July 24, 2012
The West End’s annual charity fundraiser West End Bares returns this Autumn with a sporty theme.
Billed as the West End’s sexiest night of the year, a host of West End performers will bare all in support of the Make A Difference Trust, helping people living with HIV and AIDS.
This year’s theme is sport as two performances of “On Your Marks…Get Set…Strip!” will be presented on 2 September 2012 at the Cafe de Paris in London.
International Rugby Union player Ben Cohen will be joining the celebrities at this year’s event, which is directed by Darren Carnall supported by a host of choreographers and over 100 of the West Ends hottest male and female dancers.
TheatreMAD, part of the MAD Trust, produced its first West End Bares in 2010 and has raised over £85,000 for the charity through the shows.
West End Bares is inspired by the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraiser Broadway Bares, created by director Jerry Mitchell. Their recent show in June in New York, Broadway Bares – Happy Endings, raised over $1.2 million for the charity.
Tickets from £40.
May 27, 2012
Production photos of Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings character profiles
Next month sees the hotly anticipated Broadway Bares fundraiser return to New York, featuring 200 of Broadway’s sexiest dancers. This year they pay tribute to fairy tales with a decidedly burlesque twist in Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings, running on 17 June.
This 22nd edition of Broadway Bares, which was originally created by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, who also serves as executive producer, and is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, led by Producing Director Michael Graziano. This year’s edition is directed by Lee Wilkins.
Last year’s Broadway Bares XXI: Masterpiece raised $1,103,072 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS - the highest total of any edition of Bares. To date the shows have raised more than $8.6 million.
Take a sneaky peak (perv?) at some of the performers appearing in the show. And come on the Make A Difference Trust, who organise our UK equivalent – West End Bares, this year running in London on 2 September 2012 – Broadway has set the bench quite high but we know you can out-hunk them!
Sunday, June 17, 9:30 pm & Midnight, Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street, New York
Photos by Andrew Eccles: website.
Behind the scenes video:
January 25, 2012
Olivier Award-winning musical Legally Blonde, which has played at the Savoy Theatre in London since December 2009, is to close.
The show will have its final West End performance on Saturday 7 April 2012. A UK tour is currently in progress and an Australian production of the show may open later this year.
The final cast of the show, all currently starring in the musical, will be Carley Stenson as Elle, Stephen Ashfield as Emmett, Ben Freeman as Warner and Peter Davison as Professor Callahan.
Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the show is based on the hit movie Legally Blonde.
August 22, 2011
A round-up of this month’s Broadway theatre news including new productions of Funny Girl, Godspell and Death of a Salesman, and featuring stars including Hunter Parrish, Andrew Garfield, Lauren Ambrose and Darren Criss.
The Spring Awakening and Weeds star Hunter Parrish is set to play Jesus in a new Broadway production of Godspell this autumn. The show is scheduled to open at the Circle in the Square Theater on 7 November.
The British star of the new Spiderman movie, Andrew Garfield, is set to join the Broadway cast of a new production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. The revival, opening in March, will be directed by Mike Nichols and co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman and Linda Emond.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN – LITERALLY!
Big Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can, based on Steven Spielberg’s hit film, is to close at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York. The show, which will have played 170 performances, hasn’t caught on with the public and will close on 4 September. The musical was nominated for four Tonys but only won one – Norbert Leo Butz winning a Best Actor gong. Starring Broadway hunk Aaron Tveit, the show was put together by the Love Never Dies creative team of director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell… guess it ain’t their year.
Six Feet Under star Lauren Ambrose is set to play Fanny Brice in the new Broadway production of Funny Girl. Glee’s Lea Michele had been widely tipped to star in the revival of the show that made a star out of Barbra Streisand. Bartlett Sher, whose Tony award-winning production of South Pacific is currently playing at the Barbican Theatre, will direct the show.
It has been confirmed that Glee’s Darren Criss will take over from Daniel Radcliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch in the Broadway production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. The Glee star will take over on 3 January but only for an initial three week run.
