Full disclosure: I really care about the Titanic story, love maritime history, have met one of the last living survivors of the 1912 disaster, and visited exhibitions about it here and in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The rediscovery of bandmaster Hartley’s violin stirred my depths. I was enraged by the dreadful eezi-pleazey James Cameron film, with its catchpenny inverted snobberies and schlocky Winslet-diCaprio rom-com; not to mention the shameful slur on First Officer Murdoch.
Unlike its ill-fated namesake, Thom Southerland’s production of Titanic has now made a triumphant trans-Atlantic return crossing, tying up at London’s Charing Cross Theatre for a ten-week season. Acclaimed at the Southwark Playhouse three years ago and later in Toronto, this riverside reprise marks Southerland’s debut as Artistic Director at Charing Cross, with his long-time muse Danielle Tarento also on board as co-producer.
Titanic, one of the most acclaimed musicals in recent times, is sailing back to London for a 10-week season at Charing Cross Theatre from Saturday 28 May to Saturday 6 August 2016, directed by Thom Southerland and produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan Williams. Have a listen to the cast in rehearsals…
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1947 Broadway musical Allegro will receive its long-overdue European premiere, running for a six-week season at London’s Southwark Playhouse from Friday 5 August until Saturday 10 September 2016, with a press night on Thursday 11 August. It’s directed by Thom Southerland, who is working on a new adaptation of the book and the production will have brand new orchestrations, and produced by Daniel Tarento, continuing their long, multi award-winning association.
Final casting is announced for the return of the multi award-winning production of the Broadway musical Titanic, first seen at Southwark Playhouse, which is coming back to London with director Thom Southerland once again at the helm. Titanic will set sail for a 10-week season at Charing Cross Theatre from Saturday 28 May – Saturday 6 August 2016, produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan William
Thom Southerland has been appointed Artistic Director of Charing Cross Theatre. The rising star director has programmed an opening season of major musicals, including the return of his acclaimed multi award-winning 2013 hit Titanic (first seen at Southwark Playhouse) and the European premiere of Death Takes a Holida
The American writers of Grey Gardens are clearly delighted with the European premiere production of their musical, now being staged at London’s Southwark Playhouse in a limited, six-week (and already sold-out) season. “We feel enormously blessed,” said composer Scott Frankel, at a post-show Q&A, chaired by My Theatre Mates‘ colleague Mark Shenton, in which he was joined by his lyricist Michael Korie and book writer Doug Wright, all of whom had flown over from New York for the opening the night before. “Everybody clearly wants to be in the room.”
Producer Danielle Tarento and director Thom Southerland have created another Off-West End mega-hit musical. In fact, Grey Gardens has broken all box office records at Southwark Playhouse where it has already sold out, eclipsing the pair’s other much-loved Broadway musical reclamations at the same address over the past five years: Grand Hotel (2015 – spot […]
Director and producer Thom Southerland and Danielle Tarento solidify their reputation for salvaging ancient wrecks off the American coast. Having rescued Titanic equally from the icy waters of the North Atlantic and the deadly maw of a Kate Winslet movie to polish it to a high shine, they now dredge up two decrepit floaters from the shore of Long Island in Grey Gardens.
It’s not hard to see why Grey Gardens – the musical – has become such a collector’s item. This strange but true tale of American royalty gone rogue, of Jacqueline Kennedy’s rebellious relatives, of a stain on the Bouvier clan somehow exposing the rot at the heart of the American dream was/is irresistible. We all fell for the delicious anarchy of Albert Maysles’ splendid documentary but equally picked up on the sadness of what was at heart an extreme case of co-dependancy. But when “Little Edie Beale said “It’s very diffiicult to keep the line between the past and the present” she unlocked what makes Scott Frankel, Michael Korie and Doug Wright’s work really special.
Hot on the heels of THE DAZZLE (about the New York Collyer brothers living in hoarderly squalid isolation) this is about Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Little Edie half a century later, living in even more eccentric squalor in the Hamptons. Both interpret true stories. Even more thematically satisfying for the playgoer, no sooner has Imelda Staunton bowed out as Mama Rose dominating her daughter in Gypsy, than we can contemplate the equally showbiz- thwarted Edith senior sabotaging hers. Delusion, eccentricity, toxic but irresistible family bonds, musical obsession and memory: great themes, played out with satisfying difference on stages either side of the Thames.
Making its European premiere, Grey Gardens is a blend of fact and fiction that tells of Edith Bouvier Beale, aunt to and her daughter Edie. What sets this family apart is that the two women were respectively aunt and first cousin to the woman who was to become the world’s First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
This week the London theatre bloggers discuss Mr Foote’s Other Leg, starring Simon Russell Beale and now transferring to the West End following a sell-out at Hampstead Theatre, Leslie Bricusse musical tribute Pure Imagination and Tamsin Oglesby’s Future Conditional at the Old Vic.
Olivier Award-winning West End stars, Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell, are to star in the eagerly awaited European première of Grey Gardens. Based on an iconic 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, with Book by Doug Wright, Music by Scott Frankel, Lyrics by Michael Korie, tells the spectacular real life rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and cousin, Edith and …
How well do you know the work of composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse? How many songs can you name by this living legend… apart from “Pure Imagination” (and the “Oompa Loompa” theme) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How about, for starters, Bond classics “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice”, “If I Ruled the World”, “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, “The Candy Man”, “This Is the Moment”, “Can You Read My Mind?” (from Superman), “My Old Man’s a Dustman”, “The Pink Panther” and “Talk to the Animals” (from Doctor Doolittle)? And that really is, only for starters.
Who can take a set list? Sprinkle it with class……
… as through two hours a delicious cast of 5 chart a course through nigh on 60 of the songs of lyricist Leslie Bricusse. Unashamedly a ‘juke-box musical’, the show marks producer Danielle Tarento’s first foray into that genre, with a combination of both song snatches and entire numbers as Bricusse’s remarkable body of work is referenced and respected.
As Danielle Tarento’s award winning production of Dogfight returns to London’s St James Theatre for one day only on Sunday 11th October, here is an opportunity to re-visit my my interview from last year with the show’s acclaimed star, Laura Jane Matthewson.
I hated Grand Hotel at the Dominion in 1992. It seemed confused, distant, under-scored and under-lit and there wasn’t a character I could engage with. As tickled up by Thom Southerland at Southwark Playhouse, it’s the exact opposite – you really can feel like a fly on the wall of a luxury hotel as the […]
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Final casting has been announced for the World Première of Pure Imagination, which celebrates the songs of Leslie Bricusse, one of the most prolific and well loved film and musical theatre songwriters of our time.
Every week, a group of regular, dedicated, independent theatre bloggers gather together for intelligent discussion “from the audience’s perspective” about plays and musicals they’ve recently seen in London. Lively, informed and entertaining. My Theatre Mates is delighted to syndicate the (still) As Yet Unnamed London Theatre Podcast (AYULTP). Shows discussed (with timings) in this week’s podcast: Grand Hotel – The …