Les Misérables, also known as Les Mis, or Les Miz, is a musical based on the same-titled book by Victor Hugo (1862). It premiered in Paris in 1980, has run continuously in London since 1985, and first opened as a pre-Broadway tryout in December 1986, eventually premiering on Broadway in March 1987. After 6,680 performances, Les Misérables closed in May 2003.
The show is set in early 19th-century France, and tells the story of Jean Valjean, a peasant, who is sentenced to prison for stealing a loaf of bread in order to help feed his sister’s starving child. Valjean escapes and is relentlessly hunted by a police inspector, Javert. Valjean and others are swept up into the revolution, where a group of young idealists make their last stand.
Here is a clip from the 1987 Tony Awards program.
At the end of the day you’re another day older
And that’s all you can say for the life of the poor
It’s a struggle, it’s a war
And there’s nothing that anyone’s giving
One more day standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.