March 23, 2011
From 26 April 2011 Natalie Casey will join the west end cast of the Olivier award-wining Legally Blonde The Musical to play ditzy beautician Paulette Buonofonté. She joins Susan McFadden as Elle Woods, Carley Stenson as Margot, Nicola Brazil as Serena, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne and Peter Davison as Professor Callahan. Natalie Casey takes over the role from Denise Van Outen, whose last performance will be Saturday 23 April. From mid-June Lee Mead will join the west end cast to play Emmett Forrest.
Earlier this month Legally Blonde The Musical, which opened at the Savoy Theatre in December 2009 and is currently booking until 31 March 2012, won three 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical.
College sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods doesn’t take no for an answer. So when her boyfriend Warner dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law! Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.
Natalie Casey is best known on television for playing Donna in the BBC’s Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. On stage she has been seen in The Invisible Man at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Oklahoma for Chichester Festival Theatre, Well at the Apollo Theatre, Fame at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Hobson’s Choice at the Watermill Theatre. Her other television credits include Dave Shakespeare, Missing, Hollyoaks, Head Jam, Girls Night In and Chopratown. On film she played Shirley Temple in Chicago Joe and the Showgirl.
The current full cast is Stephane Anelli (Padamadan, Nikos), Emma Bateman (Stenographer), Nicola Brazil (Serena), Thomas Camilleri (Carlos), Peter Davison (Professor Callahan) Siobhan Dillon (Vivienne Kensington), Chris Ellis-Stanton (Grandmaster Chad, Dewey, Kyle), Kimmy Edwards (Judge, Saleswoman), Alex Gaumond (Emmett), Ibinabo Jack (Pilar), Suzie McAdam (Enid), Susan McFadden (Elle Woods), Sorelle Marsh (Courtney, Mom, Whitney), Sean Mulligan (Pforzheimer), Dawn Sievewright (Kate, Chutney), Carley Stenson (Margot), Lincoln Stone (Dad, Winthrop, Reporter), Simon Thomas (Warner), Robbie Towns (Aaron), Dominic Tribuzio (Kiki), Denise Van Outen (Paulette), Tamara Wall (Brooke), Stephen Webb (Lowell) and Tara Young (District Attorney) as well as Jonathan Mawson, Jane McMurtrie, Lucy Miller, Ruthie Stephenson and Gregor Stewart as swings.
Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winning Jerry Mitchell, Legally Blonde The Musical has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, set design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound design by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke.
Legally Blonde The Musical is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G. Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Bud Martin, Adam Zotovich, Jamie Hendry Productions, Matthew Byam Shaw and Act Productions.
Release issued by: Premier PR
March 17, 2011
The show promises to be a modern-day burlesque that uses art as a theme, with 200 of Broadway’s sexiest bodies strutting their stuff on stage at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.
Art influenced posters to promote the next Broadway Bares event. From left, Matisse, Roy Lichtenstein and Michelangelo-inspired.
The show will be executive produced by Legally Blonde director and Catch Me If You Can choreographer Jerry Mitchell.
The first Broadway Bares was back in 1992 featuring seven dancers stripping on a bar to raise $8,000. In the 20 editions since, they have raised more than $7.5 million.
The UK charity TheatreMAD, part of the Make A Difference Trust, run a UK version of the event, West End Bares, which last ran in September at the Cafe de Paris, also exec produced by Jerry Mitchell. West End Bares: Strip Britannia raised nearly £42,000 for charity, and their next event is West End Eurovision on 21 April 2011 at the Piccadilly Theatre, seeing the casts of West End shows battle it out to be crowned West End Eurovision winner. Special guests will include the original Buck’s Fizz.
ABC DAYTIME EVENT
It’s worth mentioning that Broadway Cares also run an annual event for the last seven years called ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares. The Grand Finale Celebration was last week, 13 March 2011, and saw an evening of Broadway song and dance at New York City’s The Town Hall from over 20 American daytime TV stars. The event has raised $1,850,000 in total over the last few years – something for the UK charity to think about. I can easily see “ITV Salutes the West End” – would love to see the Loose Women, Emmerdale and Corrie teams giving us some showstoppers!
March 17, 2011
West End star Lee Mead is to join the hit musical Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre in London.
