October 18, 2013
Our weekly photo news round-up of what is happening on Broadway.
Daniel Evans in a gay version of Company, Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Wicked celebrates its 10th anniversary, The Lion King tops the billion mark and more.
Daniel Evans in Gay Company
Our very own Daniel Evans, actor extraordinaire and artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, is in New York this week for a rather exciting project. The New York Times reports that the British director of Once, John Tiffany, is directing Dan as Bobby in a revised version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company. Not hugely exciting in itself given that Daniel starred as Bobby in an acclaimed Sheffield production in 2011. BUT Sondheim and Tiffany are reworking Bobby to be a gay man – something that always seemed present in the show as Bobby struggled with various commitment issues (he just hadn’t found the right girl!)
They are running a private rehearsal of the show in New York today, Friday 18 October, and depending on how this goes the Roundabout Theater Company may stage a production. Evans will be in good company in the rehearsal as the Lady Who Lunches, Joanne, is to be played by Alan Cumming, with Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie also joining the fun.
Given Daniel’s commitments in the UK (he directs Oliver! at the Crucible this Christmas), here’s hoping it will arrive here soon. David Babani at the Menier – get to it!
Neil Patrick Harris Gets Angry
Neil Patrick Harris is getting angry! And not just because he isn’t doing the Company rehearsal as a Gay Bobby (NPH was superb in the concert staging in 2011 with the New York Philharmonic alongside Patti LuPone and others). He is gearing up to give us his Hedwig in the big new revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. Directed by Michael Mayer, the new Broadway revival of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s 1998 rock musical sees NPH as a transgender rocker from East Berlin.
The How I Met Your Mother and Toy Awards star is getting dragged up to his sparkly eyebrows and the show promises to be the most talked about musical of the Spring on Broadway.
Ten Wicked Years
How has it been TEN YEARS since Wicked hit Broadway and sparked a global greenfest? The show kicked off at the Gershwin Theatre in New York on 30 October 2003 and has not stopped Defying Gravity ever since – with the London production still packing them in at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
The original stars of the show, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, have just joined a 10 Year Reunion feature for Entertainment Weekly and look as fine as they did a decade ago as the Wicked witches.
Box-Office Big Beasts
The Lion King has just topped a money milestone on the Great White Way by grossing more than $1 billion – the first Broadway musical in history to top this figure.
That means it has taken more than the worldwide gross of the original movie. The show is already Broadway’s highest-grossing show of all time, topping The Phantom of the Opera last April. Phantom is still Broadway’s longest-running musical though, with The Lion King coming in fifth – but about to topple Les Miserable to gain fourth place.
The Lion King also continues to rake it in at the Lyceum Theatre in London and is currently celebrating its birthday having opened on 19th October 1999. Happy 14th birthday.
More Broadway Banter
- JAMES FRANCO: Looks like James Franco is going to make his Broadway debut this spring – as George in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
- TONI COLLETTE: Also this Spring it seems that Toni Collette is also going to hit Broadway, in Will Eno comedy The Realistic Joneses alongside Dexter’s Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei.
May 29, 2013
Actor Ashley Zhangazha has won first prize in this year’s Ian Charleson Awards, for his performance as Ross in Macbeth at the Crucible, Sheffield.
Ashley Zhangazha, who trained at Guildhall, was said to be “thrilled” to have won the award. Ashley is currently appearing alongside Lenny Henry in Fences at the Duchess Theatre.
Directed by Daniel Evans, the Crucible production of Macbeth ran from September to October last year. Ashley Zhangazha was also nominated for the 2010 awards for his performance in King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse.
The Second Prize at this year’s awards went to Amy Morgan for her role as Margery Pinchwife in The Country Wife at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, the Third Prize to Lara Rossi as Dol Common in The Alchemist at the Liverpool Playhouse, and the Special Commendation went to Vanessa Kirby in the role of Masha in Three Sisters at the Young Vic.
The awards were announced at a lunch ceremony at the National Theatre on 24 May 2013. Run jointly by the National Theatre and the Sunday Times, the Ian Charleson Awards celebrate the best UK performances by actors under 30 in a classical role.
The annual awards were established in 1991 in memory of the actor Ian Charleson who died in 1990 from AIDS.
This year’s jury consisted of Michael Grandage, Geraldine James, John Peter and Wendy Spon.
April 28, 2013
Simon Beaufoy has adapted his Oscar-nominated screenplay of The Full Monty into an hilarious new play, running at the Noel Coward in the West End from 20 February 2014.
Based on the smash-hit film, the stage play features songs from the movie by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones.
Directed by Daniel Evans for Sheffiled Theatres, with design by Robert Jones and choreography by Steven Hoggett, the show will star Kenny Doughty as Gaz, Craig Gazey as Lumper, Simon Rouse as Gerald, Keiran O’Brien as Guy, Roger Morlidge as Dave and Sidney Cole as Horse. Other parts are played by Scott Anson, Tracy Brabin, Caroline Carver, Eamonn Fleming, Elaine Glover, Rachel Lumberg, Ian Mercer.
“The play received a riotous reception in Sheffield earlier this year, and looks all set to be a smash-hit in London” Sunday Times
“A total blast” The Guardian
“Hot stuff… a monster of a show” The Daily Express
“Every inch a whopping hit… ticks all the right lunchboxes” The Daily Telegraph
“Chuffing brilliant!” The Independent
“It’s a cheeky treat” The Daily Mail
“It’s chuffing champion” Mail on Sunday
Theatre: Noel Coward Theatre
January 14, 2011
Anna Mackmin’s fun new production of Me and My Girl, which has been running over Christmas at the Sheffield Crucible (until 29 January) looks set to come to London.
Apparently the Shaftesbury Theatre is a potential home for the show, replacing Flashdance which closes this Saturday, 15 January.
Jemima Rooper stars as Sally and Daniel Crossley as Bill in a new version of Noel Gay’s classic show, alongside Miriam Margolyes as the Duchess. Mackim worked with scriptwriter Stephen Russell to give the book of the show, which was rewritten by Stephen Fry for the successful 1980s West End production, a bit more sparkle. And it seems like they have succeeded given the reviews, with the Sunday Times and Daily Mail both awarding the show 5 stars.
It has been 17 years since the Leicester Haymarket Theatre’s production left the Adelphi Theatre in London after 8 years, 3,303 performances and lots of Lambeth walking by the likes of Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson. The production made a lot of money for all concerned so it’s a canny Daniel Evans, Sheffield’s artistic director, who has resurrected it.
- Show: Me and My Girl
- Theatre: Shaftesbury Theatre
- Casting: Jemima Rooper and Daniel Crossley
- Director: Anna Mackmin
- Previously staged: Sheffield Crucible
- Opening: 2011
Note: all information is unconfirmed. Source: Daily Mail (14/01/11)
September 9, 2010
Don’t miss this excellent new series on BBC Radio 2 all about the musical.
The eight part series started on Monday, 6 September 2010, at 10pm UK time (listen again here) and each week will cover a different aspect of the world of musical theatre and its 80 year history.
The Musical is presented by a different name in musical theatre each week – with this Monday’s show voiced by award-winning actress Sian Phillips.
This first programme, “Stories with Songs”, revealed the importance of a good book – or story – in a musical, and the contradiction between this and why so few musicals choose to adapt existing stories rather than originate their own. Shows used to demonstrate include The Boy Friend, A Chorus Line, Chess, Starlight Express and Sunday In The Park With George, with lots of showbiz contributions from the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Patti Lupone, John Barrowman, Elaine Stritch, Maria Friedman, Sandy Wilson, Ruthie Henshall, Tim Rice, Elaine Paige, Marvin Hamlisch and Michael Grandage.
Episode two, “Drawn From Life” will be presented by musicals star, Sondheim aficionado and current artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, Daniel Evans, and covers some of the life-stories of real people used in musicals, from Gypsy and Evita to The King and I.
The Musical is produced by Malcolm Prince, who also produces Elaine Paige’s Sunday show on Radio 2.
A number of other theatrical documentaries will come to Radio 2 this autumn including a look at the history of the London Palladium in its centenary year.
September 6, 2010
Anna Mackmin has announced her cast for the Christmas revival of Me and My Girl at the Sheffield Crucible, opening on 2 December.
Jemima Rooper will star as Sally and Daniel Crossley as Bill in the new version of Noel Gay’s classic show, alongside Miriam Margolyes as the Duchess.
Anna Mackmin, who recently directed Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing at the Old Vic, will be directing her first musical. She is working with scriptwriter Stephen Russell to give the book of the show, which was rewritten by Stephen Fry for the successful 1980s West End production, a bit more sparkle. Choreography will be by Stephen Mear and design by Peter McKintosh.
Jemima Rooper came to prominence in Channel Four drama As If and has had numerous screen and stage roles including her current performance in All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre alongside Zoe Wanamaker and David Suchet.
Daniel Crossley, who is the partner of Sheffield artistic director Daniel Evans, is an accomplished musicals actor having appeared in high-profile shows including Mary Poppins, Chicago, Fosse and last summer’s Hello Dolly! at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park.
The show is widely tipped to head to the West End after its Sheffield run given that it has been 17 years since the Leicester Haymarket Theatre’s production left the Adelphi Theatre in London after 8 years, 3,303 performances and lots of Lambeth walking by the likes of Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson. The production made a lot of money for all concerned so it’s a canny Daniel Evans, Sheffield’s artistic director, who’s resurrecting it.
August 2, 2010
A major tribute to musicals composer Stephen Sondheim was held on Saturday, 31 July, in London to celebrate his 80th year.
The tribute was led by actress Judi Dench as part of a special Sondheim at 80 BBC Proms event at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Judi Dench reprised Send In the Clowns from A Little Night Music, which she famously performed in Sean Mathias’s 1995 production at the National Theatre, winning an Olivier award for the role.
Dench said before the event: “Singing at the Proms is not something I ever imagined I would do and it’s a hugely exciting – if slightly daunting – prospect. I believe that Stephen Sondheim is a true genius. His impact on musical theatre can never be over-stated and I’m delighted to be part of his 80th birthday celebrations at the BBC Proms.”
The concert also saw a host of Sondheim aficionados perform, including Daniel Evans and Julian Ovenden, who will resurrect their original parts in the Donmar Warehouse’s 2000 production of Merrily We Roll Along in a special concert at the Queen’s Theatre on 31 October 2010; Simon Russell Beale sang a fabulously camp Everybody Ought to Have a Maid from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and who is about to appear in Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre; and Bryan Terfel and Maria Friedman sang as Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett. Other performers included Caroline O’Connor, who will bring her one-woman show, The Showgirl Within, to the Garrick Theatre from 3 October, and Jenna Russell who will play the Baker’s wife in Sondheim’s Into The Woods at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park from this Thursday, 5 August.
Sondheim shows featured in the concert included Follies, Sunday In The Park With George, Into The Woods, The Frogs and Company.
The performers were joined by a chorus of singers from the BBC Performing Arts Fund, the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor and architect of the Prom, David Charles Abell.
Stephen Sondheim was present at the concert and gave a pre-concert talk that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
