Tony Award winner Frances Rufelle will star in The Wild Party at The Other Palace Theatre.
Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party will receive its first major London production at The Other Palace Theatre, formerly the St James, in February 2017.
Ruffelle is perhaps best known for originating the role of Eponine in Les Misérables in the West End and on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for her performance. Her many other stage roles include Dinah in the original company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express (West End), Roxie Hart in Chicago (West End), Frastrada in Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory) and the title role in Piaf (Leicester Curve).
Frances said: “I discovered the amazingly edgy, jazz-infused score to The Wild Party about 10 years ago. Many West End producers have tried to get the rights with no success, but luckily for me, the composer Michael John LaChuisa was in the audience when I was performing my solo show in New York. We were introduced after the show and I asked him why the show hadn’t been seen in London. He just said: “You are my Queenie, it’s yours”. It really is a dream come true, and I’m now working hard preparing for a role that I know will be demanding but hugely rewarding. See you at the party!”
Set against a backdrop of Manhattan decadence and 1920’s excess, The Wild Party tells the story of Queenie and Burrs, a Vaudeville showgirl and a Vaudeville clown whose relationship is marked by vicious behaviour and recklessness. In an attempt to salvage their toxic union, they decide to throw a party to end all parties. But when debauchery turns into tragedy, the revellers must sober up and face reality. After all, no party lasts forever.
The Tony and Grammy award-nominated show originally opened on Broadway in 2000 with a cast including Toni Collette, Mandy Patinkin and Eartha Kitt.
The production will be directed and choreographed by 2016 Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie (In The Heights, Bugsy Malone) with musical direction by Theo Jamieson (Funny Girl, West End), set and costume design by Soutra Gilmour (Dr Faustus, Urinetown, The Commitments, West End) and lighting design by Richard Howell (Jekyll and Hyde, Old Vic).
The Wild Party runs from 11 February 2017 until 1 April 2017 at The Other Palace Theatre.