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Casa Valentina at Southwark Playhouse

August 24, 2015 

Casa Valentina, Harvey Fierstein’s Tony nominated play, receives its Europeran premiere at Southwark Playhouse

Nominated for 4 Tony awards including Best New Play, Casa Valentina is a delightfully insightful and hilariously entertaining piece by the Tony award winning writer of Kinky Boots, Harvey Fierstein.  

The Southwark Playhouse production will mark Casa Valentina’s European premiere and plays a strictly limited season from 10 September 2015 until 10 October 2015.

STORY

Set in 1962 in the Catskills mountains of New York, Casa Valentina centres on a group of heterosexual men who escape from the city to spend their weekend dressed as female alter egos. However when given the choice to share their secret lives with the world, the group have to decide whether the freedom gained by the openness is worth the personal risk.   Casa Valentina gives us a glimpse in to the life of these “self-made women” as they search for acceptance and happiness in a high heel.

CAST

Casa Valentina stars Tamsin Carroll as Rita, Ben Deery as Miranda, Charlie Hayes as Eleanor, Bruce Montague as Terry, Robert Morgan as Amy, Matt Rixon as Bessie, Ashley Robinson as Gloria, Gareth Snook as Charlotte and Edward Wolstenholme as Valentina.

CREATIVE

Casa Valentina reunites producer Paul Taylor-Mills and director Luke Sheppard, whose hit production of In the Heights returns later this year.  The production has set design by Justin Nardella, costume design by Andrew Riley and lighting design by Howard Hudson.

REVIEWS

London reviews – Coming Soon

New York production reviews
“Funny and provocative. Genuinely arresting.” The New York Times
“A fascinating and timeless new play” New York Magazine

Casting announced for Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina

August 19, 2015 

Casa Valentina, Harvey Fierstein’s Tony nominated play announces casting for Europeran premiere at Southwark Playhouse

casa-valentina-cast-photo

Cast of Casa Valentina at the Southwark Playhouse

Casting has been announced for the upcoming European premiere of Harvey Fierstein’s play Casa Valentina, which opens at Southwark Playhouse next month.

Casa Valentina stars Tamsin Carroll as Rita, Ben Deery as Miranda, Charlie Hayes as Eleanor, Bruce Montague as Terry, Robert Morgan as Amy, Matt Rixon as Bessie, Ashley Robinson as Gloria, Gareth Snook as Charlotte and Edward Wolstenholme as Valentina.

Set in 1962 in the Catskills mountains of New York, Casa Valentina centres on a group of heterosexual men who escape from the city to spend their weekend dressed as female alter egos. However when given the choice to share their secret lives with the world, the group have to decide whether the freedom gained by the openness is worth the personal risk.

Casa Valentina reunites producer Paul Taylor-Mills and director Luke Sheppard, whose hit production of In the Heights returns later this year.  The production has set design by Justin Nardella, costume design by Andrew Riley and lighting design by Howard Hudson.  The European premiere of Casa Valentina which was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best New Play coincides with the premiere of Fierstein’s other Broadway hit show Kinky Boots which begins previews on 21 August 2015.

Casa Valentina plays a strictly limited season from 10 September 2015 until 10 October 2015 at Southwark Playhouse.

BOOKING

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Book tickets to Kinky Boots

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Photos: Kinky Boots rehearsal

July 27, 2015 

With only 4 weeks to go, we’re counting down with a little look at the Broadway hit show Kinky Boots.

Kinky Boots which begins previews in four weeks at the Adelphi Theatre has released some sneak rehearsal and key cast photo’s.

Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Kinky Boots has a score by pop superstar Cyndi Lauper and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. Based on the acclaimed British film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots The Musical is a riotous new musical about a young guy from Northampton who takes over his family’s struggling shoe factory and discovers an unlikely hero in a drag performer named Lola.

Killian Donnelly (Memphis and The Commitments) and Matt Henry will portray the central characters Charlie and Lola at the heart of the story, and joining them are Amy Lennox (Lauren), Jamie Baughan (Don), Amy Ross (Nicola) and Michael Hobbs (George).

Kinky Boots The Musical previews from 21 August 2015 at the Adelphi theatre.

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Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry to star in Kinky Boots

April 24, 2015 

kinkyboots4

Killian Donnelly and MattHenry

Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry to lead the cast of Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots The Musical has today announced full casting for the London production with Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry leading the cast.

Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry will portray the central characters Charlie and Lola  and joining them are Amy Lennox (Lauren), Jamie Baughan (Don), Amy Ross (Nicola) and Michael Hobbs (George).

The full cast includes Gemma Atkins, Paul Ayers, Jeremy Batt, Arun Blair-Mangat, Marcus Collins, Emma Crossley, Jordan Fox, Callum Francis, Robert Grose, Gillian Hardie, Chloe Hart, Sophie Isaacs, Luke Jackson, Robert Jones, Adam Lake, Catherine Millsom, Sean Needham, Tim Prottey-Jones, Verity Quade, Javier Santos, Dominic Tribuzio, Alan Vicary, Michael Vinsen and Bleu Woodward.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price (Killian Donnelly) is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola (Matt Henry), a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

Killian is currently staring in Memphis opposite Beverley Knight at the Shaftesbury theatre and prior to this he starred in The Commitments which is still playing to a packed house at the Palace theatre. His extensive theatre credits include Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Les Misérables (Queens Theatre), Michael Collins – A Musical Drama (Cork Opera House), The Full Monty (Olympia Theatre) and West Side Story (Solstice Theatre). Killian’s film credits include Les Misérables (Working Title). He has also appeared on television in Showbands (RTÉ) and The Last Furlong (RTÉ).

Matt Henry recently appeared as a finalist on Series 2 of ‘The Voice’. His theatre credits include Avenue Q (National Tour), The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Northampton), The Harder They Come (Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nottingham Playhouse and National Tour), The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe), Hair (English Theatre Frankfurt), Saturday Night Fever (National Tour) and Miss Saigon (Cameron Mackintosh). Feature film credits include Muppets Most Wanted and Gulliver’s Travels.

Based on the acclaimed British film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots The Musical is a riotous new Broadway musical that is coming home to the UK, previewing in London’s West End Theatre from 21 August 2015 .

Winner of SIX Tony Awards including Best Musical, the show features a score by pop superstar Cyndi Lauper and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein.

Directed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde), the show is a huge-hearted, feel-good celebration packed with nonstop fun… and a kick of pure joy!

BOOK

Book tickets to Kink Boots The Musical

 

Kinky Boots dates & theatre announced!

February 6, 2015 

Winner of six Tony Awards, Broadway hit Kinky Boots is to preview at the Adelphi Theatre from 21 August 2015.

The long awaited announcement of where and when Kinky Boots will have its London debut is finally over.  Reported in the Daily Mail, producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig have patiently been waiting for the right theatre and with the early closure of Made in Dagenham – the Adelphi Theatre is to be its home.

Kinky Boots will open to previews from 21 August 2015 with opening night 15 September 2015. Tickets go on sale from 2 March 2015.

There is no significant news on casting, however with heavy criticism of the accents in the Broadway production director Jerry Mitchell is looking for an all-British cast – and all British accents! Mitchell said having worked on a number of UK shows, from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Legally Blonde, he already has a good sense of the breadth of talent of British actors, dancers and singers, but he is also always open to being surprised by new faces. As we reported in January, producers will be auditioning in February and March, including for the lead role of Lola.

Kinky Boots features a score by pop superstar Cyndi Lauper and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein both of whom will be looking at the dialogue and lyrics to ensure no inappropriate Americanisms slip into what is a British-set show.

Based on the acclaimed British film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots The Musical is a riotous new Broadway musical that is a feel-good celebration packed with nonstop fun… and a kick of pure joy!

Further Casting to be announced shortly

BOOKING

Booking opens 2 March – check back for more details

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Casting underway for Kinky Boots London

January 12, 2015 

The producers of the London production of Kinky Boots have started casting the lead role of drag queen Lola.

Billy Porter as Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots

Billy Porter as Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots

Smash-hit Broadway show Kinky Boots is on its way to London!

Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, the producers of the Broadway show, along with UK general managers Playful Productions, have started the casting process for the London production of Kinky Boots,

Slated to run in London from 21 August 2015, auditions will take place in February and March for July rehearsals.

Producers are looking to cast a real star in the demanding lead role of Lola/Simon and are hoping that open auditions might throw up a gem.

Billy Porter, who plays Lola in the Broadway production and bagged a Tony Award for his efforts, will not be coming to London to play the part as previously suggested. His contract did take him up to July 2014, meaning an August transfer to London could have been on the cards. But the star turn has recently renewed his contract to take him through to January 2016.

Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde) will return to the show to direct and choreograph the London production.

