OMIGOD! Legally Blonde is Coming to London

College sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. So when her boyfriend dumps her for someone ‘serious’, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law!

Based on the hit movie, with Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde the Musical has been created by a top-of-their-class Broadway creative team, led by Tony award-winning director and Olivier nominated  choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray).

Legally Blonde the Musical will take you from the sorority house to the Halls of Justice with London’s brighest new heroine (and of course, her Chihuahua, Bruiser).

For Booking Information, Please click here!

Spectacular New Season of Plays!

Although London’s West End has some amazing musicals, both old and new, there has been a feeling of them taking over by using some of the theatre’s usually more suited to straight plays or comedies. Now it’s time for the plays to fight back as the new season in town brings a wealth of new plays, comedies and revivals and some wonderful actors including Judi Dench, Jude Law, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Lynda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge, Sian Phillips, Ethan Hawke, Simon Russell Beale, Helen Mirren, Margaret Tyzack, Dominic Cooper, Simon Callow, Prunella Scales, to name but a few.

War Horse
has now transferred from the National’s Olivier Theatre to The New London Theatre where it will play a regular schedule of 8 shows a week and is currently booking until 28th September 2009. This incredible play sold out every performance at the National and bookings are very heavy for the New London, a theatre that usually plays host to musicals, but is very similar in design to the Olivier with a wide stage.

Madame de Sade is the latest in the Donmar’s West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre and stars the legendary Judi Dench. Madame de Sade finishes it’s run on Saturday 23rd May.

Calendar Girls starts previews at the Noel Coward Theatre on the 4th April and is destined to be a big hit. It has already become the fastest-selling tour in history outside the West End with a glowing set of reviews. This is a stage adaptation of the hit film and stars Lynda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge, Sian Phillips, Gaynor Faye, Brigit Forsyth, Julia Hills and Elaine C. Smith. This is the moving story of members of the Women’s Institute who shun their usual cake baking competitions and jam making in order to produce a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia research. The calendar causes quite a stir and the women find the sudden media interest more challenging than they could have predicted.
 
If you want to see the amazing original cast, you had better book your tickets now as the play will be recast after the 24th June. The Noel Coward has just been vacated by the cast of the musical “Avenue Q” which is taking a short break before re-opening at The Gielgud Theatre on the 1st June 2009.

The Last Cigarette by Simon Gray and Hugh Whitemore will transfer from The Chichester Festival Theatre to The Trafalgar Studios on the 21st April until 1st August. Starring Felicity Kendal, Nicholas Le Prevost and Jasper Britton, the play is an adaptation of Simon Gray’s memoirs, which draws on his relationship with smoking while battling cancer.

Duet For One is transferring from it’s sell out season at The Almeida Theatre to the Vaudeville Theatre on the 7th May and stars Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman. This is a powerful and deeply moving play about a brilliant concert violinist who seemingly has it all, but is forced to re-evaluate her life when struck down by an unforeseen tragedy. Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett, opens at The Haymarket Theatre on the 30th April and is currently booking until the 12th July, and stars Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow and Ronald Pickup.

Taking Sides and Collaboration are two plays by Ronald Harwood, playing in rep from 20 May – 22 Aug. Although standalone stories, but subtly linked, both plays explore the fine line between collaboration and betrayal during the Second World War.  Both plays star Michael Pennington. Duchess Theatre.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov, – in a new version by Tom Stoppard, opens at The Old Vic Theatre on the 23rd May and plays in repertoire with Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (from the 29th May) under the banner of The Bridge Project, which is a co-production of The Old Vic, The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and Neal Street productions. Both plays star Ethan Hawke, Sinead Cusack and Simon Russell Beale. The season closes on the 15th August 2009. PLEASE NOTE: The seating configuration has reverted back to it’s standard layout using the proscenium arch.

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. A complex drama of intellect & sexual intrigue set simultaneously in 1809 & the present day. 27 May – 12 Sept. Stars Samantha Bond.  Duke of Yorks Theatre. Hamlet by William Shakespeare is the last in the Donmar West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre and stars Jude Law and Penelope Wilton. 29th May – 22nd August.

Phedre starring Helen Mirren, Margaret Tyzack and Dominic Cooper opens in repertoire at The National’s Lyttleton Theatre on the 4th June.

Carries War, based on Nina Bawden’s famous 1973 novel set during World War Two, stars Prunella Scales and opens at The Apollo Theatre on the 18th June.

La Cage Aux Folles Announced New Cast!

The hit musical La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre will have new lead actors from the 4th May 2009. Graham Norton will leave the show on the 2nd May and his role of drag queen Zaza (Albin) will be taken by Roger Allam. The role of Zaza/Albin was originated by Douglas Hodge in the current revival and he recently won an Olivier award for best actor in a musical. Hodge’s original co-star, Philip Quast will return to the show to play Albin’s lover alongside Roger Allam.

There are rumours that leading West End musical star John Barrowman has been approached to play the part of ZAZA for three months when Roger Allam and Philip Quast leave the show in August. John Barrowman has a new TV programme to record, and a live concert tour, so it’s all a matter of availability with such a gruelling schedule. If this does happen, it will bring a new audience in to the show as John Barrowman has a high profile on tv and is extremely popular.

Book tickets for La Cage Aux Folles

Love Never Dies – The Sequal to Phantom of the Opera to Open Later this Year!

Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new musical,“Love Never Dies”is expected to open at The Adelphi Theatre in the Strand in late October or early November. This is the sequel to his incredibly successful “Phantom of the Opera” which will continue to run at Her Majesty’s Theatre and still going strong after 23 years at the same theatre! Tickets are expected to go on sale in late May or early June – WATCH THIS WEBSITE FOR FURTHER DETAILS!

Once the show has opened in London, the plan is to open in Toronto, and then transfer the cast to Broadway next spring and another production will open in Shanghai.

“Love Never Dies”sees an older Phantom living in the fairground on Coney Island in New York, and he meets up with Christine, who is by now married to Raoul and has a son.

“Love Never Dies”will be directed by Jack O’Brien and Andrew Lloyd Webber is working with lyricist Glenn Slater. The set design will be by Bob Crowley. There is a concept album being recorded with John Barrowman singing the part of Raoul, but this is only for the album, John Barrowman will NOT be in the stage show.  There are great expectations that this will mirror the success of “Phantom of the Opera” .

Olivier Awards 2009 Announced!

2009 Laurence Olivier Awards Winners

Best Lighting Design: The Chalk Garden
designed by Paule Constable
at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Sound Design: Black Watch
designed by Gareth Fry
at the Barbican

Best Costume Design: The Histories
designed by Tom Piper and Emma Williams
at the Roundhouse

Best New Dance Production: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal’s Café Muller/ The Rite Of Spring
at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding Achievement in Dance: The company of the Royal Ballet of Flanders
for their performances in Impressing The Czar
at Sadler’s Wells

Best New Comedy: God Of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton
at the Gielgud theatre

Best Set Design: August: Osage County
designed by Todd Rosenthal
at the National Theatre, Lyttelton

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Lesli Margherita
for Zorro
at the Garrick theatre

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre:
The Royal Court theatre’s production of The Pride,
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

Best Performance in a Supporting Role:
Patrick Stewart for Hamlet
at the Novello theatre

Best Actress: Margaret Tyzack
for The Chalk Garden
at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Actor: Derek Jacobi
for Twelfth Night,
Donmar West End at the Wyndham’s theatre

Best Company Performance: The Histories
directed by Michael Boyd
at the Roundhouse

Best Theatre Choreographer: Steven Hoggett
for Black Watch
at the Barbican

Best Revival: The Histories
directed by Michael Boyd
at the Roundhouse

Best New Opera Production:
English National Opera’s Partenope
at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera: Edward Gardner
for conducting English National Opera’s Boris Goduinov, Cavalliera Rusticana,
Der Rosenkavalier, I Pagliacci, Riders To The Sea
at the London Coliseum and Punch And Judy at the Young Vic

Best Actress in a Musical: Elena Roger for Piaf
at the Donmar Warehouse and Vaudeville theatre

Best Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge
for La Cage Aux Folles
at the Playhouse theatre

Best Entertainment: La Clique
at the Hippodrome

Best Musical Revival: La Cage Aux Folles,
music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein,
based on the play “La Cage Aux Folles” by Jean Poiret,
at the Playhouse theatre

Best New Play: National Theatre of Scotland’s
Black Watch by Gregory Burke
at the Barbican

Best Director: John Tiffany
for Black Watch
at the Barbican

Brown’s The Last 5 Years & Larson’s Tick, Tick… Boom! Arrive in The West End

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years and Jonathan Larson’s tick… tick… BOOM! will be staged side by side in Notes from New York at the Duchess Theatre, a unique season of groundbreaking contemporary musical theatre, fully staged for a strictly limited engagement this May.

The Notes from New York production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years is reconceived for the Duchess following its acclaimed gala staging at the Theatre Royal Haymarket last year. West End stars Julie Atherton (Avenue Q, Mamma Mia!) and Paul Spicer (Taboo, The Witches of Eastwick) reprise their performances as Cathy and Jamie in this celebrated two-hander from Wednesday 6 to Sunday 10 May.

Jonathan Larson’s tick… tick… BOOM! receives its long overdue West End première at the Duchess, running from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 May, also starring Julie Atherton, who is joined by Olivier Award winner Paul Keating (Tommy, Closer to Heaven, The Full Monty and Little Shop of Horrors) and TV actor Leon Lopez (RENT, Brookside, Hollyoaks).

Both productions are presented in the West End by Jamie Hendry Productions and Neil Eckersley & Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment, with design by Morgan Large, lighting by David Howe and sound by Gareth Owen & Ed Borgnis. The Last 5 Years is directed by Amelia Sears and Hannah Chissick directs tick, tick… BOOM!

The Last 5 Years is an emotionally wrought and moving song cycle, in which creative tensions combine with complexities of the heart. Newly published novelist Jamie and aspiring actress Cathy tell the tale of their raw and impassioned relationship in opposite directions and from differing standpoints. Unique in structure yet familiar in its universally resounding themes, this celebrated two-hander reminds us it’s possible to feel claustrophobically close to and yet worlds apart from the one you hold closest to your heart.

tick, tick…BOOM! is an autobiographical look into Jonathan Larson’s struggle to be heard and accepted as the musical voice of a new generation. Following his tragically short life, Larson earned four posthumous Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for RENT, which changed the face of contemporary musical theatre. A rarely produced piece of life-changing theatre, which will strike a chord with anyone who yearns to achieve a dream, regardless of their restrictions.

Julie Atherton’s credits include originating the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in the West End transfer of Broadway hit Avenue Q; Sophie in Mamma Mia!; Serena in Fame and Just So at the Chichester Festival Theatre. She performs in both The Last 5 Years and tick, tick… BOOM! ahead of returning to Avenue Q when it transfers to the Gielgud.

Paul Spicer’s credits include the lead roles of Billy in Taboo; Michael in The Witches of Eastwick; and Nick in Fame. Other recent credits include Tobias in Sweeney Todd.

Paul Keating’s credits include: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors; the title role in Tommy; Don Carlos; A Little Night Music; Closer to Heaven; and Buttons in Cinderella at the Old Vic.

Leon Lopez is one of the most unique and diverse talents of today. His TV credits include: Hollyoaks in the City; Brookside; Mersey Beat and Holby City. His recent theatre credits include Collins in RENT Re-mixed and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Duchess Theatre
Catherine Street
London WC2
Box Office: 0844 811 0052 (24 hrs)
www.notesfromnewyork.com

Steven Berkoff to present Theatre Book Prize

Theatre and movie star Steven Berkoff, currently appearing to great acclaim in his own production of On the Waterfront, will be the one to open the envelope and declare the winner at the Theatre Book Prize award event at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, next Tuesday.

As a poet, writer of short stories, autobiography and books on theatre as well as a successful playwright, actor and director Steven Berkoff bridges all the fields covered by the award that he is presenting. He is currently appearing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in his own production of Bud Schulberg’s On the Waterfront.

More tickets on sale for Disney’s multi-award winning musical THE LION KING

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award winning musical THE LION KING will redefine your expectations of theatre.

A spectacular visual feast, this adaptation of Disney’s much-loved film transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.

Now celebrating its 10th triumphant year at the Lyceum Theatre,THE LION KING is still the West End’s most unforgettable show.

Book Tickets for The Lion King at Lyceum Theatre

Toyer Finished Early on 21st March

Toyer was playing in Arts Theatre has announced early finished on 21st of March. This play is about a serial killer on the loose. When a charming stranger appears at psychiatrist Maude’s apartment late one night, an innocent encounter soon becomes a sexually charged battle of wits. Is he ‘the Toyer’, the sadist who lobotomizes his female victims, or merely a playful admirer? In this dangerous game of cat and mouse, Maude must either outwit her adversary or suffer a diabolical fate.

With a chilling lead character to rival Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, this exhilarating psychological thriller receives its London premiere at the newly reopened Arts Theatre. Acclaimed young actor Al Weaver (Trevor Nunn’s Hamlet, Coram Boy at the NT) stars alongside the Olivier Award-winning Alice Krige (RSC, Chariots of Fire, Star Trek)

Ray Quinn Skates Into Grease as Danny!

Singer and television star Ray Quinn will be swapping his ice skates for his dancing shoes when he joins the cast of the smash-hit musical Grease.  Ray will play the lead role of ‘Danny’ for a limited season from 11 May to 3 October 2009 at The Piccadilly Theatre. Further casting to be announced.

Former X-Factor finalist Ray is winning the nation’s hearts all over again on the popular ITV show Dancing on Ice. The skate superstar has been dazzling audiences and lighting up the rink with stunning performances week after week. Ray is a hot contender in the race to become champion of the celebrity ice dance contest which has its final on 22 March. He will complete the live UK tour of Dancing on Ice before skating into Grease on 11 May, where he is set to thrill and charm audiences as ‘Danny’.

Following in the footsteps of screen idol John Travolta, Ray will play leader of the T-Birds gang ‘Danny’ having previously played the role of ‘Doody’.  Travolta famously played ‘Danny Zuko’ in the iconic 1978 movie but was discovered playing ‘Doody’ in the 1972 North American touring production.

Looking forward to his role in Grease, Ray says: “’I’m so thrilled to be playing ‘Danny’ in the West End. Grease is such an all time favourite and to be in the role made so famous by John Travolta is amazing- I can’t believe my luck, it’s a dream come true!”

Book Tickets for Grease!