MUSICAL THEATRE NEWS

Wednesday, August 31

Half a Sixpence transferring to Noel Coward Theatre

Following rave reviews and a record-breaking run in Chichester, Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce the West End transfer of the critically acclaimed hit musical HALF A SIXPENCE - with performances commencing at the Noël Coward Theatre from 29th October  (press night 17th November ). The first booking period is on sale until 11th February 2017.Tickets go on public sale on Thursday 1st September at 10.00am.

The entire Chichester cast will transfer to the West End, starring newcomers Charlie Stemp as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and Devon-Elise Johnson as ‘Ann Pornick’ – with Olivier-nominated actors Ian Bartholomew as ‘Chitterlow’ and  Emma Williams as ‘Helen Walsingham’.

This new stage version of “HALF A SIXPENCE”, the musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s semi- autobiographical novel ‘Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul’, is a completely fresh adaptation which reunites book-writer Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the hit stage adaptation of “Mary Poppins” with Disney. The score is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s exhilarating songs from the original production, including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Money To Burn’ and ‘Half A Sixpence’.

Arthur Kipps, an orphan and over-worked draper’s assistant at the turn of the last century, unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society. His childhood companion, Ann Pornick, watches with dismay as Arthur is made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. Both young women undoubtedly love Arthur – but which of them should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.

Cameron Mackintosh said: “I am absolutely thrilled that our new version of the iconic British musical Half a Sixpence has gone off with such a flash bang wallop and been so rapturously received by both audiences and critics alike, breaking box offices records in Chichester.  The show’s amazing cast is headed by the sensational new young star Charlie Stemp, who has put his own brilliantly original stamp on a part that fifty years ago launched Tommy Steele’s international theatre and film career. Everyone seems to agree that history is about to repeat itself with Charlie, whose performance is sending audiences into raptures nightly.I’m also thrilled that the show is going to open in London at the Noël Coward Theatre, original home of another great iconic British musical Oliver! which premiered in 1960, three years before Sixpence opened up the street at the Cambridge Theatre. The spacious Coward stage will perfectly show off Paul Brown’s brilliant design.

Joanne Clifton to star in tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie

Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer Joanne Clifton  is to star as Millie Dillmount in the new UK  tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie  which opens  at the New Wimbledon Theatre in January 2017

Her previous credits include Face the Music, Burn the Floor, and Norma Jeane the Musical.

Featuring songs such as "Gimme Gimme" and "Not for the Life of Me", the musical is based on the 1967 film starring Julie Andrews and first opened on Broadway in 2002. It will be directed and choreographed by Gary Lloyd, with a book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori
 and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan.

Tuesday, August 30

In the Heights announces new cast and extends booking period

Olivier and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical IN THE HEIGHTSby Hamtiton creator Lin Manuel Miranda  has extended its London run at the King’s Cross Theatre for the third and final time and is now booking until Sunday 8th January 2017.

Joining the cast from Friday 16 September are Arun Blair-Mangat as ‘Benny’ (“Kinky Boots”); Juliet Gough as ‘Camilla’ (“Matilda”) and Stephanie Rojas as ‘Carla’ (“Wonder.land”). Sarah Naudi, who has been with the show since it opened at the Southwark Playhouse in 2014, will play the role of ‘Vanessa’ and Damian Buhagiar returns to the production as ‘Sonny’, having originated the role in 2014.

Continuing their roles are: Sam Mackay as ‘Usnavi’ (“Wonder.land”); Gabriela Garcia as ‘Nina’ (“Ghost The Musical”); David Bedella as ‘Kevin’ (“Jerry Springer – The Opera”); Norma Attallah as ‘Abuela’ (“The Sound of Music – Live”); Jonathan Bishop as ‘Graffiti Pete’ (“The Lion King”) and Vas Constanti as ‘Piragua Guy’ (“Flashdance”). They are joined by: Reiss Hinds; Christopher Tendai; Michael Cortez; Shanice Burton; Raffaella Covino; Genesis Lynea; Alex Thomas and Tara Young with further casting to be announced shortly.



Saturday, August 27

Casting for Sweet Charity at Manchester Royal Exchange over Christmas

Casting has been announced for the upcoming revival of Sweet Charity at the Royal Exchange in Manchester directed by Derek Bond and  running  between 3rd December 2016 and 21st January 2017.

Kaisa Hammarlund will star as Charity Hope Valentine with the cast also including Lucy Jane Adcock as Carmen, Christine Allado as Ursula, Josie Benson as Daddy Brubeck, Michelle Cornelius as Frenchy, Holly Dale Spencer as Nickie, Bob Harms as Vittorio Vidal, Harry Hepple as Oscar, Natalie Hope as Betsy, Peter McPherson as Charlie Dark Glasses, Cat Simmons as Helene, Sévan Stephan as Herman and Alex Thomas-Smith as Manfred. Michelle Andrews and Olly Christopher complete the company.

Sweet Charity has music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon.Design is by James Perkins with lighting by Sally Ferguson, sound by Richard Brooker and choreography by Aletta Collins.

Tickets for Sweet Charity  

Guys and Dolls Israel features cast members from West End and touring productions

Casting has been announced for the Israeli transfer of Guys and Dolls which features a mixture of cast members from the West End and touring productions reprising their performances.

With design by Peter McKintosh and choreography by Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright, Guys and Dolls will run at The Opera House in Tel Aviv-Yafo between Tuesday 13th and Friday 23rd September 2016. The show will be performed in English with Hebrew surtitles.

The cast includes Simon Lipkin as Nathan, Lucy Jane Adcock as Miss Adelaide, Siubhan Harrison as Sarah, Oliver Tompsett as Sky, Giovanni Spano as Harry the Horse, Will Kenning as Big Jule, Jack Edwards as Nicely, Aron Wild as Benny, Peter Harding as Arvide, Anthony McGill as Brannigan and Melanie Marshall as General Cartwright.

Cast announced for Asian Tour of Ghost the Musical

Casting has been announced for the  second Asian tour of Ghost The Musical which starts in Ningbo, China in November and tours through into 2017.

Liam Doyle will reprise his performance as Sam opposite Emily Tierney who is joining the cast as Molly. Samuel Edwards is  joining the cast as Carl (he previously understudied the role of Sam in the original West End production).

Tierney  played Glinda opposite both Doyle and Edwards when they starred as Fiyero in the UK tour of Wicked.

American actress Evette Marie White will play Oda Mae Brown with Scott Maurice is Subway Ghost, Fernando Contreras is Willie Lopez with Lydia Warr as Louise and Scarlet Gabriel as Clara. 
They will be joined by Ashley Daniels, Ben Irish, Daniel Mackinlay, Scott Mobley, Kiel Payton, Adi Suissa, Nikki Bentley, Rhiane Drummond, Karina Hind, Justine Pratt, Lauran Rae, and Kirsty Sturgess.


Casting announced for Out There: new musical by Elliot Davis and James Bourne

Casting has been announced for Out There, a new musical by Elliot Davis and James Bourne (the team behind Loserville) which  opens at the Union Theatre on 23rd September (previews from 21st September) for a limited run to 8th October 2016.

This heart felt story with its country inspired score  tells the story of Newman Carter, a world famous astronaut mysteriously disappears in 1969. Forty years later, a troubled young man turns up on his doorstep with a letter that changes everything for everyone. Out There is an original tale spanning  three generations; sons, fathers and grandfathers.

Directed by Michael Burgen, the cast includes Dave Willetts as Ned Thomas, Luke Street as Logan Carter, Neil Moors as David Carter, Imelda Warren-Green as Jamie Pack, Melissa Veszi as Sheriff Marti Pack, Adam Pettit as Billy, Rhys Owens as Stan, Jodee Conrad as Celia Carter, Melissa Bayern as Linda Wares, Thea Jo Wolfe as Hope Carter and Shane Gibb as Newman Carter. (The role of David Carter will be played by Christopher Howell between 1st-3rd October).

Musical direction will be by Joe Louis Robinson with choreography by Lisa Mathieson, lighting by Iain Dennis and set by Nik Corrall.



Tickets for Out There


Friday, August 26

Miss Saigon Tour announced for next year

Cameron Mackintosh announced today that his  new production of  MISS SAIGON  is to embark on a major UK tour opening at Curve Leicester from Monday 3 July – Saturday 22 July 2017 (press night Wednesday 12 July 2017) before playing Birmingham Hippodrome (26 July – 23 September 2017), Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (Wednesday 4 October to Saturday 18 November), Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (29 November 2017 – 6 January 2018), Festival Theatre Edinburgh (17 January – 17 February 2018) and Mayflower Southampton (21 February – 17 March 2018). Tour schedule and on sale dates here with further venues and casting to be announced soon.

The revival production, directed by Laurence Connor, opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End in 2014. Originally opening on the West End in 1989, Miss Saigon is written by Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is the tale of a love-story set in Vietnam during the war, loosely inspired by the opera Madame Butterfly.

This year, the show will also be screening the 25th anniversary gala on 16th October, which includes special finale performances from the original Engineer Jonathan Pryce,  Lea Salonga who played Kim and Simon Bowman who played Chris. The show opens on Broadway next March.

Cameron Mackintosh said, “It’s hard to believe that it has been over 25 years since MISS SAIGON first opened, but if anything, the tragic love story of the show has become even more relevant today. This new production, directed by Laurence Connor, takes a grittier, more realistic approach than the original production while still delivering the power and epic sweep of Boublil and Schönberg’s tremendous score. Of all my shows, MISS SAIGON is the one that I have received the most requests from the public to bring back. I am thrilled that audiences around the UK will get to see this tremendous new production that audiences and critics in London have embraced since it opened in 2014; which I am now taking to Broadway with its original West End stars opening next March at the Broadway Theatre. Audiences who can’t wait, will get a preview of the scale of this wonderful production at forthcoming screenings of the MISS SAIGON 25th Anniversary Performance which was filmed live in London, in selected screens across the UK on 16 October.”






Thursday, August 25

Emma Hatton Songbird Concert

Emma Hatton plays her final performance as the green Elphaba in  Wicked! on 3rd September, followed bya performance of Eva Cassidy's  Songbird including 'Fields of Gold' and 'Over the Rainbow' at Live at Zedel on 28th October 2016.
Hatton says: "I have loved Eva Cassidy since I first heard her sing. She has the most wonderfully emotive sound that is unique to her – you only need to hear a word or a note to know it’s Eva. As a vocalist, that’s incredibly special and what we all seek to achieve. It’s truly an honour to be able to combine my own sound with Eva’s genius."
Hatton recently performed sold out jazz and blues shows at the Pheasantry and Kettners following the release of her debut EP Merry Christmas, Darling which topped the iTunes jazz chart. She is currently working on her second EP.
 

Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Performance to be screened in US cinemas in September

Following the announcement that the recording of the 25th anniversary of Miss Saigon will be screened in Australia on 14th October and in the UK on 15th October, it has now been confirmed it will be shown in US cinemas on 22nd September 2016 ahead of being revived on Broadway next March for a limited run to 14th January 2018. The show will then embark on a US tour with a UK tour rumoured  for next year.

After being screened around the world, Miss Saigon: The 25th Anniversary Performance is expected to become available for purchase (details yet to be confirmed).

The majority of the footage was captured during the musical's 25th anniversary gala at the Prince Edward Theatre with a finale featuring original cast members including Jonathan Pryce (the engineer), Lea Salonga (Kim) and Simon Bowman (Chris).

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 find your nearest cinema for the screening.

Jennifer Holliday back in Broadway's The Color Purple

Jennifer Holliday who originated the role of Effie White in in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls is back in The Color Purple on Broadway taking over the role of  Shug Avery  (the role she originated in this production) from Heather Headley.
She will play her first performance at New York's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 4th October, with Headley leaving on 2nd October. 
Holliday says: "I was deeply moved by this truly uplifting production of The Color Purple. I am highly honored and absolutely thrilled to be joining this extraordinary cast. Nothing compares to performing before a Broadway audience and I can't wait to return to the Broadway stage, where I started my career over 35 years ago.”
She joins Cynthia Erivo and Danielle Brooks as Celie and Sofia with  Isaiah Johnson as Mister, Joaquina Kalukango as Nettie, Kyle Scatliffe as Harpo and Patrice Covington as Squeak.

Jonny Labey & Sabrina Aloueche starring in That Man

Casting has been announced for the  concert staging of That Man  at the London Hippodrome for two performances on at 16:00 and 18:00 Tuesday 20th September 2016.

That Man is a a new musical set in 1957 London when  Chas puts his best friend Rick to the test when he suggests a wager, based upon winning the favours of Rosa, the singing star at London's famous cabaret club, The Flamingo. When the wager backfires, Rick faces a dilemma. His pride and his position among his peer group forces him to take a course of action in total conflict with his desires. and features hit songs That Man, Liquid Lunch, A Night Like This and others made famous by Caro Emerald.

The cast is led by Jonny Labey (Paul Coker in EastEnders/In The Heights) with Sabrina Aloueche (We Will Rock You/Les Miserables), Christopher Howell (Guys & Dolls/Wicked), Treyc Cohen (The Lion King), Rhiannon Chesterman (Mrs Henderson Presents), Stephanie Rojas (Love Me Tender) and Kate England (To Kill a Mockingbird).

With a book by Wendy Gill, the show is directed by Paul Boyd (Molly Wobbly) with choreography by Anthony Whiteman and musical direction by Iain Vince-Gatt.


Buy Tickets for That Man