Wednesday, April 24

BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL to tour again next year

Following a highly successful West End run/a run of two and a half years in the West End and a sell-out tour in 2017/18, Paul Blake, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Mike Bosner in association with Michael Harrison are delighted to announce that the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL will hit the road again and tour throughout the UK and Ireland in 2020, opening at the Churchill Theatre Bromley on 11th January. Cast to be announced.

Below are the dates we have so far with more to follow:

The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Hull New Theatre
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Bristol Hippodrome
The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Sunderland Empire
New Wimbledon Theatre
Milton Keynes Theatre
Venue Cymru, Llandudno
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
Edinburgh Playhouse
Liverpool Empire
King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

Alistair Brammer to take over role of Fiyero in Wicked West End

Some new casting has been announced for  Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre  which is  booking until 23rd May 2020.
Alistair Brammer, known for his role as Chris in  Miss Saigon on Broadway and in the West End as well as Marius in Les Misérables and War Horse, will take on the role of Fiyero from 22nd July 2019.

David Witts, who is currently playing the role at the  will have his final performance on Saturday 20th July 2019. 

Further casting for the West End production is to be announced.

Thursday, April 18

Casting for European premiere of US musical The View Upstairs

An impressive cast has been announced for the European premiere of the LGBT US musical The View Upstairs at Soho Theatre which runs from 18th July-24 August with a press night on Tuesday 23 July.

Andy Mientus, Declan Bennett, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Cedric Neal and  John Partridge will star as Patrick, Dale, Inez, Henri and Buddy.

Broadway and television actor, Andy Mientus will be making his UK theatre debut. He has starred in numerous musicals including Marius in Les Misérables, and Hanschen in Deaf West Theater's revival of Spring Awakening, which he also co-conceived with director Michael Arden. He played regular character Kyle Bishop on the TV show Smash opposite Debra Messing, Jack Davenport and Katharine McPhee. He can currently be seen in the new NBC/Universal/WGN America series Gone starring Chris Noth, as well as the upcoming anthology series Dolly Parton's Heartstrings on Netflix.

John Partridge is well known for his extensive TV work, including Christian Clarke in EastEnders (BBC), winning Celebrity MasterChef (BBC), participating in BBC1's gymnastics show Tumble and being a judge on Over the Rainbow (BBC). John began his career at the age of 16 in the original UK tour of Cats and subsequently went on to star as Rum Tum Tugger in both the West End production and the film opposite Elaine Paige and John Mills. John's other theatre credits include Zach in A Chorus Line (London Palladium), Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone(Novello Theatre), The Fix (Donmar Warehouse) directed by Sam Mendes, Billy Flynn in Chicago (national tour), in Miss Saigon (national tour). He is currently playing Turai in Tom Stoppard's Rough Crossing (national tour).  

Declan Bennett, is best known for playing t Charlie Cotton in EastEnders from 2014 to 2017. He was in boyband Point Break before beginning his career on stage, where he has starred in shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar (Open Air Theatre), Once (Phoenix Theatre), American Idiot (St. James Theatre/Broadway), Rent (Nederlander Theatre/Broadway/US National Tour), Fatherland (Lyric Hammersmith) and Kiss of the Spider Woman (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Victoria Hamilton-Barritt's wide range of theatre credits include Kate in The Wild Party (The Other Palace), Joan in Miss Littlewood (RSC), Narrator in Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Daniella in In The Heights (Kings Cross Theatre/Southwark Playhouse), Diana Morales in A Chorus Line (London Palladium), Gypsy Rose Lee/Louise in Gypsy (Curve), Rizzo in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre) and Alex Owens in Flashdance (Shaftesbury theatre, No.1 Tour).

Cedric Neal was a semi-finalist in The Voice, 2019 on ITV1, as part of Team Tom. Cedric has starred in Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), played alongside Audra McDonald in the 2012 Tony award-winning Broadway production of Porgy and Bess, and recently played  the Arbiter in Chess (London Coliseum).

Also in the cast are Carly Mercedes Dyer (Hadestown, Dreamgirls, Memphis) as Henri, Gary Lee (Flashdance, Ghost) as Freddy, Joseph Prouse (Hadestown, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Jersey Boys) as Richard and Derek Hagen (The Twilight Zone, 20th Century Boy & Carousel) as Cops/Realtor. Casting for the role of Wes to be announced.

