The following was originally on my main page, but it describes my Les Miz "background" so I decided to keep it. (I've added a tiny bit as of 7-24-99.)
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A man of not-so-mysterious motives, but one for whom some of us have an unwavering fascination, Inspector Javert deserves our consideration. I found myself drawn to him at the end of Les Misérables when, to my utter shock, he committed suicide. I suppose I should have known. Victor Hugo wrote my all-time favorite classic Notre-Dame de Paris. Nevertheless, I had never watched or read Les Misérables and the sight of such a strong and inflexible character caught in the throes of such conflict was very powerful. Besides being blown away by the production itself, the music and the story, I walked away with that fascination burned into my brain. My attention focused on Javert. I bought the Broadway CD, then the London CD, then the Complete Symphonic recording CD. I listened to it every day to and from work in the car, Javert's and Fantine's parts being my favorites, Phillip Quast being my favorite voice for Javert, though both the others have their merits.
The next time I saw Les Miz, I watched , of course, the man portraying Javert. I saw it again, for the first time in about 6 years, and Todd Alan Johnson was in the role. Then I was able to see it in New York again, with Christopher Innvar playing Javert—I was highly impressed with him. Well, in light of discovering the Javert web sites which I have come to enjoy so much, seeing the play again was almost like the first time! Peter Samuel was playing Javert the first time I saw it, opposite Craig Schulman. The only thing I can remember now about his performance (it's been over 12 years) was the way he said "24601." I wish I could have them all on CD as I'm sure many of us do! (Or better yet—DVD!)
Also, it has been a great pleasure to discover other peoples' appreciation for this character, and for Les Miz. I have enjoyed the fanfic more than anything!
Also, I would like to mention that I read the unabridged novel after I saw the play the first time. It was incredible! No wonder it has been such an enduring classic. After seeing a number of movie versions, I would say that only the musical captured the heart of the book. And only the musical really did justice to Inspector Javert.