January 20, 2014
Here’s our regular update from Broadway, featuring some British big-hitters making it big across the pond including Daniel Radcliffe transferring London hit The Cripple of Inishmaan; Emma Thompson starring in Sweeney Todd; Hugh Jackson taking over where Dominic West left off in Jez Butterworth’s The River; Amy Adams belting out Wicked hits in a gay bar; Bradley Cooper coming to Broadway in The Elephant Man; and Disney’s animated hit Frozen coming to Broadway (and maybe the West End!)
Hugh Jackman is coming back to Broadway – in Royal Court play The River, Jez Butterworth’s latest work which starred Dominic West and Miranda Raison in the 2012 London production. Hugh said on his Instagram account: “What you read in the NY Post is true. Not sure exactly when, but I’m really excited. A great team for The River… Can’t wait to tread the boards again!!!” The news follows Hugh pulling out of much-discussed but much-delayed Broadway musical Houdini.
Michael Grandage is to take his hit production of The Cripple of Inishmaan to Broadway, and is taking the star Daniel Radcliffe with him. Martin McDonagh’s black comedy is coming to the Cort Theater in New York from 12 April 2014. Dan is a Broadway veteran having taken Equus to New York and starred in musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Disney’s latest animated hit Frozen is next up on Disney’s list of shows to put on Broadway – and hopefully London. Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company’s CEO, told Fortune magazine that he plans to bring the Golden Globe winner to the stage, although there’s no set date for the premiere. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, the movie featured the voices of a number of Broadway actors including Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff. Frozen’s score was penned by The Book of Mormon’s Robert Lopez and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez – sounds like it’s going to be a big Broadway hit! Disney’s latest show, Aladdin, starring the dishy Adam Jacobs kicks off on 26 February.
Emma Thompson is to star as Mrs Lovett in a concert of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at Avery Fisher Hall in New York (5 – March 2014). She will star alongside Welshman Bryn Terfel as Sweeney, plus Christian Borle, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Kyle Brenn, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Erin Mackey and Philip Quast.
American Hustle star Bradley Cooper is set for a Broadway stint. He is going to feature in The Elephant Man directed by Scott Ellis, resurrecting his role as John Merrick in Bernard Pomerance’s play.
Bradley Cooper’s American Hustle co-star Amy Adams sang Wicked anthem Defying Gravity in a gay karaoke bar in LA last week! She is tipped to star in the forthcoming Wicked movie – maybe this was her audition!
November 20, 2013
The joyous, fast-paced, feel-good family musical with amazing choreography and music by Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast), Newsies is a Broadway mega-hit.
Another huge hit from Disney, Newsies is the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner great for families.
Inspired by the Disney movie, Newsies features a script by Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots) and a score by Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast).
THE STORY: Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the tale of Jack Kelly, a newsboy and leader of a ragged band of ‘newsies,’ who dreams of a better life. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.
November 20, 2013
Experience the circle of life as Disney’s beloved film The Lion King comes to eye-popping life onstage on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre.
Based on the 1994 Disney movie, The Lion King is one of the greatest and most successful Broadway musicals of all time.
Directed by Julie Taymor, and featuring a visual feast of costumes and sets, The Lion King won six Tony Awards and features music by Elton John (Billy Elliot) and lyrics by Time Rice (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar).
With songs from the movie including “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, The Lion King is a visually spectacular show that has extraordinary warmth, passion and drama.
THE STORY: The lion cub Simba, who is born in the African heartland, is destined to become king. But evil interferes: The devious uncle Scar slays Simba’s father, King Mufasa, and blames it on the young cub. Simba, deeply sad and ashamed, goes into self-exile. As Simba wanders the jungle, he grows into a lion, and eventually returns to reclaim the throne. A jealous brother who kills the king and banishes the young prince? Yes, it’s Hamlet of the animal kingdom.
Filming begins for Disney’s Into the Woods movie starring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden
September 29, 2013
Principal photography started in England last week for Disney’s new movie version of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
West End stage stars Frances de la Tour, Simon Russell-Beale and Joanna Riding get parts in the movie.
The big-budget new Hollywood version of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical Into the Woods has gone in to production in the UK.
The A-list movie will get a Christmas Day 2014 release and stars Meryl Streep as the Witch, Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife, James Corden as the Baker, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother, Christine Baranski as Cinderellas’ Stepmother, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel and Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince.
In addition to Blunt and Corden, a number of British West End stage and film actors are included in the movie including Frances de la Tour as the Giant, Simon Russell Beale as the Baker’s Father, Annette Crosbie as Grandmother, Richard Glover as the Steward, and Joanna Riding as Cinderella’s Mother.
Frances de la Tour was recently in Alan Bennett’s People at the National Theatre. Simon Russell Beale has just completed Pinter’s The Hothouse at the Trafalgar Studios and will play King Lear at the National Theatre this January directed by Sam Mendes. Joanna Riding was recently in The Pajama Game in Chichester and has been cast in the forthcoming new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre.
Shooting for Into the Woods started at Dover Castle in Kent last week and included James Corden, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine.
Disney has released the first official image for the movie, featuring Meryl Streep as the Witch.
Chicago director Rob Marshall is helming the film, with cinematography by Dion Beebe, film editing by Wyatt Smith, production design by John Myhre and costume design by Colleen Atwood.
The movie is based on composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s much-loved musical twist on the Brothers Grimm’s fairytales, with a screenplay by James Lapine who wrote the show’s original book. Sondheim has written a brand new song for the musical.
INTO THE WOODS CASTING
The all-star cast includes:
- Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “August: Osage County”) as the Witch
- Emily Blunt (“Looper,” “The Young Victoria,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) as the Baker’s Wife
- James Corden (Broadway’s “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Gavin & Stacey”) as the Baker
- Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect,” “Up in the Air”) as Cinderella
- Chris Pine (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Jack Ryan”) as Cinderella’s Prince
- Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “The Lone Ranger,” “Sweeney Todd”) as the Wolf
- Lilla Crawford (Broadway’s “Annie”) as Little Red Riding Hood
- Daniel Huttlestone (“Les Misérables”) as Jack
- Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother
- Christine Baranski (“Mamma Mia!,” “Chicago” “The Good Wife”) as Cinderellas’ Stepmother
- MacKenzie Mauzy (“Brother’s Keeper,” Broadway’s “Next to Normal”) as Rapunzel
- Billy Magnussen (Broadway’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The East”) as Rapunzel’s Prince
June 10, 2012
Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure, a fun-filled tour to four exciting destinations – and four of Disney’s most-loved films.
Filled with your favourite Disney friends, join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a journey into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch.
Discover Ariel and Sebastian’s enchanting undersea kingdom; visit the Pride Lands with Simba and Nala; soar through starry skies with Peter Pan and his sassy fairy friend Tinker Bell; and say “aloha” to fun with Lilo and Stitch.
A magical journey for all ages, Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure will visit Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and London.
London: Wembley Arena
28 December 2012 – 6 January 2013
October 19, 2010
The Lion King is the acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s successful animated film. Directed and designed by Julie Taymor, the spectacular show has won a slate of awards including six Tony Awards.
Disney’s The Lion King Celebrates 10 years in London
Video trailer for Disney’s The Lion King – in stunning HD
July 29, 2010
The Lion King is Disney’s spectacular and multi award-winning musical based on the hit animated film, now playing at the Lyceum Theatre in London.
Directed by the Tony award-winning Julie Taymor (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Disney’s The Lion King is one of the most imaginative and beautiful musicals to ever be staged. A huge hit around the world, the show is a spectacular visual feast that transports audiences young and old into the gloriously colourful world of the Serengeti Plains of Africa.
Using magical puppetry, costumes and sets, a dazzling world is evoked as the powerful story of Simba the lion is told, as he embarks on an epic adventure from wide-eyed cub to fulfil his destiny as the King of the Pridelands.
Featuring Oscar winning music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, The Lion King promises an extraordinary, magical trip to the theatre.
Disney’s The Lion king opened at the Lyceum Theatre on 19 October 1999.
“A ROARING SUCCESS” Evening Standard
“AS FRESH AND SOUL-STIRRING AS EVER” Telegraph
February 14, 2010
The Lion King is the much loved musical stage adaptation of Disney’s hugely successful animated film.
When the young lion prince Simba is born, his evil uncle Scar is pushed back to second in line to the throne. Unimpressed with his future prospects, Scar plots to kill both Simba and his father, the lion King Mufasa, becoming king in the process. Young Simba survives the heinous plot but is led to believe that his father died because of him. Devastated, he flees the kingdom and soon finds a carefree life. But without a real king, the pride soon falls on hard times and a hero is needed to bring back prosperity.
Released in 1994, The Lion King is one of Disney’s most popular modern movies. At the 1995 Oscars it won the awards for Best Music: Original Score for Hans Zimmer’s score and Best Music: Original Song for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Two of the film’s other songs – Circle Of Life and Hakuna Matata – were also nominated. Both score and songs feature in the stage musical adaptation, along with some new material.
The show is directed by Julie Taymor, who also designed the Olivier award winning costumes which transform the stage of the Lyceum theatre into the African plains, occupied by lions, giraffes, birds, zebras, hyenas and even a stampede of wildebeest.
The Lion King won six Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway and was nominated for eight Laurence Olivier Awards.
‘You hope all nights in the theatre will be like this!’Daily Mail.
‘It lights up the West End with a blaze of fabulous imagination’Evening Standard.
January 4, 2010
The West End’s longest running shows
Last month Disney’s The Lion King became the ninth longest-running musical in West End history. The show, which plays at the Lyceum Theatre, pushed Cameron Mackintosh’s hit production of Miss Saigon off the spot, when it played its 4,265th performance on 18 December 2009.
The Lion King is one of only five musicals in theatre history to play for ten years or more on both Broadway and the West End, and the Broadway production also stands as the ninth longest running musical on the Great White Way.
In London the show has been by more than 8 million people and has won a slate of international awards.
It has quite a way to go to beat the longest running musical on the West End’s stage, Les Miserables, which originally opened at the Barbican Theatre on 8 October 1985. The show is closely followed by Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, which is in its 24th year in the West End – and still at its original venue, Her Majesty’s Theatre. Lloyd-Webber must be hoping his sequel to The Phantom, Love Never Dies, is as much of a success. And it’s looking good given that the show has already taken around £8 million in ticket sales, with previews not starting at the Adelphi Theatre until 20 February.
Of course, all of the musicals on the longest-running list pale in to insignificance compared to the longest-running show on the London stage: The Mousetrap, which opened on the 25 November 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre and is still going strong 57 years later at the St Martin’s Theatre.
The West End’s longest-running musicals:
1. Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre – opened 8 October 1985 originally at the Barbican Theatre
2. The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre – opened 9 October 1986
3. Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre – opened 28 July 1988 originally at the Albery Theatre
4. Cats – opened 11 May 1981 at the New London Theatre and closed 11 May 2002
5. Starlight Express – opened 27 March 1984 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and closed 12 January 2002
6. Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre – opened 18 November 1997 originally at the Adelphi Theatre
7. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story – opened 12 October 1989 at the Victoria Palace Theatre, transferred to the Novello (formerly the Strand) Theatre October 1995 and closed 19 May 2002
8. Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre – opened 6 April 1999 originally at the Prince Edward Theatre
9. Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre – opened 19 October 1999
10. Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – opened 20 September 1989 and closed 30 October 1999
The West End’s longest-running plays or entertainment shows:
1. The Mousetrap at the St Martin’s Theatre – opened 25 November 1952 originally at the Ambassadors Theatre
2. No Sex Please, We’re British at the Strand Theatre – opened 3 June 1971 and closed 16 January 1987
3. The Black and White Minstrel Show at the Victoria Palace Theatre – opened in 1962 and closed about 1972
4. Aldwych Farces at the Aldwych Theatre – opened in 1925 and closed in 1933
5. There’s A Girl In My Soup at the Globe Theatre – opened in June 1966 and closed in 1973