Mead will take over from Alex Gaumond in the role of Emmett Forrest from 20 June 2011, joining a cast that includes Susan McFadden as Elle Woods, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne and Peter Davison as Professor Callahan. Lee Mead’s wife Denise Van Outen is currently playing Paulette in the show, although may have left the production before Lee starts in the role.
Alex Gaumond, who was up for a best supporting Olivier Award this year, has been in the show since it started at the Savoy in 2009 and will leave on 18 June.
Legally Blonde recently scooped three 2011 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical for Sheridan Smith and Best Performance is a Supporting Role in a Musical for Jill Halfpenny.
Lee was last seen in the West End as Fiyero in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. He rose to fame after winning the BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do leading to a starring role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre. Other roles include The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre and UK tours of Miss Saigon and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime.
Legally Blonde is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winning Jerry Mitchell, who is currently working on big new Broadway show Catch Me If You Can.
LEGALLY BLONDE CAST LIST
Stephane Anelli (Padamadan, Nikos), Emma Bateman (Stenographer), Nicola Brazil (Serena), Thomas Camilleri (Carlos), Peter Davison (Professor Callahan) Siobhan Dillon (Vivienne Kensington), Chris Ellis-Stanton (Grandmaster Chad, Dewey, Kyle), Kimmy Edwards (Judge, Saleswoman), Alex Gaumond (Emmett), Ibinabo Jack (Pilar), Suzie McAdam (Enid), Susan McFadden (Elle Woods), Sorelle Marsh (Courtney, Mom, Whitney), Aoife Mulholland (Brooke), Sean Mulligan (Pforzheimer), Dawn Sievewright (Kate, Chutney), Carley Stenson (Margot), Lincoln Stone (Dad, Winthrop, Reporter), Simon Thomas (Warner), Robbie Towns (Aaron), Dominic Tribuzio (Kiki), Denise Van Outen (Paulette), Tamara Wall (District Attorney) and Stephen Webb (Lowell), as well as Jonathan Mawson, Jane McMurtrie, Lucy Miller, Ruthie Stephenson and Gregor Stewart as swings.
March 9, 2011
Previews begin this week for major new Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can at the Neil Simon Theatre (opens 10 April), based on the Stephen Spielberg movie and the true story that inspired it.
The show is led by rising new Broadway star Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Wicked) as con-man Frank Abagnale, and also stars Kerry Butler and Norbert Leo Butz. Aaron is featured in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair and there is a real buzz about him. The musical comes from the Hairspray and Love Never Dies creative team of Jack O’Brien (director) and Jerry Mitchell (Choreography), with a book by Terence McNally (The Full Monty), and score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
March 8, 2011
Our USA round-up of what’s hot on Broadway and beyond, including Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed…, transfers of Priscilla and Sister Act, Elaine Paige in Follies and much more.
Catch Me If You Can
Previews begin this week for major new Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can at the Neil Simon Theatre (opens 10 April), based on the Stephen Spielberg movie and the true story that inspired it. The show is led by rising new Broadway star Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Wicked) as con-man Frank Abagnale, and also stars Kerry Butler and Norbert Leo Butz. Aaron is featured in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair and there is a real buzz about him. The musical comes from the Hairspray and Love Never Dies creative team of Jack O’Brien (director) and Jerry Mitchell (Choreography), with a book by Terence McNally (The Full Monty), and score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Spider-Man: Julie out?
The New York Times is reporting that Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark director Julie ‘The Lion King’ Taymor may have to fall on her sword and depart the production if she doesn’t seek help. Apparently the producers of the troubled, multi-million dollar show would like her to work with an expanded creative team to try and bring work on the production to a close – or she may have to leave the show. Other current decisions being made on the show include to what extent the script and music should be overhauled. The five-times rearranged opening night of 15 March now seems almost certain to be… rearranged!
London to Broadway: Priscilla, Sister Act, War Horse, Jerusalem
Four big West End shows are opening on Broadway in the coming weeks. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre on Broadway (and the Palace Theatre, London!), starring Will Swenson as Tick. Swenson appeared in the recent Broadway and London productions of Hair, and is joined in Priscilla by Tony Sheldon, who revisits the role of Bernadette after wowing audiences in Australia and London, and Nick Adams (La Cage Aux Folles) as Adam.
