Saturday, October 13

Musical Theatre News provides the latest information and all you need to know about musicals which are playing or about to open in London's West End as well as full details of touring musicals and concerts in the UK. We provide all the booking details and information you need to help you decide on the right show for you. We also have a Facebook Page where you can post your comments or you can follow TheatreSpy on Twitter to get the latest news and gossip.

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Friday, December 15

Chicago opening at Phoenix Theatre next March

Chicago the musical is return to London's West End after five years. The show last toured in 2016. It will open at the Phoenix Theatre initially for one year beginning 26th March 2018.  Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 am on  December 20th . The West End run will be based on the UK and internationally touring production. Casting for the show is to be announced.

The show first opened on Broadway in 1975, and has been revived a number of times over the last four decades, including a 15-year Olivier Award-winning revival run from 1997 which closed in 2012. The musical includes some fantastic numbers including: All That Jazz, Razzle Dazzle and Cell Block Tango.The music is by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Directed by Walter Bobbie with choreography by Ann Reinking.

Unscrupulous chorus girl Roxie Hart is in prison for murdering her lover and trying to pin it on her downtrodden husband Amos, when she meets Velma Kelly who is a famous star and also a murderess. Both women will be hanged for their crimes if they lose their cases and will go to any lengths to escape execution.

So they form an unusual nightclub act, which they hope will keep them in the public eye and earn them fame, fortune and freedom. They enlist the help of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn to assist them.


New Dirty Dancing tour starts September 2018

There is a new tour of Dirty Dancing  next year which opens at  Brighton Theatre Royal on 20th September before heading off  to UK venues which will extend into 2019 with further dates to be added.

Dirty Dancing is set in the the summer of 1963, and tells the story of 17 year old Frances "Baby" Houseman and how she learns some major lessons in life and a a thing or two about dancing!

While on holiday in New York's Catskill Mountains with her parent Baby shows no interest in the resort activities, until she stumbles across a staff party and catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor (originally played by Patrick Swayze in the film of the same name). Baby's life changes forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny's leading lady both on and off stage.

Dirty Dancing is a fabulous musical journey with some incredible dance routines. It has no less than 35 songs, including “Hungry Eyes”, “Hey Baby”, “Do You Love Me?” and the classic “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life.” 

Dirty Dancing  had its West End premiere at the Aldwych Theatre in 2006, where it ran for five years. It has since gone on to tour the world and returned to the West End in 2013, playing at the Piccadilly Theatre. It returned again to the Phoenix Theatre last year an went on an extensive tour which ended in September 2017

Casting news and more dates to follow.

Thursday, December 14

Full cast announced for Eugenius! at the Other Palace

Warwick Davis and Kevin Wood have announced the full cast for the  new musical “EUGENIUS!” which is coming to London for limited run at The Other Palace from 22nd January-3rd March 2018.
 
Making his London theatre debut is American born Liam Forde who will play the lead role of ‘Eugene’. Liam has performed in many shows across America and is looking forward to making his debut across the pond. Joining Liam is Laura Baldwin who will play Eugene’s love interest- ‘Janey’. Laura’s previous credits include UK Tours of “Shrek” and “Betty Blue Eyes” and currently she can be seen in ‘Big Fish The Musical’ at The Other Palace.

Joining them is Daniel Buckley (“Book Of Mormon”, “Loserville”) as Feris, Ian Hughes (“Guys and Dolls”, “The Lion King”) as Evil Lord Hector, Scott Paige (“The Addams Family”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”) as Theo, Cameron Blakely (“Les Misérables”, “The Addams Family”) as Lex, Shaun Dalton (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Beauty and The Beast” and “Les Misérables”) as Gerhard, Melissa James (“Bodyguard” UK Tour) as Carrie, Alexander Evans (UK Tour of “Sound of Music”, “Carousel”)as Eugene’s Dad and Alison Arnopp (“Dusty”, “The Tempest”) as Space Diva/Mrs T with Brian Gilligan, Jacob Fisher, Alex Tranter, Luke Dowling, Rosie Heath, Chloe Chambers and Frances Dee.

Written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, “EUGENIUS!”  tells  the story of Eugene, a teenage boy whose nightly dreams of a distant world of heroes and villains may just be the ticket to him creating his very own comic book movie in Hollywood.  Joined by his best friends ‘Janey’ and ‘Feris’, our comic writing genius must discover the true meaning of growing up, finding the superhero within, saving the world from both earthbound villains and possibly those from distant galaxies, and along the way, falling in love.

The production is produced by“Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” actor Warwick Davis who said, “I’m a huge fan of musical theatre and Eugenius! will be unlike any musical I have seen before. I was so hooked by Ben Adams’ brilliant, original songs and Chris Wilkins wonderfully witty story that I simply had to be involved as a producer. We are thrilled to announce the talented cast and can’t wait to get started in rehearsals to bring the show to life as a fully staged production. We have all the ingredients for Eugenius! to be something truly spectacular and I look forward to sharing it with audiences when it opens at The Other Palace in January.”

Ian Talbot will direct. He was previously the Artistic Director at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre for 20 years, for which he received an OBE. He has directed ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and ‘Lend Me A Tenor’. The creative team is completed by Aaron Renfree who will choreograph, sound design by Gareth Owen, lighting by Andrew Ellis, musical supervision by Stuart Morley and musical direction by Darren Lord. Set and costume design will be by Hannah Wolfe and the show’s design features specially commissioned comic book artwork by Marvel artist, Simon Williams (Transformers, Spider Man, Marvel Heroes, The lncredible Hulk).

Buy tickets for Eugenius!

Michael Ball & Alfie Boe release new Bring Me Sunshine Charity single

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have recorded Bring Me Sunshine as a  single to raise funds for children's charity Rays of Sunshine .

The song  is synonymous with the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, and the super group created by Michael and Alfie was supported by singers, actors and entertainers including, Aston Merrygold, Bryn Terfel, Gareth Malone, Gregory Porter, Imelda May, Imelda Staunton, Kelsey Grammer, Miranda Hart, Seal and Strictly Come Dancing's head judge Shirley Ballas along with  the Rays of Sunshine Choir, who are  children living with a serious illness.

The Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity , grants wishes for seriously ill children and teenagers across the UK with Ball and Boe so moved by its work that they wanted to do more. The artists and producers will forgo any royalties for this charity single and the proceeds from the release will go to the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity

They now hope that the single, which is released on December 15th  through Decca Records and Universal Music, will help to bring sunshine into the lives of desperately ill children.

You can order Bring me Sunshine by Michael Ball & Alfie Boe with The Rays of Sunshine Children’s Choir & Friends by sending a text message to 84222 (T&Cs – Texts cost £1 + 1 standard rate message. Help: 0333 0030 580. iPhone Compatible).

Wednesday, December 13

La La Land to be screened at Theatre Royal Drury Lane with live orchestra

The Academy Award-winning film La La Land starring  Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is to be screened at Theatre Royal Drury Lane with a live orchestra at 18:30 on 27th  May 2018
 
The 2016 hit La La Land was the winner of six Academy Awards including Best Original Score and Best Original Song.Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the film has a score by Justin Hurwitz with lyrics by Dear Evan Hansen writing duo Pasek and Paul.
 
Buy tickets for La La Land which go on general sale  at 10:00 am on 15th December

Nativity! the Musical to tour again next year

Following sold out performances at The Eventim Apollo in 2017, Jamie Wilson, Entertainment One (eOne), Ramin Sabi and Belgrade Theatre Coventry have announced the return of Birmingham Repertory’s production of the tour  NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL next year opening in Coventry in Octoberand ending at The Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London for an extended Christmas run in 2018.

Written and Directed by Debbie Isitt with music and lyrics by Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt, NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL is choreographed by Andrew Wright, designed by David Woodhead, with lighting design by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Tom Marshall and musical supervision and orchestrations by George Dyer.

NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL will first open at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on Tuesday 23 October 2018 and will then visit Liverpool, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Oxford before finishing the tour at The Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith from 19th-31st December. Casting news to follow.

Coventry Belgrade
23-28 October 2018
Liverpool Empire
31 October-4 November
Glasgow King's
7-11 November
Milton Keynes Theatre
14-18 November
Nottingham Theatre Royal
21-25 November
Edinbugh Festival Theatre
28 November-2 December
Oxford New
11-15 December
Buy tickets
LONDON Eventim Apollo Hammersmith
19-31 December

 Producer, Jamie Wilson said “We are so pleased with the phenomenal success of the show and the spectacular run in London this year and are thrilled to be returning in December 2018 for an extended run at The Eventim Apollo. Next years production is going to be bigger and better, with more sparkle, more shine and more festive cheer than ever before and we are looking forward to touring the show across the UK before our final stop in London”.
Debbie Isitt said today “I am so proud of this fantastic musical we created for 2017 and the extremely talented cast that brought this show to life. So many families have had so much joy from our wonderful show and after a fantastic success we are delighted to go back on the road in 2018 and take our  sparkle and shine to brand new venues across the UK including a fantastic return to the magnificent Eventim Apollo in London - we can’t wait to get started!”.





Thursday, December 7

Bat Out Of Hell breaks Dominion box office records

Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical  is returning  to London's West End next year, with performances starting on Monday 2nd  April. It  went on sale on Monday and has already broken box office records at London's Dominion Theatre, taking £350,000 on the first day.

It is currently running in  Toronto until 7th January 2018. Andrew Polec, winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut in the Stage Debut Awards 2017, and Christina Bennington are in positive negotiations to recreate their roles as the romantic leads, Strat and Raven, at the Dominion Theatre. Further casting is to be announced

As well as winning the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical, the show has just been nominated for  8 WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical.

Tuesday, December 5

Details of Hamilton West End £10 daily Lottery

The Hamilton West End £10 daily Lottery opened on Monday 4 December for the show’s first preview performance on Wednesday 6 December 2017.

Patrons can apply for a maximum of two £10 Lottery tickets via the official Hamilton app or online. Each Lottery will open at 4:00 pm and close at 2:00 pm the following day. Within an hour of each Lottery closing, all entrants will be notified either through the app or by email with winners  receiving details of how to claim and pay for their Lottery tickets. To download the app or for further details, visit www.hamiltonthemusical.co.uk

Hamilton will re-open the newly rebuilt and restored Victoria Palace with previews beginning on 6th December 2017. The official opening night will take place on 21st December 2017 and it is currently booking to 30th June 2018.

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Monday, December 4

Oliver Savile, Anita Louise Combe and Ashleigh Gray to star in new production of Sondheim's Company

A new production of Stephen Sondheim's Iconic Musical COMPANY is being performed  at Aberdeen Arts Centre for a a strictly limited season from 1st to 10th February 2018

Following Aberdeen Arts Centre's 2016 smash hit production of Cabaret, the award-winning team returns with a brand new production of the iconic Broadway musical, Company, with support from Aberdeen City Council. From the legendary composer of Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods comes a dark comedy about life, love and marriage.

It's Bobby's 35th birthday party and his married friends are all asking the same question - will he ever give up his bachelor lifestyle and settle down?

Oliver Savile (Wicked, Phantom of The Opera) as Bobby ; Anita Louise Combe (Gypsy, Chicago) as Joanne and Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba in the UK tour of Wicked) as Amy lead a cast of West End stars including Simbi Akande as Martha, Kimberly Blake as Jenny, Stephen John David as Larry, Wayne Fitzsimmons as David, Jennifer Harding as April, Jaqueline Hughes as Sarah, Susie Mathers as Kathy, Lisa Anne-Wood as Susan and Barnaby Thompson as Peter.


Directed by Aberdeen born Derek Anderson,, Company is widely regarded as a trailblazing concept musical, exploring modern relationships. It set records when it opened on Broadway, being nominated for an astonishing fourteen Tony Awards and winning six, including Best Musical.

With songs including Marry Me A Little, You Could Drive a Person Crazy, Another Hundred People, and Being Alive Sondheim has described Company as the first musical in which he found his voice.

This production of Company will be choreographed by Lee Crowley, designed by Nik Corall, with musical direction by Nick Barstow, lighting design by Ben Pickersgill, video design by Norydas Genys, sound design by Mick Livermore, and casting by Lucy Casson.

Tuesday, November 28

Lead actors announced for new tour of The Sound of Music

The two lead roles have been announced for Bill Kenwright's new tour of The Sound of Music which opens at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin on 19th  December.

Lucy O'Byrne will star as Maria, having performed the role in the previous tour. She will be joined by EastEnders actor Neil McDermott as Captain von Trapp.

O'Byrne wss a runner up in The Voice on BBC One in 2015. Since leaving the 2016 tour of The Sound of Music she has played  Fantine in Les Miserables in the West End. McDermott's is best known for portraying Ryan Malloy in the BBC television soap opera EastEnders. His musical theatre roles include Chief Weasel in The Wind in the Willows and Lord Farquaad in Shrek.



Saturday, November 25

Kathleen Turner in Cabaret: Finding My Voice in London next Spring

Tony Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Kathleen Turner is performing  her debut cabaret, Finding My Voice, at  The Other Palace for 3 weeks next Spring from 17th April-6th May
    
Performing  classic numbers including Let’s Fall in Love and I’d Rather be Sailing from the American songbook in her trademark husky voice, she will also be sharing anecdotes from her remarkable life and career.
 
In her long and varied career,  has been awarded two Golden Globes, been nominated for two Best Actress Tony awards including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  Kathleen's filmography  includes classics like Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile and War of the Roses. Mark Janas will accompany her on piano, with Andy Gale directing.



Tickets for Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice