Catherine Tate, Sharon D Clarke, Kerry Ellis and a string of West End stars have performed an online reading of new children’s book Broadway Baby to celebrate Official London Theatre Kids Week and to support the Theatre Artist Fund.
Written by UK West End and Broadway theatre operator and producer Russell Miller (Guys & Dolls, Blood Brothers, Paramour, On The Town) with Judith A. Proffer the book is illustratedby the award-winning Yoko Matsuoka.
Miller was inspired to write Broadway Baby after searching for a gift for his Tony Award-winning producing partner’s newborn daughter, Olivia. With nothing suitably theatre-centric available, he carefully crafted this new book as a go-to for theatre fans and performers alike.
“Broadway Baby was born of necessity,” said Miller. “I felt there was a real need to create something authentically theatrical that would resonate with theatre lovers and children of all ages, something unique and sincere that serves as a special VIP invitation to join our magical world of theater-land.”
Speaking about the virtual reading, Miller added: “The virtual reading unites some of the UK’s most talented performers for theatre fans everywhere to enjoy. I’m so grateful to everyone who has generously given their time to read Broadway Baby for this special event in celebration of Official London Theatre Kids Week, supporting The Theatre Artists Fund.”
West End actors also featured include Olivier Award winner Matt Henry MBE (Kinky Boots, Lion King, Avenue Q, The Voice UK finalist), former Principal of The Royal Ballet Adam Cooper (Grand Hotel, Singin’ in the Rain, Guys & Dolls, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake), Hamilton star Simon Anthony Rhoden (Kinky Boots, The Color Purple), Jo Servi (The Lion King, Chess, Jersey Boys, Guys & Dolls, The Color Purple), stage and screen star Claire Sweeney (Chicago, Guys & Dolls, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Crazy for You, Brookside, Benidorm), Madalena Alberto (Evita, Piaf, Les Miserables, Cats, Get On Your Feet), stage and screen star and former Here’Say singer Suzanne Shaw (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rocky Horror Show, Emmerdale, Dancing on Ice) and Norman Bowman (Les Misérables, Grease, Guys & Dolls).
Broadway Baby celebrates the importance of theatre and creativity; encourages children and theatre lovers of all ages to create and be whatever you want to be, whoever you are, wherever you are; and reminds readers that even the loftiest of dreams can come true.
Artfully illustrated by Yoko Matsuoka, this cheeky little Broadway Baby dreams of becoming a Broadway star. Those dreams take us on a truly theatrical journey from his crib to the playground to the heart of New York City, with nods to many elements that make live theatre so special.
Released by Meteor 17 Books in October 2020, Broadway Baby is available now at BroadwayBabyBook.com. A portion of proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Theatre Artists Fund.
The virtual reading is now available to watch below as part of Official London Theatre Kids Week.