Over at the Broadway Theatre previews start on 24 March for Sister Act, which wings its way to America following a decent run at the London Palladium. The star of the London show, Patina Miller, will reprise her role as nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier, joined by Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) as Mother Superior.
Also transferring to Broadway, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse will start previews at the Lincoln Center in New York from 15 March, and the Royal Court’s smash-hit production of Jez Butterworth’s play Jerusalem will play the Music Box theatre from 2 April. The play will feature its Olivier Award-winning London star Mark Rylance, who is sure become a major Tony Awards contender for his tour de force performance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron.
Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed in Business…
Life after Harry Potter is going to be particularly glamorous for Daniel Radcliffe as he is currently starring in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (now in previews, opens 27 March). The show has hit the press recently over rumours that Warner Bros. are furious with the show’s producers for not letting Radcliffe out of performances to promote the final Harry Potter film later in the year.
Elaine Paige in Follies
Not long to go until the Eric Schaeffer revival of Sondheim’s Follies at the Kennedy Center in Washington (7 May – 19 June) starring Bernadette Peters as Sally, Jan Maxwell as Phyllis, Danny Burstein as Buddy, Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone – and our very own Elaine Paige as Carlotta. The casting of Paige caught many off guard (she’s TOO YOUNG you cry!) and it will be interesting to see if Paige turns up in Trevor Nunn’s mooted revival of the show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket later this year.
Hot tip: Gavin Creel in Prometheus Bound
Whilst Hair alumni Will Swenson is camping it up in Priscilla, fellow co-worker Gavin Creel, who also starred with Swenson in the London transfer of Hair, is currently wowing audiences in Prometheus Bound at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. Rumour mills are buzzing over whether the show might transfer to Broadway. Written by Tony and Grammy Award-winning playwright and lyricist Steven Sater, who scored a huge hit with Spring Awakening on Broadway and less so in London, and with music composed by Grammy Award-winning System of a Down lead singer Serj Tankian, the show is inspired by Aeschylus’s Ancient Greek tragedy.
Stars on Broadway
There’s no shortage of stars turning up on Broadway over the next few weeks, with Frances McDormand having just opened in Good People at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Brian Cox, Chris Noth, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland starring in That Championship Season at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre, Billy Crudup in Arcadia at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (opens 17 March), Robin Williams in Bengal Tiger In The Baghdad Zoo at the Richard Rodgers Theatre from 11 March, Chris Rock in Motherf**Ker With The Hat at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre from 15 March, Kathleen Turner in High at the Booth Theatre from 25 March, Edie Falco, Ben Stiller and Jennifer Jason Leigh in The House of Blue Leaves at the Walter Kerr Theatre from 25 April, and Tyne Daly and Sierra Boggess in Master Class at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from 24 May. Phew!
December 20, 2010
Sheridan Smith to leave Legally Blonde on 8 January; Susan McFadden to take the lead.
Susan McFadden is to take over from Sheridan Smith in the lead role of Elle Woods in the West End production of Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre.
The Irish actress, who won ITV talent show Grease is the Word in 2007 and played Sandy in the current production of Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre, has been covering the role of Elle and playing the part of Serena in Legally Blonde since October. She will take over from Sheridan Smith from 10 January 2011.
McFadden, who has been cast in a number of shows produced by Legally Blonde co-producer Ambassador Theatres, has extensive theatre credits in both the UK and Ireland including a national tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Wakefield, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Gaiety Theatre Dublin, plus Singin’ in the Rain, Annie, Dance of Desire and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
The rest of the Legally Blonde principal cast will continue to appear in the show, including Denise Van Outen as Paulette, Simon Thomas as Warner, Alex Gaumond as Emmett, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne, Carley Stenson as Margot, Aoife Mulholland as Brooke and Peter Davison as Callahan.
The comedy musical, which opened in January, is based on the movie starring Reese Witherspoon about college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods, who goes all out to prove to her ex-boyfriend Warner that she’s more than just a dumb blonde – by joining him at Harvard Law School.
The show is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, set design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound design by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke.