Who is that? That’s Jean Valjean — and also Chairman Takeshi Kaga of Iron Chef. With the release of Les Miserables in theaters (and the subsequent wave of teenage girls singing “I Dreamed A Dream”), we thought it would be appropriate to bring up some of our favorite Chairman’s past work as a particular Prisoner No. 24601.
Back in 1987, Kaga starred with actor Sakae Takita in the original Tokyo production of Les Miserables, in which the two alternated between the roles of the former convict Jean Valjean and the police inspector Javert. Kaga, however, ended up on the cast recording as Jean Valjean (see above), and the role was associated with him ever since — so much so that he ended up in in the 10th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables below. Do you hear the Jean Valjeans sing? (Kaga, for you fanatics, is at the 0:38 mark — and he has the best hair, by far.)
And just in case you really, really wanted more Chairman Kaga singing the songs of angry men, here’s a recording of him as Jean Valjean singing “One Day More.” Don’t worry, he’s instantaneously recognizeable.
And of course, since nothing is complete without a shaky, bootlegged copy, that’s him below as Jean Valjean in the 2000 revival in Tokyo. The new Japanese Chairman ain’t got nothing on Kaga:
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