Hit: 'Les Miserables' breaks box office record

The 25th anniversary tour at the Ahmanson Theatre between June 14 and July 31 saw an attendance total of 109,996, or 2,000 per performance, which was 97% of the Ahmanson's capacity for the 55-show run. The show grossed $176,121 per performance, a house record. "Les Miz" worked because it is one of the top-grossing musicals of all time (its original Broadway run lasted 16 years, ending in 2003) and has a huge built-in fan base. Douglas Baker, producing director of Center Theatre Group, felt L.A. audiences were primed for the anniversary tour. Among the attractions were new production elements, including a set design adapted from paintings by Victor Hugo, author of the classic 19th century novel on which the musical is based. Helping to prime the pump: In March, PBS began airing the "Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert" taped at London's O2 Arena.
Deen van Meer / Associated Press
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