News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th April 1997

As The Goodbye Girl finally reaches the Albery Theatre, changes appear in the billing. "A Musical Play" becomes "The Comedy Musical", and original lyricist David Zippel has asked for his name to be removed, since changes have been so radical that additional lyricist Don Black now has eight songs to his three. So it's not just Tony Blair who is wobbling.

Details have been announced for Chichester Festival's Minerva Studio season featuring a galaxy of leading ladies. Leslie Caron stars in Rondo For Lovers; Julie Christie leads in Marguerite Duras' Susanna Andler; Natalia Makarova headlines in Shaw's Misalliance; and Zoe Wanamaker is Elektra. Kathleen Turner, already announced for Our Betters in the main house, performs Tallulah, a one woman play about the actress Tallulah Bankhead in October.

The team that brought you the most recent Edward Albee play Three Tall Women, may bring you a revival of an old one. Maggie Smith, director Anthony Page and producer Robert Fox are considering a West End production of A Delicate Balance in the autumn. It will also feature Eileen Atkins, John Standing, Sian Thomas and Annette Crosbie.

Looking ahead to 1998, auditions are being held now for TED, a 1950's musical compilation show. Plans are to assemble a five man team this year, and launch them as a recording group called TED. This will be followed in March next year by TED - the show. The director will be Rob Bettinson, of Buddy, Jolson and now The Goodbye Girl fame, the musical supervisor John Cameron, and the choreographer Kim Gavin. Corner Table Productions will be the producer.

Apollo Leisure and Barry Clayman Concerts are planning a tour of Porgy And Bess, opening in Oxford this autumn. This rarely seen landmark musical of 1927, claimed to be the second "real" musical after Showboat, was written by George and Ira Gershwin. It will feature Elizabeth Graham, Roberta Laws and Claudette McCargo alternating in the role of Bess. Also from July they will have a production of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific on the road.

The Rumour Machine says: that previews of the Broadway musical Titanic have been postponed because of problems with the set - they can't get the ship to sink; that School For Wives will transfer to the Comedy Theatre when it ends its run at the Piccadilly on 26th April; and that Rent has been postponed until March 1998. The Rumour Machine grinds on.