Friday, July 29

Trailer released for Miss Saigon cinema screening

The trailer has JUST been released for the upcoming cinema screening of Miss Saigon featuring the original West End revival cast. Most of the footage was captured during the musical's 25th anniversary gala at the Prince Edward Theatre as well as from the show's final performance. The special 25th anniversary gala finale featuring original cast members including Jonathan Pryce, Simon Bowman an Lea Salonga will also be included. 
Miss Saigon will be screened in uk cinemas for one night only  on 15th October 2016 and in Australia on 14th October 2016. The recording will then be available for purchase (details to be confirmed). 
The cast includes Eva Noblezada as Kim, Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer, Alistair Brammer as Chris, Hugh Maynard as John, Tamsin Carroll as Ellen and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi.
Visit www.misssaigon25th.com to view the trailer and find your nearest cinema for the screening.

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American Idiot special Rock A Long Performance

The cast of Green Day's hit musical, American Idiot, will be performing a special 'Rock-A-Long' performance for one night only on Thursday 8 September 2016. Following the huge success of last year's event the audience is encouraged to 'ROCK OUT' with the cast at the Arts Theatre

With hit songs including "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," "21 Guns," "Wake Me Up When September Ends," "Holiday" and the blockbuster title track "American Idiot" from Green Day's 2004 Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album, it's a great opportunity to sing along to some of the most iconic rock songs of all time.

American Idiot is currently running for a strictly limited run until 25 September 2016, following on from its critically acclaimed 2015 London run and 2016 UK Tour.

Tickets for American Idiot Rock A Long

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Idina Menzel to star in Beaches remake

Idina Menzel is to star in the remake  of Garry Marshall's iconic 1988 tear-jerker BEACHES for Lifetime. She  will take on the Bette Midler role of CCand perform the iconic songs "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "The Glory  of Love."  Menzel will also record several other songs specifically for the project, which will be produced by Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan. The TV film is set to premiere in 2017 with production set to begin in Vancouver on August 15th.  Allison Anders will direct the remake from a script by Bart Barker and Nikole Beckwith.

Beaches follows "the meeting of two youngsters, CC and Hillary, on the Venice Boardwalk, who, though worlds apart in lifestyle, embark on unexpected and lifelong friendship. Menzel's CC is an aspiring singer trying to make it in Los Angeles until she is discovered by a director who gives CC her first big shot. Hillary, (currently uncast but portrayed by Barbara Hershey in the original film), is the daughter of a prominent civil rights lawyer who struggles to find her own destiny. Their friendship-even with its ups and downs-sustains them for decades."

The original film raked in $57 million at the domestic box office, and its anthem, "Wing Beneath My Wings" went on to win Record and Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

Menzel was the original Elphaba in Wicked! and has a very  impressive list of theatre credits most recently appearing on Broadway in IF/THEN. Her other Broadway credits include RENT. She also guest-starred on the FOX musical dramedy GLEE.

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Full Casting for Drew McOnie's production of Strictly Ballroom

Casting news for Drew McOnie's production of Strictly Ballroom includes Gemma Sutton (currently starring in The Go-Between) and American Sam Lips (currently Pippin in US tour) who will lead the cast as Fran and Scott.

The production will also star Tamsin Carroll as Shirley, Stephen Matthews as Doug, Julius D’Silva as Barry, Richard Grieve as Les, Eve Polycarpou as Abuela, Charlotte Gooch as Tina, Lauren Stroud as Liz, Jade Albertsen as Vanessa, Liam Marcellino as Wayne, Gary Watson as Ken, Michelle Bishop as Pam, Richard Dempsey as JJ / Merv and Zak Nemorin as Terry / Clarry.

The cast is completed by Courtney-Mae Briggs, Javier Cid, Selina Hamilton, Luke Jackson, Rebecca Lisewiki, Lindsay McAllister, Freya Rowley, Javier Santo, Alexzandra Sarmiento and Dale White.

Terry Johnson has joined the creative team to adapt the original book of  Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin's musical version of Strictly Ballroom which will open at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on 6th December 2016 (previews from 30th November) and run until 21st January 2017.

McOnie, who has just choreographed the highly acclaimed  Jesus Christ Superstar in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre , said Strictly Ballroom will feature the Viennese waltz, the foxtrot, a broad spectrum of Latin American dancing (including flamenco and rumba), plus a new vocabulary of dance that he will create for the show, which takes place within an amateur dance competition in Sydney.

The company will study the choreography at dance workshops before the official rehearsals start on October 10th .



Tickets for Strictly Ballroom
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Meryl Streep joining Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt in Disney's Mary Poppins Returns?

According to Variety, Meryl Streep is currently in talks to join Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt in the the Disney movie Mary Poppins Returns which is  a sequel to the studio's 1964 classic, "Mary Poppins," due to be  be released on December 25, 2018

Apparently "Streep is set to play the role of Poppins' cousin, Topsy, a supporting role that wasn't in the 1964 classic. Streep would also sing for the part, much like she did in "Into the Woods," which earned her a record 19th Oscar nomination.


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Charlotte Wakefield and Jos Vantyler joining Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Tour


 Charlotte Wakefield is taking over as Truly Scrumptious from Carrie Hope Fletcher (who leaves on 2nd October) on the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from 5th October in Edinburgh.

Wakefield recently played Hester Fletcher in the UK tour of The Herbal Bed: The Secret Life Of Shakespeare’s Daughter and  created the role of Wendla Bergman in the UK premiere of Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith.Oher theatre credits include Sophie in Mamma Mia! (International Tour/West End), Maria in The Sound of Music (Open Air Theatre), Edith in Noel Coward's Christmas Spirits (St James Studio), Laurey in Oklahoma! (UK Tour) and Emma in Monsieur Popular (Theatre Royal Bath). 

Jos Vantyler is also joining the cast as the Child Catcher on the same date taking over the role from Matt Gillett.  Michelle Collins who is playing Baroness Bombhurt leaves the show tomorrow with Claire Sweeney taking over the role from Monday.

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Thursday, July 28

Steven Webb new Elder McKinley in The Book of Mormon

As previously reported,  The Book of Mormon's Stephen Ashfield  is leaving the London show on 6th August  and transferring to the Broadway production.  It has just been announced that  Steven Webb will be  taking over as Elder McKinley from Tuesday 9th August.

Webb's theatre credits include: I Want My Hat Back (National), As Is & BETWIXT (Trafalgar Studios), Secret Theatre, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella & Aladdin (all Lyric Hammersmith), After the Turn (Courtyard), Departure Lounge (Waterloo East), The History Boys (National/West End) and Oliver & Scrooge (Palladium).

Webb joins Alexandra Ncube as Nabulungi, KJ Hippensteel as Elder Prince and Brian Sears as Elder Cunningham. The current cast is completed by Nicholas McLean, Delroy Atkinson, Richard Lloyd-King, Dean Maynard, Kelly Agbowu, Philip Catchpole, Joseph Davenport, Jonathan Dudley, Harry Francis, Lydia Fraser, Reece Kerridge, Alex Lodge, Joshua Lovell, Brianna Ogunbawo, Stephen Rolley, Jacade Simpson, Ellena Vincent, Rodney Vubya, T’Shan Williams, Oliver Ormson, Christopher Copeland, Brendan Cull, Tania Mathurin, David McMullan, Sean Parkins, David O’Reilly, Rhys Taylor and Kayi Ushe..

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Joanna Lumley to host National Youth Ballet Memorial Gala

National Youth Ballet has just announced that Joanna Lumley will host a special Memorial Gala  at Sadler's Wells on Sunday 4 September at 7:30 pm, celebrating their inspirational Founder and Artistic Director Jill Tookey, who passed away in March this year.

Joanna Lumley has been a patron of National Youth Ballet since 1989, when she met Jill at one of the company's performances at Sadler's Wells. Joanna has since become a huge supporter of the company, and has narrated two of their ballets. Joanna will host the gala performance on Sunday 4 September, where she will be joined on stage by many returning alumni, who now dance for leading companies including Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Matthew Bourne's New Adventures.

Tickets for National Youth Ballet Gala