Long-running New York spoof Ruthless! The Musical opens in March at the Arts Theatre for a strictly limited 14-week run. Joel Paley and Marvin Laird’s award-winning all-female character ‘camp killer cult classic’ has played Off-Broadway over the past 25 years. The new UK production, directed by Richard Fitch, will run at the Arts Theatre from 16 March to 23 June 2018, with a press night on 27 March. Public booking opening on 29 January.
How far would you go to get what you want? Ruthless! The Musical tells the story of the beautiful and talented eight-year-old Tina Denmark who will do anything to play the lead in her school play… ANYTHING!
Ruthless! started Off-Broadway in 1992 and discovered young performers including Britney Spears and Natalie Portman. The show famously spoofs Broadway musicals from Gypsy to Mame as well as iconic films including The Bad Seed and All About Eve.
The London cast will be announced shortly. The production is choreographed by Rebecca Howell and designed by Morgan Large, with lighting by Tim Lutkin, sound by Gregory Clarke and musical supervision by Gareth Valentine. The Menier Chocolate Factory will act as Executive Producer and General Manager for the UK premiere.
Joel Paley (Book and Lyrics) directed the first production of Ruthless! at the Players Theater which won the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and for which he won the Drama Desk Award as Best Lyricist. He has directed many highly acclaimed productions including New York(Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk nominee for Best Director), South Beach, Florida (Carbonell Award winner for Best Director and Best Musical Production), the original Los Angeles production as well as the record-breaking concert production starring Bernadette Peters. He conceived and staged an all-singing, all-dancing showroom parody for Bob Newhart in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City; creating dances for Maude starring Bea Arthur; and writing (with Laird) and staging the opening production sequence of the Academy Award-nominated short film, A Different Approach, featuring physically challenged performers dancing in wheelchairs. He also directed the all-female national tour of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple starring Barbara Eden, Rita McKenzie and Georgia Engel.
Marvin Laird (Music) began his career on Broadway in the early 1960s writing dance and vocal arrangements. Years of TV scoring (Dynasty, Love Boat, Laverne & Shirley), movie arranging (Hello, Dolly!, New York, New York) and creating/conducting Las Vegas acts – including for Diana Ross, Juliet Prowse, Ann-Margret, Mama Cass Elliot, Goldie Hawn and Bernadette Peters, followed. Most recently, he conducted the Broadway productions of Follies, Gypsy and Annie Get Your Gun. Additionally, he has been music director and conductor for Bernadette Peters’ international concert appearances and nightclub act for over 40 years, and is currently Associate Conductor on Hello Dolly! accompanying her.
Richard Fitch trained at the Young Vic and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. As a director, his credits include Top Hat (Arts Educational), Funny Girl (UK tour – also Associate Director for the runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Savoy Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatr Clwyd), Much Ado About Nothing (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), Barnes’ People (Trafalgar Transformed), Serious Heroes, Twenty Four Hour Plays (The Old Vic), A Kid Like Jake (The TS Eliot US/UK Exchange, The Old Vic), The Moment Before I’m Powerful (Trafalgar Transformed), Land’s End(Birmingham REP), Last Man on the Heygate (Lyric Hammersmith), The Hour of Feeling (HighTide Festival with Public Theater, New York), The Welsh Atlantis (Latitude Festival) and The Boy Who Lived Down the Lane (Riverside Studios & Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore).