Monday, April 14

Musical Theatre 2014 Olivier Award Winners

Best Actor in a Musical - Gavin Creel for The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Best Actress in a Musical - Zrinka Cvitesic for Once at the Phoenix Theatre

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical - Stephen Ashfield for The Book Of Mormon

MasterCard Best New Musical - The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Best Musical Revival - Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Theatre Choreographer - Casey Nicholaw for The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Best Entertainment and Family - The Wind In The Willows at the Duchess Theatre

Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music - Once - Martin Lowe for composition and arrangements, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for music and lyrics

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design - Tim Lutkin and Finn Ross for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre and Paul Pyant and Jon Driscoll for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Best Sound Design - Carolyn Downing for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre and Gareth Owen for Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Costume Design - Mark Thompson for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

BBC Radio 2 Audience Award - Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre

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Friday, April 11

Damian Humbley, Caroline O'Connor and Summer Strallen in Andrew Lippa Tribute at Menier

Damian Humbley, Caroline O'Connor and Summer Strallen star in The Life of the Party - A Celebration of the Songs of Andrew Lippa will be hosted by the man himself at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 3th  May to 14th June (previews from 27th May(.

Andrew Lippa is a composer whose shows include The Wild Party, The Addams Family and recent Broadway show Big Fish. The show will also include numbers from his new oratorio I Am Harvey Milk.

Tickets for Andrew Lippa Concert

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Wednesday, April 9

Performances and Presenters at 2014 Olivier Awards

With the Olivier Awards taking place inside the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden this Sunday there is also plenty of action outside withWest End leading man Michael Xavier (about to appear in The Pajama Game) and TV presenter Myleene Klass hosting some great musical theatre entertainment on the stage in Covent Garden Piazza from 5:00 pm.

There are llive performances from hit shows and touring productions including Avenue Q, Happy Days, The Pajama Game, Les Misérables, Matilda The Musical, Wicked and  The West End Gospel Choir.

When the actual ceremony (hosted by  Made in Dagenham's Gemma Arterton and Stephen Mangan) starts at 18:30 it will be streamed directly to theatre fans in the Piazza .

This year’s  presenters include Michael Ball, Samantha Barks, Kristin Davis, Beverley Knight, Dame Penelope Keith, Mark Strong, Luke Treadaway, Gok Wan and Ruth Wilson.

Among the shows performing are Best New Musical nominees The Book Of Mormon, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Once and The Scottsboro Boys. Broadway's Bernadette Peters and opera star Joseph Calleja will take to the Royal Opera House stage and  ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus join the cast of Mamma Mia! to celebrate the show’s 15th birthday.  

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The Pajama Game Marquee

The Pajama Game marquee is now up at the Shaftesbury Theatre. 

Rehearsals are currently under way as the show starts previewing on 2nd May and opens on 13th May.

It is running for a strictly limited period of 20 weeks booking until 13th September as Memphis the Musical starring Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly then previews there 3rd October and opens on 19th October.

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Wednesday, April 2

Liz Robertson Performs Songs From My Trunk at the Hippodrome

Black Sapphire Productions presents Liz Robertson in Songs From My Trunk on April 20th in the Matcham Room of The Hippodrome, Leicester Square at 6.00 pm & 9:00 pm.

Directed by Sarah Ingram with Musical Director by Chris Walker, Liz described the show :"All little girls have dreams and mine was to dance like Fred Astaire and sing like Barbra Streisand. And therein lay my problem, I was a female possessing a vocal ability more in the white soprano range, from a young age I wanted to sound like the pop stars of my era, or to be sexy, down and dirty like Ella, Nina and Cleo but there was nothing warm and smokey in my sound.

As I have aged so has my voice, reaching notes lower and deeper than I had thought possible, so now is the time to start exploring those new notes with songs that I have always desired to sing but never could without sounding ridiculous. So here we are experimenting....at my age!

Buy tickets for Liz Robertson in Songs From My Trunk. Ticket Prices are £15, £20, £25 and £30.

