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X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical!

March 15, 2013 

Premieres London Spring 2014

Written by Harry Hill & Steve Brown and Directed by Sean Foley

Stage Entertainment UK and Syco Entertainment are delighted to announce they willopen their brand new musical comedy X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical!, in London’s West End in early 2014.

X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical! goes behind the microphone and under the judges’ desk to reveal the (not necessarily accurate) story of heartache and laughter that keeps millions tuning in every week. In turn irreverent, anarchic and yet strangely touching XFactor – It’s Time To Face The Musical! is an affectionate poke at the world’s most talked about talent show that will please fans and knockers of The X Factor in equal measure.

Meet Chenice who lives in an ITV blackspot because herGrandad’s iron lung interferes with the signal in her caravan, and the only girl in the world who has never heard of The X Factor. When she accidentally stumbles into the audition queue with her talking dog, she starts a journey to both stardom and love. Along the way she’s joined by contestants with vastly varying degrees of ability, some judges you might well recognise and Max, a handsome ukulele playing plumber and part time eco-warrior.

Featuring 19 new songs with music and lyrics from Steve Brown (Evening Standard and Critics Circle Best Musical award winner for Spend Spend Spend. TV includes Spitting Image, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, TV Burp), with book and lyrics by Harry Hill (Three BAFTAs, seven British Comedy Awards and a Golden Rose of Montreux) and directed by double Olivier Award winner Sean Foley (Co-founder of The Right Size; Do You Come Here Often?, The Play What I Wrote and Ducktastic. West End includes The Ladykillers and What The Butler Saw), X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical! promises a lid-lifting theatrical rollercoaster ride behind the scenes at the mother of all singing competitions.

The creative team is completed by
• Choreographer Kate Prince (Founder of Zoonation; Into The Hoods and Some Like It Hip Hop, LondonHandover Ceremony at Beijing 2008 Olympics)
• Designer Es Devlin (Multiple West End and Broadway credits. Creative Director for Take That, Kanye West and Pet Shop Boys stadium tours. Designer for London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony)
• Sound Designer Gareth Owen (Tony Award nominee. Credits include A Little Night Music, End of the Rainbow, Saturday Night Fever)
• Lighting Designer Hugh Vanstone (Three time Olivier Award winner. Credits include Spamalot, Shrek, Bombay Dreams, God of Carnage)
• Musical Supervisor Phillip Bateman (Billy Elliot, Our House, Vernon God Little)

Stage Entertainment is one of the world’s largest theatrical producers and venue owners, with bases across Europe and in New York. UK credits include Hairspray, Sister Act, Oliver!, Disney’s High School Musical 1 & 2 and Fame. Along with X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical! the company is also developing a new stage adaptation of the hit British film Made In Dagenham.

Syco Entertainment is a leading global music, television, film and digital production company. Syco is a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, with offices in London and Los Angeles. Syco’s television and music assets include leading global franchises The X Factor and Got Talent, as well as artists as diverse as One Direction, James Arthur, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Il Divo, Labrinth, Loveable Rogues, Ella Henderson, Tate Stevens, Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony. Syco are also co-producers of the forthcoming One Direction movie.

The X Factor launched in 2004 in the UK airing on ITV1. The X Factor’s 2010 finale achieving a peak of 21.2 million viewers. The 2011 finale, held at Wembley Arena in front of a live audience of 12,000, was the most watched entertainment TV show of the year. The winner of 2012’s X Factor, James Arthur, has sold more than a million copies of his debut single ‘Impossible’, making it the fastest selling single of last year. Other artists to emerge from the X Factorinclude the world’s biggest pop group One Direction and Leona Lewis, who has sold more than 20 million records to date.

The X Factor launched in the US in the fall of 2011 on Fox, immediately becoming the No 1 unscripted show of the season. Season 2 of The X Factor was the #1 most social TV show of 2012, with the season premier having 1.4MM social comments, making it the most talked about premier for a TV series ever (Source: Bluefin Labs). The US version of The X Factor airs in 166 countries. Local versions of The X Factor are now produced in more than 42 territories and artists discovered by The X Factor format have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 110 No 1’s, 270 Top 10 records, and 500 Top 50 releases.

Release issued by: Target Live

Tony Awards tonight

June 13, 2010 

The annual Tony Awards will be announced tonight, Sunday 13 June 2010, at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Sean Hayes, presenting this year's Tony awards

The star-studded event will be hosted by Sean Hayes, best known as Jack from Will & Grace and currently starring in Promises, Promises on Broadway.

The awards, the most important in the US arts calendar, will feature performances from current Broadway shows including American Idiot, Fela!, Memphis, Million Dollar Quartet, La Cage aux Folles, A Little Night Music and Ragtime. Star presenters will include Katie Holmes, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Angela Lansbury, Mark Sanchez, Daniel Radcliffe, Barbara Cook, Stanley Tucci, Idina Menzel and Laura Bell Bundy!

Other appearances and performances will include Glee’s Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison, Paula Abdul, Antonio Banderas, Cate Blanchett, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Douglas, Scarlett Johansson, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, Chris Noth, Bernadette Peters, Raquel Welch and David Hyde Pierce, who will receive a special Tony Award and is slated to appear in London next month in La Bete at the Comedy Theatre.

Shows up for awards this year include a revival of August Wilson’s Fences starring Denzel Washington (10nominations); Broadway musical Fela! (11 nominations) – and which makes its UK premiere at the National Theatre in November; and nods for a number of high-profile Hollywood stars including Christopher Walken (Behanding in Spokane), Liev Schreiber (A View From The Bridge), and Scarlett Johansson (A View from the Bridge).

Glee's Lea Michele rehearsing on Friday for the Tony Awards

Recent Broadway musical The Addams Family starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, failed to find favour with the Tony awards committee, scoring only two nominations – best original score and best supporting actor in a musical for Kevin Chamberlin.

UK creatives or shows have garned 28 nominations this year. The Menier Chocolate Factory in South London will be awaiting news on two of its successful productions that have transferred to Broadway and received 15 Tony nominations:  La Cage Aux Folles opened at the Longacre Theatrein April to enormous critical acclaim. The show features original London star Douglas Hodge and US actor Kelsey Grammer, both of whom have been nominated in the best actor in a musical category. In total the show has picked up 11 nominations, including best revival of a musical, scenic design (Tim Shortall), costume design  (Matthew Wright),  lighting design (Nick Richings), sound design (Jonathan Deans), direction (Terry Johnson), choreography (Lynne Page), orchestrations (Jason Carr) and best supporting actor (Robin De Jesus).

Also A Little Night Music, which started life at the Menier in 2008 before transferring to the Garrick theatre in the West End, opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr theatre in December 2009. It has picked up 4 nominations, including competing against La Cage in the best musical revival category, and nods for Catherine Zeta-Jones (best actress in a musical), Angela Lansbury (best supporting actress in a musical), and sound design (Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen).

Douglas Hodge and Kelsey Grammer in La Cage Aux Folles

Other nominated UK shows include the Donmar Warehouse’s transfer of Red which enjoys 7 nominations including best play, best actor for Alfred Molina, best supporting actor for Eddie Redmayne, and best scenic design (Christopher Oram), lighting design (Neil Austin), sound design (Adam Cork) and direction (Michael Grandage). The Donmar production of Hamlet sees a nod for Jude Law and best lighting design of a play for Neil Austin. And the Royal Court’s production of Enron, which failed on Broadway but continues to sell well in London is nominated for best original score (music by Adam Cork and lyrics by Lucy Prebble), best supporting actor for Stephen Kunken, best sound design (Adam Cork) and best lighting design (Mark Henderson). Also veteran UK actress Rosemary Harris also received a best supporting nod for The Royal Family and one of the UK’s greatest living playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn, will receive a lifetime achievement award.

US viewers can watch the awards on CBS from 8pm ET. Selected countries are also airing the awards over the next week, although not in the UK. TonyAwards.com will only be featuring live footage of the red carpet arrivals and Creative Arts Awards from 6pm until 8pm ET.

See a list of Tony Award 2010 nominations here

www.tonyawards.com

Dave Willets cast in Aspects of Love

June 9, 2010 

Musical theatre veteran Dave Willets has been cast as George in the new Menier Chocolate Factory production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love.

With book and lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart, Aspects of Love will see the return of director Trevor Nunn to the Menier after his enormous success with A Little Night Music, currently starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury on Broadway. Nunn also directed the original West End production of the show in 1989 at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Willets has worked with Trevor Nunn before, notably playing Jean Val Jean in Nunn’s RSC production of Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre. He is also no stranger to Andew Lloyd Webber’s work having covered most major roles including the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican, Old Deuteronomy in Cats and was Olivier award nominated for his recent performance as Max von Mayerling in Sunset Boulevard at the Comedy Theatre. Other roles include Major Lee in Someone Like You at the Strand Theatre, Zero Janvier in Tim Rice’s Tycoon, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Jekyll, Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Julian Marsh in 42nd Street and numerous national and international concert tours.

Joining Willets will Michael Arden and Katherine Kingsley in the lead roles of Alex and Rose, alongside Rosalie Craig as Giulietta, Martyn Ellis as Marcel, Rebecca Brewer as Jenny, and Jill Armour, Louisa Lydell, Ian McLarnon, David Roberts, Savannah Stevenson, Dominic Tighe and Rebecca Trehearn.

The Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical will premiere at the venue from7 July, with designs by David Farley, choreography by Lynne Page, lighting by Paul Pyant, musical supervision by Caroline Humphris, orchestrations by David Cullen and sound by Gareth Owen.

The show is based on David Garnett’s novel and tells the story of passion, love and loss across three generations of a family and their companions set against the background of 1940’s France and Italy.  Alex Dillingham, a young student travelling through France, falls in love with the alluring actress Rose Vibert.  As the pair embark on a passionate affair, the unexpected arrival of Alex’s uncle changes their lives forever.  A love story spanning twenty years binding six people and three generations as they come to appreciate that love changes everything.

Young American actor Michael Arden has appeared in Big River and The Times They Are A-Changing on Broadway, and off Broadway productions of Swimming in the Shallows, Bare, Ace, God of Vengeance, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale and The Secret Garden.  TV roles include Bones, Numbers and Grey’s Anatomy.

UK actress Katherine Kingsley is currently starring in the UK tour of The 39 Steps, and other credits include Piaf (Olivier Award nomination), The Truth Will Out, The Black and White Ball, Hobson’s Choice, High Society and The Canterbury Tales. On-screen work includes The Bill, Hollyoaks and Casualty.

Book tickets to Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory

La Cage dominates Tony nominations

May 7, 2010 

The UK’s Menier Chocolate Factory has scored another hit with its production of La Cage Aux Folles – this time on Broadway.

La Cage Aux Folles starring Douglas Hodge and Kelsey Grammer

The small South London arts venue has dominated this year’s Tony Awards nominations – with a total of 15 nods. Its musical productions of Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music have both garnered multiple nominations for their Broadway transfers.

La Cage Aux Folles premiered at the Chocolate Factory in 2008 before transferring the Playhouse Theatre in London, and opened at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway last month to enormous critical acclaim.

The show features original London star Douglas Hodge and US actor Kelsey Grammer, both of whom have been nominated in the best actor in a musical category. In total the show has picked up 11 nominations, including best revival of a musical, scenic design (Tim Shortall), costume design  (Matthew Wright),  lighting design (Nick Richings), sound design (Jonathan Deans), direction (Terry Johnson), choreography (Lynne Page), orchestrations (Jason Carr) and best supporting actor (Robin De Jesus).

A Little Night Music, which started life at the Menier in 2008 before transferring to the Garrick theatre in the West End, opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr theatre in December 2009. It has picked up 4 nominations, including competing against La Cage in the best musical revival category, and nods for Catherine Zeta-Jones (best actress in a musical), Angela Lansbury (best supporting actress in a musical), and sound design (Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen).

Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music

Overall, it has been a successful year for the UK on Broadway, with a total of 28 nominations going to UK creatives. Other celebrated UK shows include the Donmar Warehouse’s transfer of Red which enjoys 7 nominations including best play, best actor for Alfred Molina, best supporting actor for Eddie Redmayne, and best scenic design (Christopher Oram), lighting design (Neil Austin), sound design (Adam Cork) and direction (Michael Grandage).

The Donmar also saw its production of Hamlet garner a best actor nod for Jude Law and best lighting design of a play for Neil Austin.

The Royal Court’s production of Enron, which transferred to Broadway but was not well received and has closed early at the Broadhurst Theatre, was nominated for best original score (music by Adam Cork and lyrics by Lucy Prebble), best supporting actor for Stephen Kunken, best sound design (Adam Cork) and best lighting design (Mark Henderson). Enron is currently playing to strong audiences in London at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Veteran UK actress Rosemary Harris also received a best supporting nod for The Royal Family and one of the UK’s greatest living playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn, will receive a lifetime achievement award.

Other big hitters nominated this year include a revival of August Wilson’s Fences starring Denzel Washington (10 nominations); Broadway musical Fela! (11 nominations) – and which makes its UK premiere at the National Theatre in November; and nods for a number of high-profile Hollywood stars including Christopher Walken (Behanding in Spokane), Liev Schreiber (A View From The Bridge), and Scarlett Johansson (A View from the Bridge).

Recent Broadway musical The Addams Family starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, failed to find favour with the Tony awards committee, scoring only two nominations – best original score and best supporting actor in a musical for Kevin Chamberlin.

The 64th awards will be presented on 13 July in New York.

See a list of Tony Award 2010 nominations here

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