Tuesday, September 27

Take That, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe in line up for Children in Need Rocks for Terry

Take That, Ellie Goulding, Olly Murs, Gregory Porter, Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Rick Astley, Alexander Armstrong, The Vamps, and Ward Thomas are among the artists  performing at BBC Children in Need Rocks for Terry: a  special concert hosted by Fearne Cotton and Greg James.

It will take place at the at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 1st November at 18:15 and will celebrate the life of legendary broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan with a selection of his all-time favourite music. All proceeds, after costs. will benefit BBC Children in Need

Gina Beck Singular Sensations at Charing Cross Theatre

West End leading lady GINA BECK is appearing in  the acclaimed Singular Sensations at Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday 16th October 2016 at 3:00 pm. As well as performing she will be talking in depth  to the host Edward Seckerson ( formerly the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s long-running musical theatre show Stage & Screen )

She most recently starred as Magnolia in Daniel Evan’s acclaimed production of SHOW BOAT and appeared in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD at the Watermill Theatre and as Glinda in WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, West End and on the US national tour. Prior to that she appeared in THE BELLE’S STRATAGEM at the Southwark Playhouse and as Maria Von Trapp in THE SOUND OF MUSIC for Bronowski Productions at the Plenary Hall Theatre, Kuala Lumpa.

Other theatre  credits include THE KISSING DANCE at The Jermyn Street Theatre and the LES MISERABLES 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT at the O2 Arena. In September2010 she completed two years starring as Christine in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Her Majesty’s Theatre, West End.

TV credits include DOCTORS for the BBC and THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES for BBC, directed by Simon Cellan-Jones.

Wicked 10th Anniversary tonight and 2018 tour announced!

WICKED  celebrates 10 years at London’s Apollo Victoria  tonight (Tuesday 27 September). Over the past decade, Wicked has become “one of the most popular West End musicals ever” (London Evening Standard).

It is already the 8th longest running show currently playing in the West End and on Saturday 12th November at 2:30pm, it will become the 18th longest running show in West End theatre history, overtaking Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. It is one of only three Broadway transfers in West Endhistory to ever run 10 years or more (the two others being Disney’s The Lion King and the 1997 revival of Chicago).
The  record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour will return in February 2018, opening at the Bristol Hippodrome (with tickets on sale from 1 February 2017). Further dates to be announced. The production is currently playing  in Singapore and continues touring internationally until January 2018.

Monday, September 26

November release date for Gypsy DVD starring Imelda Staunton

It has just been announced that the DVD and digital download of Gypsy starring Imelda Stauntonwill be released on 28th November 2016.

Filmed in front of an audience at the Savoy Theatre, and shown on the BBC over Christmas, Gypsy features Imelda Staunton in her Olivier Award-winning performance as Momma Rose with a cast also including Peter Davison, Lara Pulver and Gemma Sutton.

With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Jule Styne, the show is based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous 1950s striptease artist with a score featuring classic songs including "Let Me Entertain You", "Rose's Turn" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses". The show was directed by Jonathan Kent with choreography from Stephen Mear.

Phantom of the Opera 30th Anniversary Gala Performance

The Phantom of the Opera celebrates its 30th Anniversary on Monday 10th October at Her Majesty's Theatre with a very special charity gala performance in aid of The Music in Secondary Schools Trust.

To celebrate this milestone, the current cast including Ben Forster as ‘The Phantom’, Celinde Schoenmaker as ‘Christine Daae’ and Nadim Naaman as ‘Raoul’ will be joined on stage by members of the original company and special guests in a special finale.

Tickets are priced at £30 and £19.86. There will also be 30 pairs of exclusive tickets priced at £300 each (£600 per pair) which include top price seats and an invitation to the private after-show party.

 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA opened at Her Majesty's Theatre on 9th October 1986 starring Michael Crawford as 'The Phantom' and Sarah Brightman as 'Christine'.  It is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Prague, Oberhausen and on tour in the US. It  will open in Stockholm in September.

Tickets for this very special performance are now available from Her Majesty’s Theatre box office, in person, on 0844 412 2707 or visit “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” website

David Walliams' Gangsta Granny to Transfer into the West End

The adaptation of David Walliams' children's book  Gangsta Granny which was recently nominated for a UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children is currently on tour and will transfer to the West End at the Garrick Theatre from 1st August until 3rd September, with previews from 26 July.

Birmingham Stage Company's production is adapted by Neal Foster, the man behind the Horrible Histories shows including Barmy Britain - Part One, Two and Three and The Best of Barmy Britain. Gangtsta Granny tells the story of Ben, who is staying with his granny on Friday night and is expecting the same boring cabbage soup. What he doesn't realise is that his granny has a secret.

Walliams said: "I'm delighted that my Gangsta Granny is making her West End debut. It's my most popular book so it will be wonderful to see the Birmingham Stage Company's terrific adaptation in dazzling neon next summer."

Tickets for Gangsta Granny at the Garrick Theatre on sale soon

Sunday, September 25

West End Cast lead Broadway production of A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is being presented  at London's Lyric Theatre on Monday 19th December at 7.30pm featuring a star studded West End cast (to be announced) accompanied by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra

The London premiere of this Christmas classic gets the full Broadway treatment by the Broadway team of Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid), Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical) and Mike Ockrent (Crazy For You, Me and My Girl). 
Called by The New York Times "a tonic for adults, and for children a transfixing journey," this spectacular musical extravaganza ran for ten years at New York's Madison Square Garden. 

Friday, September 23

Stepping Out tour starring Amanda Holden to transfer to West End

It has been confirmed that Stepping Out by Richard Harris will transfer to the West End following its UK tour. Directed by Maria Friedman, Stepping Out tours the UK from 12th October 2016 including dates at Theatre Royal Bath, Richmond Theatre, Cambridge Arts Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre. Further casting for the West End production is still to be confirmed.

Starring Amanda Holden as Vera  with Angela Griffin, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicola Stephenson, the play will open at the Vaudeville Theatre on 14th March 2017 (previews from 1st March). It is currently booking until 17th June

Stepping Out charts the lives of seven women and one man attempting to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class. Initially all thumbs and left feet, the group is just getting to grips with the basics when they are asked to take part in a charity gala. Over the course of several months we meet the group, and all of them have a story to tell. There's perfectionist Vera, mouthy Maxine and uptight Andy, bubbly Sylvia and shy Dorothy, eager Lynne and cheerful Rose, and, of course, Geoffrey. At the piano is the dour Mrs Fraser and spurring them all on, the ever-patient Mavis.

Tickets for Stepping Out 

Broadway's Anthony Rapp in Concert during Rent 20th Anniversary Tour

Amended 24th September; Broadway star Anthony Rapp is coming to London to appear in his solo concert  to coincide with the  RENT 20th Anniversary Tour  when it is in the Main House at the St James Studio between 5th-17th December 2016.

He  created the role Mark Cohen  in the original off-Broadway, Broadway and West End productions of Rent, will present his solo concert in the Studio for a limited two week run from 5th-17th December.

Rapp most recently reunited with his RENT co-star Idina Menzel in new musical If/Then on Broadway, before reprising his performance for the US tour.He last performed in London in his show Without You at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2012.

Tickets for Anthony Rapp Live In Concert

Ramin Karimloo to appear in new musical Anastasia on Broadway

West End and Broadway star Ramin Karimloo  has been cast in  the new Broadway musical Anastasia based on 20th Century Fox’s 1997 animated film. He will play Bolshevik general Gleb joining a cast that already includes Christy Altomare (playing the young woman who may or may not be a lost Russian duchess) with  Derek Klena, John Bolton and Caroline O’Connor. 

Darko Tresnjak (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”) directs with composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens having written  the score, with original songs filling out the tunes they originally wrote for the animated film. Terrence McNally has written  the book.

Karimloo, is  about to open in London at the Arts Theatre where he is starring in Murder Ballad  with Kerry Ellis.

Following a tryout run in Connecticut earlier this year, Anastasia will move to Broadway to  begin previews on March 23 and April 24 opening.  A trailer for the production released earlier this week on the show’s Facebook page, attracted over  seven million views

The New York staging of “Anastasia” is produced by Stage Entertainment USA, Bill Taylor and Tom Kirdahy Productions.

Mamie Parris to take over as Grizabella from Leona Lewis in Cats Broadway

Mamie Parris is taking over from Leona Lewis will play her final performance as Grizabella on 9th October in the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.
Parris originated the role of Patty in Lloyd Webber's new Broadway musical School of Rock and starred as Elphaba in the US tour of Wicked and as Judy in the US tour of 9 to 5. Broadway credits include On the Twentieth Century, Ragtime, 110 in the Shade and The Drowsy Chaperone.
The Broadway cast of Cats also includes Andy Huntington Jones as Munkustrap, Ricky Ubeda as Mr. Mistoffelees, Tyler Hanes as Rum Tum Tugger, Kim Fauré as Demeter, Sara Jean Ford as Jellylorum, Christopher Gurr as Bustopher Jones, Jess LeProtto as Mungojerrie, Shonica Gooden as Rumpelteazer and Christine Cornish Smith as Bombalurina.

Kerry Ellis & Adam Garcia to appear at Wicked's 10th Anniversary Gala

Original Wicked London cast members Kerry Ellis and Adam Garcia are set to make a special appearance at the curtain call of the Wicked! the musical's 10th anniversary gala  at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on Tuesday 27th September 2016.  Garcia originated the role of Fiyero in London whilst Ellis was the standby for Idina Menzel in the original cast. She went on to become the first British actress to play Elphaba in the West End and on Broadway.

The Mail's Baz Bamigboye also  reports that among the other special guests in attendance will be Matt Willis and Nigel Planer who have played Fiyero and the Wizard.
Wicked celebrates its tenth birthday The current cast includes the West End's longest serving Elphaba Rachel Tucker who recently returned to the musical following a stint on Broadway and Australian Glinda Suzie Mathers who is making her West End debut in the production.