The musical opens in present day when Wes, a young fashion designer buys an abandoned space, not realising this had been the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant '70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans, which, in 1973, was burned down in an arson attack, killing 32 people, and making it the worst attack on the LGBTQ+ community until the 2016 shooting at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. THE VIEW UPSTAIRS brings to life this forgotten community and takes the audience on an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration, celebrating the lives of those forgotten, while featuring a soulful, rock and jazz score.

The View Upstairs has been  written by Max Vernon and will be directed in London by Jonathan O'Boyle with choreography by Fabian Aloise, set and costume design by Lee Newby, lighting by Nic Farman, sound by Adam Fisher and casting by Will Burton.

Tickets for The View Upstairs

Wednesday, April 17

Pet Shop Boys announce new musical MUSIK starring Frances Barber

Writer Jonathan Harvey and Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are to present the world premiere of a new cabaret show at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe. MUSIK is a 50-minute, one-woman show with an outrageous book by Jonathan Harvey and six songs by Tennant and Lowe including four new ones written for this show. Outrageous club hostess Billie Trix is set to return with multi-award-winning Frances Barber reprising the role she first played 18 years ago in Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s West End musical Closer To Heaven

‘MUSIK’ will run from 5th to 24th August at Assembly Rooms (Bijou venue), 54 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR. Tickets go on sale at 10:00 Thursday 18th  April

The Pet Shop Boys said: “When we wrote ‘Closer to Heaven’ almost 20 years ago, we loved the compelling outrageousness of the character Bille Trix as written by Jonathan and performed by Frances Barber. We have all discussed for many years the idea of creating her own one-woman show which would give us the chance to write more songs for her as she looks back on her incredible career. We’re thrilled that this show is finally happening.”

Jonathan Harvey said: “It has been such a treat reconnecting and working with Chris and Neil on this, 20 years after our first foray into musical theatre writing. In ‘MUSIK’ Billie, dried up, drug-addled icon and rock star, tells us about her life and sings her biggest hits. I can’t wait to see Frances Barber inhabit her again as she did so hilariously and so touchingly all those years ago.”

Frances Barber is an award-winning star of stage, screen and TV. Her extensive credits include the films ‘Prick Up Your Ears’, ‘We Think the World of You’, ‘Dead Fish’ and ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’. Her numerous TV credits include ‘The Street’, multiple guest starring episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ as Madame Kovaria and ‘Silk’. In the West End she recently played Mrs. Cheveley in ‘An Ideal Husband’.

Tuesday, April 16

Fleur East, Joe McElderry and Matthew Croke part of line up in concerts for charity Children With Cancer UK.

Fleur East, Joe McElderry, Flawless, BGT illusionist Marc Spelmann, Aladdin's Matthew Croke and  X Factor’s Lauren Platt are among the artists  providing you with an evening of  entertainment suitable for the whole family to celebrate the success of the charity Children With Cancer UK at the following venues:

15th Sept - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
22nd Sept - Birmingham Symphony Hall
29th Sept - Liverpool M&S BANK Arena
13th Oct - Fairfield Halls Croydon 

Since 1987, Children with Cancer UK has raised over £230 million to support research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers, and to provide better facilities for caring for children and their families. The founder, Eddie O’Gorman won a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Pride of Britain.

Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills to premiere Cruel Intentions: the 90s Musical

Bill Kenwright has again joined forces with Paul Taylor-Mills (the last time was on the hit Heathers Musical) to premiere a new musical based on the 1999 cult movie Cruel Intentions  in Edinburgh from 1st-25th  August at  the Palais du Variété Spiegeltent at Assembly George Square Gardens , marking the 20th anniversary of the original film which was an adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel Les Liaisons dangereuses directed by Roger Kumble, and  starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair.

Set among a group of wealthy teenagers at school in New York City, the musical is the  story of two of Manhattan’s ‘most dangerous liaisons’, Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil who live in a manipulative world seduced by revenge and fuelled by passion as the step-siblings bet on destroying an innocent girl. Weaving a web of secrets and temptation, they become entangled in the cruellest game of all... love.

The action of the piece will be played out to a sound-track of some of the most iconic hits of the 90’s including Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn, I Saw the Sign by Ace of Base, Boyz II Men’s I’ll Make Love to You, NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye, Britney Spears’ Sometime, REM’s Losing My Religion, Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve and many more.