Based on the acclaimed British film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots The Musical won six Tony Awards on Broadway including Best Musical and features a score by pop superstar Cyndi Lauper and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein.

Set in Northampton, the show concerns a young guy who takes over his father’s ailing shoe factory. After a chance meeting with fabulous drag queen Lola, he forms a plan to save the factory despite opposition from workers and family.

A London theatre is yet to be announced for the show, with several big venues currently being muted.

BOOKING

Booking opens shortly. Book tickets to Kinky Boots in London

 

Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre

January 11, 2015 

Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Kinky Boots is the hit Broadway show from Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein at the Adelphi Theatre London.

Based on the acclaimed British film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots The Musical is a riotous new Broadway musical that is coming home to the UK, previewing in London’s West End Theatre from 21 August 2015 .

Winner of SIX Tony Awards including Best Musical, the show features a score by pop superstar Cyndi Lauper and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein.

Directed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde), the show is a huge-hearted,  feel-good celebration packed with nonstop fun… and a kick of pure joy!

THE STORY

Kinky Boots follows Charlie Price, a young guy from Northampton who takes over his family’s struggling shoe factory after the death of his father. In an attempt to save the factory, he discovers an unlikely hero in a drag performer named Lola. What results is an engaging, big-hearted spectacle full of dancing, singing and laughs.

CAST

Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry will portray the central characters Charlie and Lola at the heart of the story, and joining them are Amy Lennox (Lauren), Jamie Baughan (Don), Amy Ross (Nicola) and Michael Hobbs (George).
The full cast includes Gemma Atkins, Paul Ayers, Jeremy Batt, Arun Blair-Mangat, Marcus Collins, Emma Crossley, Jordan Fox, Callum Francis, Robert Grose, Gillian Hardie, Chloe Hart, Sophie Isaacs, Luke Jackson, Robert Jones, Adam Lake, Catherine Millsom, Sean Needham, Tim Prottey-Jones, Verity Quade, Javier Santos, Dominic Tribuzio, Alan Vicary, Michael Vinsen and Bleu Woodward.

Killian Donnelly (Charlie) is currently playing Huey Calhoun in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End. Theatre credits include The Commitments (Palace Theatre), Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Les Misérables (Queens Theatre), Michael Collins – A Musical Drama (Cork Opera House), The Full Monty (Olympia Theatre) and West Side Story (Solstice Theatre). Killian’s film credits include Les Misérables (Working Title). He has also appeared on television in Showbands (RTÉ) and The Last Furlong (RTÉ).

Matt Henry (Lola) recorded an album in 2014 after appearing as a finalist on Series 2 of ‘The Voice’. Theatre credits include Avenue Q (National Tour), The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Northampton), The Harder They Come (Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nottingham Playhouse and National Tour), The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe), Hair (English Theatre Frankfurt), Saturday Night Fever (National Tour) and Miss Saigon (Cameron Mackintosh). Feature film credits include Muppets Most Wanted and Gulliver’s Travels.

REVIEWS

“THE HOTTEST MUSICAL ON BROADWAY! CYNDI LAUPER has created a score with audience-hugging charisma that performs like a pop star on Ecstasy. KINKY BOOTS is an emotional button-pusher about finding your passion, overcoming prejudice and transcending stereotypes. The finale is one of THE BEST CURTAIN NUMBERS since ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ sent HAIRSPRAY audiences DANCING OUT OF THE THEATRE. WONDERFUL!” The New York Times
“THE MOST TALKED-ABOUT SHOW ON BROADWAY! So much FUN, YOU’LL DANCE OUT OF THE THEATRE. YOU’VE GOT TO SEE IT. CYNDI LAUPER delivers the BEST BROADWAY SCORE IN YEARS!” ABC News
“You’d be a HEEL not to have fun at KINKY BOOTS! It’s CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION! BILLY PORTER is REMARKABLE in a STAR-MAKING TURN.” Entertainment Weekly
“SWEETLY, VIVACIOUSLY, IRRESISTIBLY GOOD! Boots off to director/choreographer JERRY MITCHELL!” The Washington Post

West End Musicals in 2015 – A Round-up

July 11, 2014 

Our cheat-sheet on which big new musicals will make it to the West End in 2015.

Today in the Daily Mail Baz runs through the latest new slate of musicals circling the West End with hopes of a 2015 run.

Here’s our cheat-sheet on what’s what in the West End for next year.

Groundhog Day The Musical

What is it? The Matilda dream team of Tim Minchin (songs), Matthew Warchus (direction) and Peter Darling (choreography) are progressing with this movie-to-stage adaptation of Groundhog Day The Musical.

Status: Staged readings have taken place

Timing and theatre: Unknown (Baz in the Daily Mail speculates that it may become part of an Old Vic season when Warchus takes over from Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic). Possibly 2015, expect a West End transfer.

LINKS

Tickets and info on Groundhog Day The Musical

Kinky Boots The Musical – West End

Billy Porter in Kinky Boots on Broadway

Billy Porter in Kinky Boots on Broadway

What is it? Jerry Mitchell’s hugely successful Broadway show, which won lots of Tony Awards last year, and has songs by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein

Status: Broadway to London transfer; casting will be the challenge to follow Billy Porter’s extraordinary performance as Lola (unless he can be tempted over to London?)

Timing and theatre: With Made in Dagenham finishing early, the Adelphi would be a perfect home; Second choice the Palace Theatre -which would mean The Commitments closing; Tittle-tattle suggests it might just be strutting its stuff in Autumn 2015.

LINKS

More about Kinky Boots on WestEndTheatre.com

Back To The Future The Musical

What is it? Musical adaptation of the wildly successful movie Back To The Future starring Michael. J. Fox.

Status: It was due to open for the film’s 30th anniversary in 2015 however ‘creative differences’ led Director Jamie Lloyd to leave the production in August 2014.  The book is to be adapted from the original screenplay by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale with music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard.  Jamie Lloyd’s long time collaborator  Soutra Gilmore was appointed designer however it is unknown if her designs will still feature in the show.

Timing and theatre: Reset the DeLorean to 2016 at the earliest. Theatre unknown.

LINKS

Tickets and info on Back to the Future The Musical

Calendar Girls The Musical

What is it?  Tim Firth, who wrote the original screenplay and West End play for Calendar Girls, teams up with Gary Barlow to pen songs for a new musical version of Calendar Girls. Producer lined-up to be David Pugh, who produced the play, although the erratic (disastrous) run of The Full Monty last year may have thrown that somewhat.

Status: Workshops meant to be happening now (TBC)

Timing and theatre: Unknown

LINKS

Tickets and info on Calendar Girls The Musical

Bend It Like Beckham The Musical

What is it? Gurinder Chadha’s movie-to-stage adaptation of her own 2002 movie hit, penned by composer Howard Goodall (Love Story, The Hired Man) and lyricist Charles Hart (The Phantom of the Opera), with a book by Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges based on Chadha’s screenplay

Status: Key casting has been announced with tickets now on sale

Timing and theatre: Previews 15 May 2015 with Opening Night 24 June at the Phoenix Theatre.

LINKS

More about Bend It Like Beckham The Musical on WestEndTheatre.com

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – West End

What is it? The story of Carole King’s rise to stardom featuring her catalogue of songs, currently playing on Broadway

Status: Broadway to London transfer;  casting has been announced with tickets now on sale

Timing and theatre:  Opens 10 Feb 2015 at the Aldwych Theatre.

LINKS

Tickets and info on Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Motown The Musical – West End

What is it? Broadway hit  that follows the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy and his stable of artists including Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five and The Supremes, mixing new songs with renderings of the classics.

Status: Broadway to London transfer; no news on casting

Timing and theatre: There was talk of this opening in early 2015, however it seems they have struggled to find the right theatre. Motown The Musical will now open at the Shaftesbury theatre in February 2016.

LINKS

Tickets and info on Motown The Musical

Dusty The Musical

What is it? Sandi Toksvig’s play about the life of Sixties icon Dusty Springfield featuring her back-catalogue of music, produced by West End impressario David Ian (The Bodyguard, Cats) and directed by Jonathan Church.

Status: Script completed; A performed reading to take place this Autumn; search is on for an actress to play Dusty

Timing and theatre: TBC. Given Jonthan Church’s involvement it might be a Chichester show that transfers.

LINKS

More About Dusty The Musical on WestEndTheatre.com

Aladdin The Musical – West End

What is it? Disney movie-to-stage adaptation of its popular animated film, doing great business on Broadway, with James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie scooping a Tony Award earlier this year.

Status: Broadway to London transfer; no casting announced.

Timing and theatre: Head of Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher, was in talks with RUG about securing the London Palladium, which admittedly has the best sight lines of all London’s theatres, however with the realisation that shows run 2-3 years at best at the Palladium Disney are now in talks with the Dominion.   May be more 2016 than 2015.

LINKS

More about Aladdin on WestEndTheatre.com

Newsies The Musical – West End

What is it? Disney movie-to-stage adaptation, big on dance numbers, directed by Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli. Announced it is closing on Broadway on 24 August 2014.

Status: Broadway to London transfer.

Timing and theatre: Disney haven’t been able to find a suitable theatre. This transfer looking more unlikely given that the show is shuttering on Broadway and it seems that Disney’s focus is now on Aladdin.

LINKS

More about Newsies on WestEndTheatre.com

Kinky Boots to play the West End in 2015

January 23, 2014 

Director of Broadway hit Kinky Boots confirms that the show is to open in the West End in 2015.

Billy Porter as Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots

Billy Porter as Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots

We knew it

Following our recent”Broadway to London: Broadway hits we want to see transfer to the West End in 2014” top of the list was Kinky Boots – the Tony Award winning musical penned by Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein and based on the British film that starred Chiwetel Ejiofor.

And now Jerry Mitchell, director of Kinky Boots, has confirmed that the show is to transfer to London in 2015.

At a press conference today for his new show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre, he confirmed to The Stage that, “It’s definitely coming” and that the show was scouting four suitable theatres but all currently have shows in them.

The news places Kinky Boots as the front-runner for most exciting new opening of 2015. Following Billy Porter’s extraordinary performance as Lola in the New York production, announcements on casting will be of huge interest.

We are gunning for Billy to do London!

LINKS

More news on Kinky Boots
Book tickets to Kinky Boots on Broadway
Book tickets to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre

Broadway to London: Broadway hits we want to see transfer to the West End in 2014

January 2, 2014 

The hottest Broadway shows that we think should be transferring to the West End in 2014?

Do you think that London Theatre has enough Broadway exports to last us a lifetime? (Think Wicked, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Once, The Book of Mormon et al) Or can’t you get enough of those US of A-listers?!

To help you decide Paul Raven gives a quick run down on what he thinks should be heading towards London in 2014, and what is coming up on Broadway that needs careful transfer-monitoring.

KINKY BOOTS

Billy Porter in Kinky Boots on Broadway

Billy Porter in Kinky Boots on Broadway

This could easily be numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in our list. It’s the great big smash hit that caused Tony Awards carnage in 2013 and made us fall in love all over again with Cyndi Lauper. Her joyful score for Kinky Boots, along with Harvey Fierstein’s fabulous book, has made Kinky Boots the show that MUST TRANSFER! Holding out any hope that Chiwetel Ejiofor will feel a pang of loyalty to the UK and head back to the stage to recreate his crowd-pleasing turn from Kinky Boots The Movie seems pretty remote in a post-12 Years A Slave age. But we’d settle for Billy Porter to come give us his Lola any day. Come on Billy, London is fun!

Fierstein Sidebar: We will also be keeping a close eye on Harvey’s latest project – Casa Valentina – which is part of the Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2014 season and his first play for THIRTY YEARS (Why? In God’s name, why Harvey?). Based on a true story, Fierstein tackles a secret 1960’s New York State enclave for straight men who liked to shed the suit and inhabit their female alter egos.

Kinky Boots official website
Manhattan Theatre Club
Book tickets to Kinky Books on Broadway

PIPPIN

Patina Miller in Pippin

Patina Miller in Pippin

It’s not an obvious one for a Broadway to West End transfer, and you’d need a producer with some VISION (and money!) but we’d give our prized (stolen) Hugh Jackman dance cup to see Patina Miller back in London and giving us her Tony Award-winning performance as the Leading Player. She’s just been voted Broadway.com’s Star of the Year which seems about right given the stir she has caused on the Great White Way in 2013, alongside wowing Michelle Obama and Shirley MacLaine, getting engaged AND snaring a role in The Hunger Games!  We fell in love with Patina during her long, successful stint in Sister Act at the London Palladium, and although she seemed pretty pleased to be back on home turf, there must be something she missed about us? GET ON A PLANE PATINAAAA.

Pippin Sidebar: There’s lots of other reasons why Pippin deserves a London run – if nothing else so we can hear something else from Stephen Schwartz besides Wicked, see Bob Fosse’s choreography in action, and prove that London performers do have the talent and energy to match Broadway. Given that Chichester’s Barnum didn’t make it to the West End this year (although it’s off on the road on a UK tour), this could be our circus hit for 2014 (okay, more likely 2015). We just need to ignore the failure of the original 1973 London production at Her Majesty’s…

Pippin official website
Book tickets to Pippin on Broadway

NEWSIES

Newsies on Broadway

Newsies on Broadway

In the couple of decades that Disney has been aggressively producing stage musicals they have only really dipped their toe into London, first with Beauty and the Beast, and then Disney’s The Lion King, which is still doing good business at the Lyceum Theatre. But on Broadway it is a different story, with Aladdin heading to the Great White Way in March, and The Jungle Book apparently not far behind it. But we should not forget current Broadway hit Newsies, based on the 1992 Disney movie that was renamed The News Boys for us simple, British folk. Based on the strike of 1899 held by the paper boys who worked the streets of New York, the movie starred our very own Christian Bale. It wasn’t a big hit but a cult following led Disney to revive it as a Broadway show in 2011 and it has been going great guns ever since, featuring music by Alan “Little Shop of Horrors and Aladdin” Menken, and a book by Harvey Fierstein (see above). Whether it is too American for us remains to be seen but persistent rumours circulate that Disney are looking to transfer it.

Newsies official website
Book tickets to Newsies on Broadway

STAR POWER

We often take UK casts to Broadway to recreate the magic (Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry have been giving their successful UK versions of Twelfth Night and Richard III on Broadway). So how about the other way round? Top of the list has to be Christopher Durang’s big Chekhov mash-up Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike starring David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen and Sigourney Weaver, which proved a critical and audience smash-hit earlier in 2013. It would be a nightmare getting those people back together but if they can tempt Dame Angela Lansbury to make the journey to resurrect Blithe Spirit in London this March, IT MUST BE POSSIBLE to get these youngsters on a boat and over to a London venue in 2014.

Bette Midler in I'll Eat You Last

Bette Midler in I’ll Eat You Last

Close behind is the Divine Bette Midler whose turn in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers is crying out for a London transfer. David Pugh, get to it! Or it’s probably about time we Londoners got to see some authentic Tennessee Williams, albeit by an Englishman (John “Once” Tiffany). His production of The Glass Menagerie currently wowing them at the Booth Theatre starring Zachary Quinto, Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J. Smith would be a good place to start.

Oh and can Tracy Letts bring his performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to London please?

PINTER REVERSE TAKEOVER

We even have a theatre named after him! Surely that means we should also get to see Rachel Weisz, husband Daniel Craig and Rafe Spall in their Broadway production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (it closes this Saturday, why isn’t it opening in London on Monday?).

And get to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bring over their No Man’s Land? Fine, we got to see their Waiting for Godot first, but there would be some poetry in now bringing Pinter’s classic back to London. If nothing else it would allow Damian Lewis to attend the first night, sheepishly pose with McKellen at the after-party and then goose the fruity old wizard!

MUSICALS ON TV!

Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music Live!

Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music Live!

Yes, London led the world in live broadcasts of theatre in 2013 with highlights including Helen Mirren in The Audience. But NBC in the US kind of trumped us in December by staging The Sound of Music Live starring Carrie Underwood as Maria, in a brand new, live production of the musical on a massive sound stage, and all especially for TV. It scooped 18.6 million viewers in the US and more are in the works. We could do this!

AND LOOKING AHEAD

We will be keeping a close eye on the following to see whether we want these in London!

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston playing the President in All the Way
Michelle Williams making her Cabaret debut as Sally Bowles, with Alan Cumming returning to the MC role
James Franco giving his George in Of Mice and Men
Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway gets the musical treatment starring Zach Braff
Denzel Washington starring in American classic A Raisin in the Sun

Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Neil Patrick Harris camping it up in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Rocky The Musical: It’s had a great reception in Germany but how will it fare on Broadway? If it does well then London will be next.
Idina Menzel popping herself into a new musical is going to always get your attention, and so London producers will be quietly waiting to see how If/Then does when it opens in March
We enjoyed Tyne Daly giving us her Maria Callas in Master Class, and she’s all set for another Terrence McNally play in February in Mothers and Sons
Rebecca Hall in a revival of expressionist play Machinal at the Roundabout Theater directed by fellow Brit Lyndsey Turner

AND WHAT WE DON’T NEED TO SEE

Jekyll & Hyde The Musical didn’t go down particularly well on Broadway in 2013.
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark: It’s a toughie. Legendary Broadway restaurateur Joe Allen has decided to keep the poster out of its “Flop” section, so maybe that clears the way for a London transfer? Unlikely.

LINKS

Book tickets to Broadway shows

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