Herbert Kretzmer, lyricist of Les Miserables, dead at 95
LONDON – Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo's classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris. Until a young British producer by the name of Cameron Mackintosh invited Kretzmer to tea in June 1984 and his life changed. Though the expanded English version of Les Miserables — it was never Les Mis for Kretzmer — had mixed reviews at the start, it would soon become one of the biggest successes of 20th century theater.