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Friday, March 28

David Bedella & Victoria Hamilton-Barritt In the Heights

David Bedella and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt will head the cast for the London premiere of In the Heights. Previews begin at Southwark Playhouse May 9th with an opening night on 15th May.  The show closes on 7th June.

In The Heights opened at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in February 2008. The production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning four for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The action takes place Washington Heights, one of Manhattan’s most vibrant communities.  It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind. With a Latin and hip-hop infused score In The Heights tells the story century about what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home.

The cast includes David Bedella as Kevin,Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Daniela with Nathan Amzi/Piragua Guy, Josie Benson/Camilla, Damian Buhagiar/Sonny, Emma Kingston/Vanessa, Jonny Labey/Graffitti Pete, Sam Mackay/Usnavi, Christina Modestou/Nina, Sarah Naudi/Carla, Eve Polycarpou/Abuela and Wayne Robinson as Benny. They wil be joined by Courtney-Mae Briggs, Reiss Hinds, Holly James and Dex Lee.

Bedella's impressive musical theatre credits include Satan in the original National Theatre production of Jerry Springer the Opera, Putting It Together (St. James Theatre), Torch Song Trilogy and Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre) and The Rocky Horror Show (Playhouse Theatre). Hamilton-Barritt recently starred as Diana in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. Other recent credits include Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy (Leicester Curve), Alex in Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Rizzo in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre).

In the Heights has music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda with a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes. It is directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography by Drew McOnie. Musical supervision is by Tom Deering, design is by takis, costume design by Gabriella Slade, lighting design by Howard Hudson and sound design by Gareth Owen.

Book tickets for In The Heights


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Alexandra Burke new Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard

The fabulous Miss Beverley Knight makes her last appearance as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard  at the Adelphi Theatre on 31st May to take over the lead in the musical Memphis which starts previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 3rd October.

Her role will be taken over on 2nd June by Alexandra Burke who won The X Factor in 2008 and sang Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You at her audition.  It is her musical theatre debut apart from taking part in a special show of Les Miserables as part of Children in Need in 2012. Burke will stay with The Bodyguard till the end of its run on August 30th when it leaves the Adelphi to make way for Made in Dagenham the Musical which starts previews on 9th October starring Gemma Arterton.

She has been taking acting lessons and expressed an interest in doing more than just singing and was approached by producers David Ian and Michael Harrison when Knight said she was leaving. We saw her, and our creative team met her, and she was fabulous and knocked the songs out of the park Ian said.

A tour of The Bodyguard is due to begin in Manchester in August 2015.

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Thursday, March 27

Casting Announced for Porgy & Bess at Open Air Theatre

Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will run at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 17th July to 23rd August. The cast will include American actor Rufus Bonds Jr  who has appeared in The Color Purple (US National Tour), Disney’s The Lion King (US National Tour) and the original Broadway production of Parade for which he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.  

Nicola Hughes reprises the role of Bess following her Olivier Award nominated performance in Trevor Nunn’s 2006 production at the Savoy Theatre. Her stage credits also include The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), Fosse (Prince of Wales Theatre/ Olivier Award nomination) and Velma Kelly in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre).

Singer-songwriter and Sugababe Jade Ewen whose stage credits include Whistle Down The Wind and Disney’s The Lion King will play Clara

Double Laurence Olivier Award nominee Sharon D Clarke,whose credits include We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre) and The Amen Corner(National Theatre) will play the role of Mariah. 

Porgy and Bess will also star Phillip Boykin who will reprise the role of Crown, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for the 2012 Broadway production (Tony Award, Best Revival of a Musical).

They will be joined by  Cedric Neal, Golda Rosheuvel and Leon Lopez. While American actor Neal has previously appeared in the musical on Broadway, Rosheuvel and Lopez come to the musical for the first time following a string of performances on the London stage. For Rosheuvel those include The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and South Pacific at the National Theatre, while Lopez has appeared in productions including Rent at the Duke of York’s Theatre and Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse.

Buy tickets for Porgy & Bess