Tickets go on sale Thurs 18 April  at 10:00 am 

Kerry Ellis joins Queen Machine for April 2020 Symphonic tour

The music of rock legends Queen is to be celebrated like never before as West End leading lady Kerry Ellis joins Scandinavian tribute stars Queen Machine for a fully orchestrated UK tour.

The all-new tour Queen Machine Symphonic featuring Kerry Ellis will see Queen’s greatest hits performed by leading European tribute band Queen Machine accompanied by the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra conducted by Matthew Freeman, creating an unforgettable night of rock anthems.

Bjarke Baisner fronts Queen Machine, sounding and looking like a young Freddie Mercury, joined by Peter Møller Jeppesen on guitar, Henrik Østergaard on keys, Jens Lunde on bass and Paolo Romano Torquati on drums. Joining them will be the UK’s leading lady of musical theatre Kerry Ellis, who originated the role of Meat, in Queen musical We Will Rock You. Since then, she’s forged a long-standing musical relationship and friendship with Queen guitarist Brian May, who describes the stage star as having “Britain’s most beautiful voice”. He produced her debut album Anthems, and they jointly released the follow up Golden Days in 2017, as well as extensively touring the UK and Europe together.

The April 2020 tour dates are:

Wed 15th EDINBURGH Usher Hall
Thu 16th GLASGOW Royal Concert Hall
Fri 17th DERBY Arena
Sat 18th MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Tue 21st LONDON Hammersmith Eventim Apollo
Wed 22nd CARDIFF, St David’s Hall
Sat 25th LEEDS Arena

 Tickets go on sale at 10:00 am on Thursday, April 18th

Monday, April 15

Six, Waitress, John Owen Jones & Louise Dearman added to performers at Magic at the Musicals

Magic at the Musicals with Celebrity Cruises returns to  London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday 10th May at 7:30 pm , with a brand new line-up of leading cast member performances from the West End’s most celebrated shows.
Performances this year include include  Six, the sell-out  Tudor take-off!, smash hit musical comedy Waitress and  John Owen Jones & Louise Dearman accomanied by a 60 piece orchestra.

Already announced performances for this night of musical theatre include:  Disney’s Aladdin, Jesus Christ Superstar, SCHOOL OF ROCK, 2019 Olivier Award winning Come From Away, Fiddler On The Roof, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, Disney’s Lion King and MAMMA MIA! The Musical.
The event will be hosted  by West End lading lady Ruthie Henshall and star of Disney’s Aladdin, Trevor Dion Nicholas, the dazzling show.

Tickets  are on sale now from £30.53

Falsettos to open at the Other Palace later this year

Selladoor Productions (producers of 9 to 5 The Musical, Big Fish, American Idiot and Avenue Q) are to bring Falsettos to London for the very first time running at The Other Palace from 30th August - 23rd November for a strictly limited season with press night on Thursday 5th September.  Tickets go on general sale on 6th May  with casting and creatives to be announced shortly.

The double Tony Award musical, by William Finn (Music, Lyrics & Book) and James Lapine (Book), is a hilarious and poignant look at a modern family revolving around the life of a gay man Marvin, his wife, his lover, his soon to be bar mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians neighbours.

Originally created under the spectre of the AIDS crisis, this ground-breaking musical about family dynamics manages to remain buoyant and satirically perceptive even as it moves towards its heartbreaking conclusion.

Friday, April 12

More casting announced for movie of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ musical In The Heights.

More casting has just been announced for  the screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ musical In The Heights.

As previously reported, the Jon M. Chu-directed movie will also feature Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos as Usnavi and Tony nominee Corey Hawkins as Benny with Melissa Barrera and Leslie Grace playing Vanessa and Nina.   Featuring a screenplay by Hudes, production on The Warner Bros project will begin on location uptown this summer. It is set to arrive in theatres June 26th, 2020.

Barrera is best known for her performances on the Mexican telenovelas Siempre Tuya Acapulco and Tanto Amor (she also performs the theme song for the latter with Kalimba). Bronx-born Grace is a three-time Latin Grammy nominee, earning nods for for the single "Como Duele el Silencio," the album Lloviendo Estrellas, and her 2013 self-titled release, which appeared in the top five on Billboard's Latin Albums and Tropical Albums charts.

