The Dream Lives On in Les Miserables

Les Miserables is undoubtedly one of the most popular musicals on the planet. The production can claim over 120 million spectators in 52 countries and accolades such as nominations for twelve Tony Awards and winning eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Les Miz, as it is affectionately called, is known worldwide for its music, score, and engaging storyline. 

The Story Behind Les Miz 

Les Miserables was composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil, and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Sung through, it is one of the most well-known and performed musicals worldwide. 

Les Miz chronicles the life of Jean Valjean, prisoner number 24601, who is doing hard labor on a chain gang in a French prison for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France and the French Revolution, the audience follows the hard life of Valjean.

Even after his release from prison 19 years later, Valjean is branded a prisoner and can not find work. A local Bishop takes him in and feeds him only to find Valjean has disappeared and precious silver missing. The Bishop lies to Javert, a police inspector who pursues Valjean for most of the musical, and tells the police he gave Valjean the silver. 

The musical jumps ten years into the future, where we find Valjean has become the Mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer and a factory owner. We meet one of his workers, Fantine, who dies, but not before Valjean promises to take care of her daughter, Cosette. As the French Revolution rages around them, we meet young revolutionaries trying to overthrow the government and learn about the love that grows between a student revolutionary (Marius)  and Cosette. Valjean manages to save an injured Marius so that he and Cosette may be wed and Valjean can complete his promise to Fantine. 

Backdrops for Les Miz 

Backdrops By Charles Stewart has a showcase of backdrops available for your theater group who plan on an epic Les Miz performance. Choose from 14 backdrops that range from European streets and villages to set the stage for France in the late 1700s or impoverished homes from this same era. Here are a few of our favorite backdrops. 

French Street

This French Street Backdrop #1283 depicts an old, European-style street showing buildings including a church and cobblestone street. It is the perfect backdrop for all outdoor scenes. 

Rustic House

For indoor scenes that show the downtrodden state of the citizens of France during this time period, this Rustic House Interior Backdrop #1297 shows a rustic interior with wood beam ceilings and a large kitchen fireplace. 

Deep Blue Palace

To show the juxtaposition of classes in France at this time, this Palace Interior Backdrop #1987 shows a deep blue interior with matching drapes, wood paneling, and large windows. The upper-class scenes show just how desperate the working class is in comparison to their upper-class contemporaries. 

For a comprehensive list and description of all our backdrops suitable for Les Miserables, visit our show suggestions page