Archive for News – Page 2

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock musical to be showcased this week ahead of December opening

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical, School of Rock, set to open in the autumn, will be showcased this week as part of a series of concerts in New York. The concerts will take place at the Gramercy Theatre from June 3 to 6.

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Lloyd Webber has previously said he chose New York to open his latest musical because of the more relaxed child licensing rules in America.

In a targeted email, Lloyd Webber described the School of Rock concerts as being “highly-staged”. He said the concerts would work better than an out-of-town tryout or extended preview period because “the wonders of technology get in the way of genuinely trying out new work.”

Lloyd Webber’s message went on to say: “We need feedback – the kind that comes from an audience not our sound system. We want to get a genuine feel of what’s wrong and maybe find we’ve got a few things right.”

School of Rock, based on the 2003 film written by Mike White and directed by Richard Linklater, has lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes. The production is to be directed by Laurence Connor and stars Alex Brightman in the role played in the film by Jack Black.

Previews are scheduled to begin at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre on November 2, with an official opening on December 6.

This month’s concerts coincide with the Tony Awards weekend in New York, when producers, investors and theatre operators converge on Manhattan.

Dames at Sea will set sail to Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theater this season

The first-ever Broadway production of Dames at Sea will drop anchor at the Helen Hayes Theatre this season. Directed and choreographed by three-time Tony nominee Randy Skinner, the tap-happy tuner will begin performances on September 24 and officially open on October 22. No word yet on casting for the show, which features a book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, along with music by Jim Wise.

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Skinner’s production of Dames at Sea debuted at the Infinity Theatre Company in Annapolis, MD, in 2012, starring Megan Kelley, Eric Huffman and Darien Crago. It had originally been aiming for a Broadway bow in 2014. Dames at Sea first opened at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre in 1968 in a production starring Bernadette Peters, then transferred to the Theater de Lys (now the Lucille Lortel Theatre) in 1969, where it played for 575 performances.

Dames at Sea tells the story of Ruby, who steps off a bus from Utah and into her first Broadway show. But hours before the opening night curtain is set to rise, the cast learns that their theater is being demolished. With the help of some adoring sailors, Ruby and the cast set a plan in motion to perform the show in a naval battleship.

The production will feature music supervision and vocal and dance arrangements by Rob Berman, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

This will be the first production at the Helen Hayes under the ownership of Second Stage. It had previously been reported that renovations and upgrades were scheduled to begin at the theatre in 2016, where Second Stage would present its first production on Broadway during the 2017-18 season.

Musical revue of Leslie Bricusse songs to be staged in London

A musical revue celebrating songwriter Leslie Bricusse will be staged in London later this year.

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Pure Imagination – The Songs of Leslie Bricusse will run at the St James Theatre for four weeks from September 24 to October 17, with a press night on September 29.

The show – which will feature songs including Feeling Good, Goldfinger and Talk to the Animals – will be directed by Christopher Renshaw, and is produced by Danielle Tarento. Michael England will be musical director.

Casting is yet to be announced.

Liza Minnelli to return to the London Palladium in September

Liza Minnelli is to return to the London Palladium later this year as part of a series of one-off shows.

An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli will include a 90-minute on-stage interview as well as featuring Minnelli performing alongside her long-time musical director and pianist Billy Stritch. The evening will also include an audience question and answer session.

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The show will take place at the Palladium on September 20, marking Minnelli’s fifth engagement at the venue. She will then visit City Hall in Sheffield on September 22 and the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on September 24.

Minnelli said: “I’m always so excited to return to Britain, which I’ve considered to be a second home for many years. I have so many friends there and I look forward to being back again for these special intimate evenings. Whenever I do concerts people always say they want to hear about me growing up, being on Broadway, in the movies, the people I’ve met and worked with, so this will give me a chance to share a lot more of those stories.”

The show is produced by Rocco Buonvino.

An inside look at The Clockmaker’s Daughter

A new British musical has been given its premiere at London’s Landor Theatre. The Clockmaker’s Daughter has been carefully nurtured by Robert McWhir who has given London some outstanding productions recently. This show is set to run until the 4th July.

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The first reviews are in and this is what The Stage has had to say; “ In an age before the industrial revolution, a widowed clockmaker breathes life into the statue of a young woman. Blessed with an open heart and enquiring mind, Constance enjoys the amity of the town until fear and misunderstanding bring about her demise. Michael Webborn and Daniel Finn’s new musical introduces an original fantasy fairytale, richly imagined with strong characters and a robust storyline.

 Listen to Carrie Hope Fletcher sing 

The plot fuses elements of Pinocchio and Pygmalion but any debt to Disney is counterbalanced with heady themes of loss, love and jealousy. The vibrant score reflects the darker fantasy elements of the story well but also celebrates the parochial nature of village life through an effective chorus.

Robert McWhir directs the 20-strong company with style, ensuring that pace and energy never overpower the subtler elements of this simple fantasy. David Shields’ stunning gilt and clockwork set is a marvel of invention and yet provides an eminently practical space for the story to unfold.

In a cast teaming with well observed and occasionally downright comic characters, Jennifer Harding as Constance has the unenviable task of bridging the gap between automaton and leading lady. Exquisitely realised, Harding’s warmth and commitment colour the character while her rousing mezzo-belt ably tackles the demands of this exciting new score.”

 

Take a look behind the scenes ahead of opening night by clicking on the play button above

King and I lavish new Broadway cast album set for release

The Broadway revival cast of The King and I, including Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe, Conrad Ricamora and Ruthie Ann Miles headed to the recording studio to record the new cast album of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

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The 18-track album will be released June 9 from Universal Music Classics. Lincoln Center Theater takes viewers inside the recording studio in this new video, which offers clips of O’Hara singing “Getting to Know You,” as well as Miles performing “Something Wonderful” and the romantic duet “We Kiss in a Shadow,” as sung by Ricamora and Ashley Park.

 

Click on the play button above to watch the recording promotion

The production has been nominated for nine 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

 O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison County, South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza) stars as Anna Leonowens opposite Watanabe in his Broadway debut as the King of Siam. A 29-piece orchestra is featured and incorporated into the staging of the production’s stunning opening.

 The revival also features 2015 Tony nominee Ruthie Ann Miles (Here Lies Love) as Lady Thiang and Conrad Ricamora (Here Lies Love) as Lun Tha, Ashley Park (Mamma Mia!) as Tuptim, Edward Baker-Duly (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Sir Edward Ramsey, Jon Viktor Corpuz (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Prince Chulalongkorn, Murphy Guyer (South Pacific) as Captain Orton, Jakes Lucas (Newsies) as Louis, Paul Nakauchi (Chu Chem) as Kralahome and Marc Oka (Anything Goes) as Phra Alack.

Also featured are Aaron Albano, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Billy Bustamante, LaMae Caparas, Hsin-Ping Chang, Andrew Cheng, Lynn Masako Cheng, Olivia Chun, Ali Ewoldt, Ethan Halford Holder, Cole Horibe, MaryAnn Hu, James Ignacio, Christie Kim, Kelvin Moon Loh, Sumie Maeda, Paul HeeSang Miller, Betsy Morgan, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Kristen Faith Oei, Autumn Ogawa, Yuki Ozeki, Stephanie Jae Park, Diane Phelan, Sam Poon, William Poon, Brian Rivera, Bennyroyce Royon, Lainie Sakakura, Ann Sanders, Ian Saraceni, Atsuhisa Shinomiya, Michiko Takemasa, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Rocco Wu and Timothy Yang.

 The revival has choreography by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific, Newsies) based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. The original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations are also being used with dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann.

 The King and I reunites Sher with his Tony-winning South Pacific creative team, including scenic designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Donald Holder, sound designer Scott Lehrer and musical director Ted Sperling. Casting is by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA.

O’Hara’s history with Lincoln Center Theater includes the Sher-directed productions of The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific. She most recently collaborated with Sher on The Bridges of Madison County. Her stage appearances also include Sweet Smell of Success, The Pajama Game and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

 The King and I marks Watanabe’s American stage debut. His film work includes “The Last Samurai,” “Inception,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Batman Begins” and “Godzilla.” His Japanese theatre credits include Dialogue with Horowitz, Hamlet, Shitayamannen-cho monogatari, The Lion in Winter and The Royal Hunt of the Sun.

 The Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical, based on the life of Anna Leonowens as well as Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel “Anna and the King of Siam,” includes classics such as “Hello Young Lovers,” “I Whistle A Happy Tune,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Getting To Know You.”

 The original production opened March 29, 1951, at the St. James Theatre. It starred Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence and ran for 1,246 performances. The King and I has been revived on Broadway three times; the most recent production starred Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips.

 According to LCT, “Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.”

West End Live later his month sets it’s line-up

West End LIVE takes place in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2015. Now in its 11th year, this free annual event – the largest event of its type in the world – is organised by Westminster City Council and Official London Theatre and offers fantastic free family entertainment from London’s top theatre productions and attractions.

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 New shows making their West End LIVE debuts over the weekend include American Idiot, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, What’s It all About-Bacharach – Reimagined, The Dreamers, Dusty, Gypsy, Memphis The Musical, Sunny Afternoon and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, as well as previews of Elf and Three Little Pigs.

Take a first look at The Dreamers which opens on 30th June by clicking on play button above

Shows returning to the West End Live stage this year include; Billy Elliot The Musical, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Commitments, Disney’s The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Les Misérables, Let It Be, Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games, Mamma Mia!, Matilda The Musical, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, Stomp, Thriller Live, War Horse and Wicked, plus performances from English National Opera (ENO) and touring productions of Avenue Q and Shrek The Musical.

 

Danny Burstein-led FIDDLER ON THE ROOF revival will play the Broadway Theatre

With the UK having just seen the magnificent Music & Lyrics production of Fiddler On The Roof and about to see Hampshire based Grange Opera’s production with Bryn Terfel, Broadway has decided to get in on the act. Five-time Tony Award-nominee and Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award winner Danny Burstein (Cabaret, Golden Boy, Follies, South Pacific) will step into the iconic role of Tevye. Burstein will appear under the direction of Tony Award-nominated director Bartlett Sher, who was most recently nominated for a Tony Award for the current Broadway revival, The King and I. Sher has directed Burstein on Broadway in the revivals of Golden Boy and South Pacific. Further casting and ticket on-sale date will be announced soon.

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The design team includes scenic design by Michael Yeargan (Tony Award nominee, The King and I), costume design by Catherine Zuber (Tony Award nominee, The King and I), and lighting design by Donald Holder (Tony Award nominee, The King and I). Fiddler on the Roof will be their 5th Broadway production working with Sher, after South Pacific, Golden Boy, The Bridges of Madison County, and The King and I. Sound design is by Scott Lehrer (A Delicate Balance, South Pacific).

 Fiddler on the Roof will also feature choreography by Hofesh Shechter, based on original conceptions and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Music direction and arrangements is by Ted Sperling (The King and I, South Pacific).

 Fiddler on the Roof has music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein. The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964 had the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. The show won the 1965 Tony Award for Best Musical in addition to eight other Tony Awards that year.

Cast announced for Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE opening!

Producers Lorenzo Thione and Andrew Treagus announced complete casting for Allegiance, a new American musical starring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, set to open on Broadway next season at the Longacre Theatre. Previews begin on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 with opening night set for Sunday, November 8, 2015.

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Allegiance has a book by Marc Acito with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo. Helming the production is Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima (London’s Ragtime, Off-Broadway’s Bare, Carrie, Altar Boyz).

 The cast is as follows: George Takei as Sam Kimura/Ojii San; Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura; Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura; Katie Rose Clarke as Hannah Campbell, Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki, Christopheren Nomura as Tatsuo Kimura; and Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka.

 The ensemble will feature Aaron J. Albano, Belinda Allyn, Marcus Choi, Janelle Dote, Dan Horn, Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Manna Nichols, Autumn Ogawa, Rumi Oyama, Momoko Sugai, Cary Tedder, Elena Wang, Scott Watanabe and Scott Wise.

 Inspired by Takei’s true-life experience, Allegiance is an untold American story spanning from the lush California heartland, to the windswept prairies of Wyoming, to the European battlefields of World War II-a multi-generational tale of one Japanese American family’s love, optimism and unparalleled heroism in the face of unimaginable circumstances.

New British musical set for ArtsEd London opening

Based on an original idea by Craig Adams and Ian Watson, Defect is a new musical developed by Perfect Pitch and performed by ArtsEd 3rd year BA Musical Theatre students.

 

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Set in an alternative reality where Nightwalkers are segregated from ordinary humans, the authorities fail to intervene when the outsiders are persecuted by a right-wing sect. After her Nightwalker father is murdered, Lufu searches for answers and in the process begins an unlikely and dangerous romance with trainee priest, Terry.

The show runs from the 4th to 13th June at The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre.

Julie Atherton and Gina Beck to star in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

Casting has been announced for a revival of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change which will run for a strictly limited period in the new studio space Above The Arts.

 

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Julie Atherton (Shock Treatment, Avenue Q, Sister Act) will lead the cast which also includes Simon Lipkin (Assassins, I Can’t Sing!, Rock of Ages), Gina Beck (Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables) and Samuel Holmes (Monty Pythons Live, Spamalot, The Water Babies).

The musical revue by the WhatsOnStage Award-winning Joe Dipietro (Memphis the Musical) – which will be directed by Kirk Jameson (The World Goes Round, Seussical: The Musical, The Last Five Years), with choreography from Sam Spencer-Lane and musical direction from Scott Morgan – follows the ups and downs of a modern day romantic relationship whilst attempting to answer some of life’s most infuriating questions; “what do women really want?, “What are men really thinking?” and “why, when we find the partner of our dreams, do we spend the rest of our lives trying to change them?”

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change runs at Above The Arts from 1 – 19 July 2015.

It is the second-longest running Off Broadway musical. The musical was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Off-Broadway musical in 1997. The musical premiered Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre on August 1, 1996 and closed on July 27, 2008, after 5,003 performances. Directed by Joel Bishoff, the cast featured Jordan Leeds, Robert Roznowski, Jennifer Simard, and Melissa Weil.

The musical was first produced in the UK at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, followed by a short season in the West End Comedy Theatre from July 28, 1999 to September 25, 1999. Directed by Joel Bishoff, the cast featured Clive Carter, Shona Lindsay, Gillian Kirkpatrick and Russell Wilcox. It was revived in London at the Jermyn Street Theatre, running from March 1, 2005 to March 26, presented by Popular Productions Ltd and by Maple Giant at the Bridewell Theatre in 2011.

Titanic opens at the Princess Of Wales in Toronto

 

The haunting story of the great ship Titanic has been transformed by composer and lyricist Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel) and director Thom Southerland into a riveting musical in which the hopes and dreams of rich and poor, heroes and cowards, lovers and foes are woven together in a celebration of the human spirit.  titanic-musical-toronto Before the famed blockbuster movie hit the screens, the original Broadway production proved its might by winning 5 Tony® awards, including Best Musical. Now, Toronto audiences will be the first North American city to experience the launch of this production inspired by the acclaimed London revival, with superstar tenor Ben Heppner joining the celebrated cast. The show runs at Toronto’s Princess Of Wales Theatre in Toronto until 21st June. titanic poster Heppner will play the role of Isidor Straus, a prominent U.S. politician and businessman. Among his many accomplishments and business holdings, he was the co-owner of Macy’s department store. With his wife Ida, he was among the wealthy and famous members of society who wanted to be the first to sail on the maiden voyage of the unsinkable RMS Titanic.

Click on arrow above to see the trailer for the Toronto production

“GRIPPING and AMBITIOUS!  Thom Southerland steers it on a course to success!” – The Times