June 18, 2010
OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Actor Winners
2012 Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller for Frankenstein
2011 Roger Allam for Henry IV Parts 1 & 2
2010 Mark Rylance for Jerusalem
2009 Derek Jacobi for Twelfth Night
2008 Chiwetel Ejiofor in Othello
2007 Rufus Sewell for Rock ‘N’ Roll
2006 Brian Dennehy for Death Of A Salesman
2005 Richard Griffiths for The History Boys
2004 Matthew Kelly for Of Mice And Men
2003 Simon Russell Beale for Uncle Vanya
2002 Roger Allam for Privates On Parade
2001 Conleth Hill for Stones In His Pockets
2000 Henry Goodman for The Merchant Of Venice
1999 Kevin Spacey for The Iceman Cometh
1998 Ian Holm for King Lear
1997 Antony Sher for Stanley
1996 Alex Jennings for Peer Gynt
1995 David Bamber for My Night With Reg
1994 Mark Rylance for Much Ado About Nothing
1993 Robert Stephens for Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2)
1992 Nigel Hawthorne for The Madness Of George III
1991 Ian McKellen for Richard III
1989/90 Oliver Ford Davies for Racing Demon
1987 Michael Gambon for A View From The Bridge
1986 Albert Finney for Orphans
1985 Antony Sher for Richard III and Torch Song Trilogy
Actor of the Year in a New Play
1988 David Haig for Our Country’s Good
1984 Brian Cox for Rat In The Skull
1983 Jack Shepherd for Glengarry Glen Ross
1982 Ian McDiarmid for lnsignificance
1981 Trevor Eve for Children Of A Lesser God
1980 Roger Rees for Nicholas Nickleby
1979 Ian McKellen for Bent
1978 Tom Conti for Whose Life Is It Anyway?
1977 Michael Bryant for State Of Revolution
1976 Paul Copley for King And Country
Actor of the Year in a Revival
1988 Brian Cox for Titus Andronicus
1984 Ian McKellen for Wild Honey
1983 Derek Jacobi for Cyrano De Bergerac
1982 Stephen Moore for A Doll’s House
1981 Daniel Massey for Man And Superman
1980 Jonathan Pryce for Hamlet
1979 Warren Mitchell for Death Of A Salesman
1978 Alan Howard for Coriolanus
1977 Ian McKellen for Pillars Of The Community
1976 Alan Howard for Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2) and Henry V
Best Actor in a Musical
2012 Bertie Carvel for Matilda The Musical
2011 David Thaxton for Passion
2010 Aneurin Barnard for Spring Awakening
2009 Douglas Hodge for La Cage aux Folles
2008 Michael Ball for Hairspray
2007 Daniel Evans for Sunday In The Park With George
2006 James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower for Billy Elliot – The Musical
2005 Nathan Lane for The Producers
2004 David Bedella for Jerry Springer – The Opera
2003 Alex Jennings for My Fair Lady
2002 Philip Quast for South Pacific
2001 Daniel Evans for Merrily We Roll Along
2000 Simon Russell Beale for Candide
1999 The cast of Kat and The Kings
1998 Philip Quast for The Fix
1997 Robert Lindsay for Oliver!
1996 Adrian Lester for Company
1995 John Gordon Sinclair for She Loves Me
1994 Alun Armstrong for Sweeney Todd
1993 Henry Goodman for Assassins
1992 Alan Bennett for Talking Heads
1991 Philip Quast for Sunday In The Park With George
1989/90 Jonathan Pryce for Miss Saigon
1988 Con O’Neill for Blood Brothers
1987 John Bardon and Emil Wolk for Kiss Me Kate
1986 Michael Crawford for The Phantom Of The Opera
1985 Robert Lindsay for Me And My Girl
1984 Paul Clarkson for The Hired Man
1983 Denis Lawson for Mr. Cinders
1982 Roy Hudd for Underneath The Arches
1981 Michael Crawford for Barnum
1980 Denis Quilley for Sweeney Todd
1979 Anton Rodgers for Songbook
May 14, 2010
New productions at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, and the Derby Theatre
Much excitement at westendtheatre.com at the casting of Chichester’s new production of 42nd Street (21 June – 28 August, Festival Theatre). Directed by the Leicester Curve’s Paul Kerryson, the show will feature the fabulous Kathryn Evans (Sunset Boulevard), dishy leading man Steven Houghton and the uber-talented Tim Flavin (Crazy for You).
On a retro-musicals note, Me and My Girl will resurface in Sheffield this Christmas (from 9 December, Sheffield Crucible). It’s been a whopping 17 years since the Leicester Haymarket Theatre’s all new, Stephen Fry-revised production left the Adelphi Theatre in London after 8 years, 3,303 performances and lots of Lambeth walking by the likes of Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson. The production made a lot of money for all concerned so it’s a canny Daniel Evans, Sheffield’s artistic director, who’s resurrecting it. The show will be directed by Anna Mackmin, who’s enjoying big success at the Old Vic at the moment with her production of The Real Thing starring Toby Stephens. Choreography will be by Stephen Mear and design by Peter McKintosh.
If we begged him, do you think Daniel Evans would take the lead?
Having mentioned Robert Lindsay, he will resurrect his performance as Aristotle Onassis in Martin Sherman’s play Onassis (Derby Theatre, from 10 September). Based on the last years of the controversial Greek tycoon, the play was originally produced as Aristo at Chichester to mixed reviews but with glowing praise for Lindsay’s performance. Sherman and director Nancy Meckler have subsequently rewritten the piece.
The production will then transfer to the Novello Theatre in London in late September.
April 6, 2010
Cadogan Hall, London – 3 April 2010
Royal & Derngate, Northampton – 4 April 2010
This weekend at the Cadogan Hall in London and the Royal & Derngate in Northampton, two performances of a special concert were held to celebrate the 80th birthday of musicals composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
Stephen Sondheim is America’s, and arguably the world’s, most important living creator of musical theatre. His hallowed list of musical greats include the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy and music and lyrics to a catalogue of shows from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Anyone Can Whistle in the 1960s, big-hitting shows of the 1970s such as Company, Follies and Sweeney Todd and his later work including Sunday In The Park With George, Into The Woods, Assassins and Passion.
I caught the concert at the Royal & Derngate, and the evening was beautifully held together by musicals star Maria Friedman. Alongside musical director David Firman, she ensured that the show struck a perfect balance between providing that sense of spontaneity and “event” you want from a one-off concert, without being under-rehearsed or under-acted, which is often the curse of musicals concerts of this kind.
Friedman was greatly assisted by two heavy-weights of musical theatre: Daniel Evans, award-winning actor of both drama and musicals and long-time Sondheim aficionado, who made a welcome return to the stage during his current off-stage work as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres. And experienced musicals star Graham Bickley, who’s been in practically every large-scale musical you could name.
Cleverly, most of the first half of the show was taken up with a 45 minute ‘Sondheim lite’ version of Merrily We Roll Along, providing a great opportunity for the performers to act, something that’s necessary in any Stephen Sondheim work. It did highlight that Friedman and Evans looked more comfortable with the material, and perhaps the required acting, with Bickley slightly hesitant.
However, this was effortlessly remedied in the rest of the evening, when a medley of unashamedly crowd-pleasing Sondheim hits were showcased, each carefully chosen to fit the performer perfectly.
Highlights included Maria Friedman’s subtle and emotive performance of Losing my Mind from Follies and a joyous The Worst Pies in London from Sweeney Todd (complete with assistance from a member of the audience); Daniel Evans singing Giants in the Sky from Into the Woods and the high-speed Getting Married from Company; and Graham Bickley’s stirring and passionate rendition of Being Alive from Company. The Royal Philharmonic did a fine job, particularly their playing of the Sweeney Todd Suite.
Finally, as with all great concerts of musicals, you are left wanting more, and in this case it’s for all three performers to get back to the stage proper and give us a Sondheim show.