News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th May 1997

Revival fever hits the West End! First there is confirmation of my rumour that the Donmar Warehouse has been outbid over Kander and Ebb's Chicago, which they were to have staged at Christmas. A British version of the current Broadway production will now open in the West End (probably at the Adelphi Theatre) in October. Some of the American cast, which includes Bebe Neuwith, who previously played here in Kiss Of The Spider Woman, Joel Gray and Anne Reinking are expected to transfer. The show opened in New York last November, and is a pared down small scale version directed by Walter Bobbie, which has been much feted by writers, critics and the public. The London managing producer is Pola Jones, who are also co-producing a year long national tour of West Side Story with Theatre Royal Plymouth opening on 9th August. Alan Johnson will reproduce the original Jerome Robbins direction and choreography.

Also confirmed is the transfer of another Broadway veteran - Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King And I which should be arriving next spring. Starring Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond, this production has been playing in New York since April 1996 and is still going strong. It is staged by British director Christopher Renshaw and follows the great success he enjoyed with a previous revival in Australia. It marks an abrupt change of style for the producer Dodger Productions whose last show in London was Tommy.

A stage version of the musical film Dr Doolittle is to be produced by Apollo Leisure and Barry Clayman Concerts, opening at the Hammersmith Apollo next March. Hopefully this adaptation process will not be as protracted as its original creation. Alan Jay Lerner first attempted to adapt Hugh Loftus' stories but he abandoned it, and eventually Leslie Bricusse took over the project. Perhaps a more inspired result was achieved when Oscar Hammerstein gave up trying to turn Pygmalion into a musical, and Lerner did it. Rumour has it that the stage show may use live animals - liberationists book your tickets now.

Jason Gould, son of Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand, makes his West End debut on 17th June in The Twilight Of The Golds at the Arts Theatre. He joins Sheila Allen and Gina Bellman in the European premiere of Jonathan Tolins explosive tale about sexual identity. Polly James will direct.

Adventures in Motion Pictures returns to the West End on 14th October with a new production of Cinderella. It will feature Sarah Wildor, lured from the Royal Ballet, as was her prince Adam Cooper, who caused such a sensation in AMP's recent Swan Lake, the most successful commercial ballet season ever.

The Rumour Machine says: that The Pet Shop Boys, who play a three week concert season at the Savoy Theatre after The Importance Of Being Oscar, are working on a musical play; and that if they were to check out our Special Offers page they would find a pre launch offer on my book Writing a Musical which might be of some help to them. The Rumour Machine grinds on.