Leading actors announced for Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Initial casting has been announced for  Evita at the Open Air Theatre  which plays at Regent's Park over the summer from 2nd August - 21st September 2019. Jamie Lloyd will direct with Fabian Aloise  providing  the choreography

Samantha Pauly a Puerto Rican-Native American from Chicago, will portray Argentinian first lady Eva Peron with Ektor Rivera as Juan Peron, Trent Saunders as Che with  Mayli McCann  as The Mistress.

Chicago-based Samantha Pauly makes her UK debut in the role of Eva Peron, direct from her performance in SIX (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and as Valkyrie in Bat Out Of Hell (US Tour). 

Ektor Rivera is also making his UK debut, having recently played Emilio Estefan in On Your Feet! on Broadway and US Tour. In addition to lead roles in Rent, Hairspray and High School Musical, Ektor was selected by Jennifer López to be one of the lead singers in the US Television and Live show Q’Viva! The Chosen, which was seen by over 30 million television viewers.

An original Broadway cast member of Disney’s Aladdin – where he has been performing on and off for the last 5 years – Trent Saunders returns to the UK in the role of Che following his appearance as St. Jimmy in Green Day’s American Idiot (Hammersmith Apollo).

Nominated for an Olivier Award for her role as Kylah in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Frances Mayli McCann plays the role of The Mistress

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's EVITA has more than 20 major awards to its credit including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Musical, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.

Featuring some of their  best loved songs including 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', 'On This Night of a Thousand Stars', 'You Must Love Me' and 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall', EVITA charts the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, from her humble beginnings through to the extraordinary wealth, power and status which ultimately led her to be heralded as the 'spiritual leader of the nation'.

First casting news for Open Air Theatre's Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican

An impressive initial casting line up has just been announced  for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre's production of  Jesus Christ Superstar which plays at the Barbican Theatre  for just 60 performances  from 4th July – 24th  August.

Robert Tripolino will play  Jesus, with Sallay Garnett as Mary Magdalne, Cavin Cornwall as Caiaphas (Judas) , Matt Cardle as Pontius Pilate, and Nathan Amzi as Annas.

Originally from Australia, Robert Tripolino (Jesus) recently played Sal Russo in RAGS (Hope Mill, Manchester). His previous credits include: Omar in Disney’s Aladdin (Australian Tour), Chino in West Side Story (State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne) and The Addams Family (Capitol Theatre, Sydney).

Ricardo Afonso (Judas) previously appeared as the Taxi Driver in Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse), as Alberto Beddini in Top Hat (Aldwych/UK Tour), Lead Vocalist in Thriller Live (Lyric), Galileo in We Will Rock You (Dominion), and as a lead vocalist in The Classic Rock Show (European/UK Tour).

Irish-Sierra Leonean artist Sallay Garnett (Mary) also performs and records under the name Loah. With her unique blend of Afro-soul, she released her debut album This Heart in 2017. She has toured in Ireland, the UK, Sierra Leone and the USA.

Matt Cardle (Pilate) is a multi-platinum selling recording artist who has sold over 2.2 million records since he won The X Factor in 2010. He has released four studios albums including 2011’s Letters, featuring the single When We Collide, and most recently 2018’s Time To Be Alive; both on Sony Music. In 2015 he joined the cast of Memphis (Shaftesbury) as Huey Calhoun, winning him the WhatsOnStage Award for Best West End Debut, and he returned to the stage in 2018, appearing as Wally Strand in Strictly Ballroom (Piccadilly).

Currently appearing in Rip It Up (Garrick) Cavin Cornwall (Caiaphas aka Judas Iscariot) originated the role of Caiaphas in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar, reprising the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2018. On film credits include, for the Star Wars franchise: Han Solo A Smuggler’s Trade, Star Wars VII The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Nathan Amzi (Annas) most recently appeared in Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Other theatre credits include: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Sheffield Crucible), Prom Queen (The Other Palace), In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse) and Urinetown (Apollo).
With direction by Timothy Sheader, design by Tom Scutt, choreography by Drew McOnie, musical direction by Tom Deering, lighting design by Lee Curran and sound design by Nick Lidster for Autograph, the production won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. 

Buy tickets for Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican