Wednesday, July 23

Cast changes to The Phantom of the Opera

There will be a number of key cast changes in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical “The Phantom of the Opera" at Her Majesty’s Theatre with effect  from 1st September 2014.

Liam Tamne will star as ‘Raoul’, John Ellis is ‘Piangi’ and Alicia Beck is ‘Meg.

 Gerónimo Rauch continues as ‘The Phantom’ with Harriet Jones as ‘Christine’ and  Emmi Christensson, as her alternate.

Continuing their roles are: Andy Hockley as ‘Monsieur Firmin’; Martin Ball as ‘Monsieur Andre’; Lara Martins as ‘Carlotta’ and Jacinta Mulcahy as ‘Madame Giry’.

Liam Tamne is probably best known from the second series of BBC 1’s ‘The Voice’. His previous theatre credits include ‘Enjolras’ in “Les Miserables” (Queen’s Theatre); “Hair” (Gielgud Theatre); “Hairspray” (Shaftesbury Theatre) and “Wicked” (Apollo Victoria Theatre).

John Ellis has most recently performed the role of ‘Piangi’ in the German production "Das Phantom Der Oper”. This role marks his West End debut. Previous theatre credits include: ‘Old Deuteronomy’ in “Cats” (World Tour); ‘Simon’ and ‘Judas’ in Jesus Christ Superstar (UK Tour) and in his native Australia: “The Wizard of Oz”; “Summer Rain”“Assassins” and “Passion.”

Alicia Beck is making her West End debut as ‘Meg’. After training with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Alicia danced with Ballet Dortmund, Ballet Nice Mediterenee and The Zurich Ballet. Most recently she has played the role of ‘White Cat’ in the UK and European Tour of “Cats.

Emmi Christensson is making her West End debut as ‘Christine’. Previous theatre credits include, most recently ‘Cosette’ in Les Miserables in Norway, a role she also did at Malmo Opera, Sweden. Other roles include ‘Maria’ in West Side Story (Nojesteatern), Sound of Music (Gota Lejon and tour of Sweden) and ‘Wendy’ in Peter Pan (Rival).

The full cast will be: Zoe Arshamian; Martin Ball; Emma Barr; Alicia Beck; Kieran Brown; Emmi Christensson; Joseph Claus; Scott Davies; Hadrian Delacey; Meshell Dillon; John Ellis; Fiona Finsbury; David Francis; Lyndsey Gardiner; Ryan Goscinski; Philip Griffiths; Layla Harrison; Andy Hockley; Elizabeth Holmes; Daisy Hulbert; Ellen Jackson; Harriet Jones; Tim Laurenti; Lara Martins; Leo Miles; Tim Morgan; Fiona Morley; Jacinta Mulcahy; Richard Munday; Ryan O’Gorman; Joanna O’Hare; Simon Rackley; Gerónimo Rauch; Shena Sanders; Oliver Savile; Danielle Stephens; Liam Tamne; Claire Tilling; Georgina Ware and Lisa-Anne Wood.



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Sunday, July 20

Tour of Elf the Musical

There will be a tour of the Broadway hit  Elf the Musical at the end of this year.The only dates we  have so far are Theatre Royal Plymouth (6th-13th December) abd Bord Gais Energy in Dublin (16 December - 10 January). The show ran on Broadway in the Christmas seasons of 2010-11 and 2012-13, and also toured the US.in 2012.

The show is narrated by Santa Claus and based on the 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, telling the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. He finds him, but like many other New Yorkers he doesn't believe in the spirit of Christmas, which  is a problem, because Santa's sleigh is powered by the people's belief in Christmas.

Elf he Musical Features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar & Chad Beguelin. Book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan & Bob Martin. Direction & choreography by Morgan Young. Set and Costume design by Olivier Award winner Tim Goodchild. Lighting design by Oliver Award winner Tim Lutkin and Sound design by Ciem Rawling.


 

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Wednesday, July 16

Full cast announced for Jersey Boys Tour

The full cast has just been announced for the tour of Jersey Boys which kicks off in Manchester in September.

As already  confirmed Tim Driesen will be heading the cast as Frankie Valli. He has been playing the role in the Dutch production and also was in the show at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End for a short time. He will be joined by Stephen Webb as Tommy DeVito, Sam Ferriday as Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths as Nick Massi. (Matt Comer will play Frankie Valli at certain performances Sean Kingsley/Gyp DeCarlo, Matt Gillett/Bob Crewe, Nathaniel Morrison/Barry Belson, Dominic Smith/Norm Waxman, Damian Buhagiar/Joey Pesci, Henry Davis/Hank Majewski, Leanne Garretty/ Lorraine, Amelia Adams-Pearce/ Mary Delgado and Sinead Long as Francine, with Dan Krikler, Dayle Hodge, Luke Morton and Charlie Allen.

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Tuesday, July 15

Louise Dearman as Bianca in Kiss Me Kate with John Wilson Orchestra at Proms

Following the  success of the semi-staged performance of My Fair Lady at the Proms in 2012, John Wilson returns to perform Cole Porter’s Tony Award-winning musical Kiss Me, Kate. Joining John Wilson and his  Orchestra are Broadway stars Ben Davis/Fred Graham/Petruchio, Alexandra Silber/Lilli Vanessi/Katherine Tony Yazbeck/Bill Calhoun/Lucentio and West End star Louise Dearman/Lois Lane/Bianca performing an  irreverent reworking of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – a play within a play. This is the BBC Proms debut for all four performers as they sing the energetic score in its original 1948 arrangement.

The show takes place on  Saturday 2nd  August and will be broadcast Live on BBC Radio 3, 7.30pm
and Recorded for broadcast on BBC Two in December 2014

Returns only for seated tickets. Up to 1400 Promming (standing) tickets at £5 are available on the day for every Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. For more information please visit bbc.co.uk/proms 

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Reshooting of Into the Woods Movie

The much anticipated Disney big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's fairy tale-themed musical INTO THE WOODS is apparently adding some new material to what's already been shot with a month of reshoots about to begin.

Suggestions of the changes that have been made to the feature film, include the decision to not kill off the character of Rapunzel.

INTO THE WOODS is set to be released on December 25, 2014.

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New Elder Price and Elder Cunningham to join The Book of Mormon

 The Book Of Mormon  at the Prince of Wales theatre is about to undergo a cast change on 28th July when US stars Billy Harrigan Tighe and A J Holmes take on the lead roles of Elder Price an Elder Cunningham from  Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner wgo are due to leave on 26th July.

Harrigan Tighe's (Elder Price) credits include Pippin on Broadway and the US tour of Wicked.

 Holmes has played  Elder Cunningham  in all three North American companies of the musica.

Harrigan Tighe and Holmes will join current cast members including Alexia Khadime, Stephen Ashfield, Kevin Harvey, Hugo Harold Harrison, Chris Jarman, Mark Anderson, Benjamin Brook, Daniel Clift and Christopher Copeland - all of whom continue in their roles.

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Kerry Ellis to return to Wicked!

Willemijn Verkaik who plays the green witch Elphaba in Wicked! will unfortunately be leaving the show earlier than planned on this Saturday 19th July due to back injuries that require surgery. 

Kerry Ellis will be returning to the show;for 12 weeks to reprise the role she originally played in 2007 from 4th August to October 25th until Nikki Davis-Jones officially takes over at cast change on  October 27th. (Emma Hatton will be performing during  the 2 weeks gap between Willemijn leaving and Kerry joining).

NB: Kerry Ellis will not be appearing in Wicked on Tuesday 19 August, Saturday 27 September, Thursday 2 October - Friday 10 October, Tuesday 14 - Thursday 16 October and Saturday 18 October due to her concert appearances.

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Saturday, July 12

Dolly Parton the Musical!

Following her triumph at Glastonbury Dolly Parton has revealed that she is writing a new Broadway musical based on her larger than life career tracing her journey from humble family beginnings in Tennessee, through decades of country music and worldwide superstardom.

She said "I'm writing my life story as a musical for Broadway. I probably won't be in it but I'll find a way to introduce it somehow, maybe the older me." She wrote original songs for the stage version of 9 to 5: The Musical that went to Broadway in 2009 and recently toured he UK.

Parton is due to star in A Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah in cinemas from January 13th. They  play  two strong-minded women who are forced to cooperate when budget cuts threaten to shut down a small-town choir..

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