xx

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