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Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre

June 24, 2015 

Sheridan Smith stars in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Broadway hit musical Funny Girl

Forever associated with Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl return’s to the London stage this Winter starring Sheridan Smith in the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre production. With classic songs including ‘People’ and ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’  Funny Girl is a Broadway hit musical based on the life and career of comedienne, film and Broadway star Fanny Brice.


The musical is set in and around New York City just prior to and following World War I.  Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice, awaiting the return of her husband, Nick Arnstein, from prison, reflects on their life together, with their story told through flashbacks.


Sheridan Smith stars as Fanny Brice with further casting to be announced.


Funny Girl is a musical with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill.

The London creative team is yet to be announced.


Coming soon

Sheridan’s a Funny Girl

June 18, 2015 

Sheridan’s a Funny Girl – Sheridan Smith is to star in a Menier Chocolate Factory production of Funny Girl

It seems the Menier Chocolate Factory have a secret Barbra Streisand crush. Hot on the heels of the hilariously funny Buyer and Cellar starring Michael Urie they are now planning a production of Funny Girl – starring no less than National Treasure in the making Sheridan Smith.  It’s a tall order taking on a role made famous by Barbra Streisand but with her comic timing, beautiful voice and love of musical theatre Smith would make a brilliant Fanny Brice.

Whilst Smith is reportedly still in negotiations, one issue is what happens to the show after the Menier run – the Menier and the Broadway director Michael Mayer would like it to live on however the West End rights are owned by Sonia Freedman productions. No doubt these ‘minor’ details will be ironed out and you can expect to see Smith singing memories at the Chocolate Factory later this year. Bring on Christmas!


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Buyer and Cellar at the Menier Chocolate Factory starring Michael Urie

September 8, 2014 

Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie stars in hit US comedy Buyer and Cellar at the Menier Chocolate Factory.


Following a smash-hit New York run and major US tour, hilarious one-man comedy Buyer and Cellar comes to the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2015 for a strictly limited season.

Written by Jonathan Tolins (Queer as Folk), Buyer And Cellar stars Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying) as Alex More, for which Michael won the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show.

This outrageous comedy tells the story of an out-of-work actor working in Barbra Streisand’s personal shopping mall in the basement of her California home.

Buyer and Cellar, directed by Stephen Brackett, runs at the Menier Chocolate from 12 March to 2 May 2015.


“I tell you to GO. The most talked about new comedy of the season!” New York Times
“It’s a small masterpiece.” The Observer (US)
“Alex is played by Michael Urie, a performer of enormous charm and warmth who can also whip out fine dramatic acting when required.” Time Out New York
“This play deserves a hearty, ‘Hello, gorgeous.” NY Daily News
“Fantastically funny” New York Post


MICHAEL URIE (Alex More) originated the role of Alex in Buyer & Cellar at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and its Barrow Street Theatre transfer and received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
His New York theatre credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), The Cherry Orchard (CSC), Angels in America (Signature), The Temperamentals (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards, Drama League nomination), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull), Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Urie has worked for The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and TheBlank (L.A.)
Film credits include He’s Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, the upcoming Such Good People, The Hyperglot (director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer).
TV credits include The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, Partners and Marc St. James on Ugly Betty. Training: Juilliard.


Oscars 2013: Stage set for tribute to Musicals

February 23, 2013 

Excitement is mounting for this year’s Oscars, with the 85th Academy Awards held this Sunday 24 February 2013 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.

Rolling out the red carpet for this year's Oscars, outside the Dolby Theater in LA

Rolling out the red carpet for this year’s Oscars, outside the Dolby Theater in LA

And this year the awards show will include a special celebration of Musicals of the last decade, which will provide an ideal opportunity to celebrate the global success of the Les Miserables movie, and experience a show-stopping segment that will feature a who’s who of musicals talent.

Cameron Mackintosh and his team have flown to LA to oversee the Les Mis segment of the show, with the movie up for 8 awards including Best Picture, Best Actor in a leading role for Hugh Jackman and Best Actress in a supporting role for Anne Hathaway.

The producers of the musicals celebration are Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have put together the tribute to include special highlights from Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Misérables.

Performers of the musicals will include Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand, Dame Shirley Bassey and Norah Jones. Chicago cast members Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones will reunite for the musical segment alongside the cast of Les Miserbales including Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Dolby Theater in LA - setting of this year's Oscars

The Dolby Theater in LA – setting of this year’s Oscars

Kristin Chenoweth will also join Oscars host Seth MacFarlane for a special musical number as a finale to the show.

And to continue the musicals theme, Michael Feinstein – often dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” – will take the stage on Sunday at the Academy’s official post-Oscar bash, the Governors Ball.

Presenters of this year’s Oscars will include Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas, Jamie Foxx, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek Pinault, Melissa McCarthy, Liam Neeson, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Wahlberg, Ted and “Marvel’s THE AVENGERS” cast members Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo, Jean Dujardin, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron.

The producers of the musicals celebration, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, have produced a breathtaking variety of movies and TV shows, with films including The Bucket List, Footloose, Hairspray, and Chicago which won six Oscars including Best Picture. For TV they produced Steel Magnolias, Life with Judy Garland and A Raisin in the Sun, plus Smash and Drop Dead Diva. And on Broadway they produced the successful revivals of Promises, Promises with Kristin Chenoweth and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Daniel Radcliffe.

The biggest open question that remains is, will Beyonce, Anika Noni Rose and Eddie Murphy join already confirmed Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Foxx for the Dreamgirls tribute? We will have to wait and see!


Oscar Conversations: Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne and the cast of Les Miserables interviewed ahead of the Academy Awards


Official Oscars website

ABC Oscars website

New kid on the square

May 19, 2009 

The West End’s newest venue The Leicester Square Theatre is proving to be a comedy hit

Leicester Square Theatre

The newest theatre to arrive on the London scene is the Leicester Square Theatre, slap bang in the heart of Theatreland. And its combination of comfort and clever programming is proving a hit with a diverse audience of theatregoers.

Fast becoming the home of comedy and cabaret, the 400 seater venue reopened last summer. Originally a Ballroom and then a church hall, the theatre has had over £600,00 spent on it to ensure it ranks as one of the most comfortable venues in London, with cinema style seating and two bars within the auditorium.

A blazing new line-up over the next few months sees a host of international talent from theatre, cabaret and comedy including current show Stop Messing About – which ends this Saturday 24 May. Billed as the Kenneth Williams extravaganza, and from the people behind Round The Horne… Revisited, it’s a brilliantly funny show set during a BBC radio recording featuring Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims and Hugh Paddick.

Other forthcoming attractions worthy of note include controversial American comic Sandra Bernhard, hitting London hard with an updated revival of her sensational standup show Without You I’m Nothing. Also burlesque queen Miss Polly Rae is back with her Hurly Burly Girlys and lots of special guests. Camp extravaganzas featuring Jim Bailey as Judy Garland, and Steven Brinberg and Rick Skye as Barbra and Liza Live, promise nights of untold glamour and unashamed diva worship. Comedy club Just The Tonic has been touring successfully for 15 years and already has a home in Nottingham, and has now set up in London on Saturdays at 10pm featuring an impressive line-up of both new and established comedians. Finally Sammy J brings his hit Edinburgh show In The Forest of Dreams to London for a strictly limited run, featuring 14 puppets that are strictly for adults!

Westendtheatre.com offers discount tickets at many of the Leicester Square Theatre’s shows including Stop Messing About, Sandra Bernhard, Just the Tonic Comedy Club and Jim Bailey as Judy Garland. See below for details.


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