It’s third time lucky for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and 101 Dalmatians which is billed as a new musical. Given that it should have premiered two years ago – and then one year ago (thanks, Covid) – that claim is slightly dubious but as it hasn’t actually graced the stage before I guess the assertion still holds.
Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company has confirmed the full cast for its forthcoming production of Sweet Charity – its first musical production since 2006 (31 August to 22 September 2018, press night is 5 September).
In 1927, Jerome Kern shifted the shape of musical theatre from twee operetta to a tighter fusion of music with drama. He also designed Show Boat as a slap in the face to complacent audiences with its startling opening line ‘Niggers all work on the Mississippi’. In the Daniel Evans’ production which has arrived with bells and whistles and five-star accolades from Sheffield we have a version which is both polished and sanitized.
Show Boat at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre was the best musical that I saw last year and its London transfer is setting a very high bar for 2016. Daniel Evans’ production, mounted on Lez Brotherston’s spectacularly evocative set doesn’t just reprise one of Broadway’s greatest ever musicals, it recreates America’s Southlands and Midwest at the turn of the 20th century, with a spine-tingling intensity.
Malcolm Sinclair (Capt. Andy Hawks) and Chris Peluso (Gaylord Ravenal) will join original Sheffield cast members Gina Beck (Magnolia Hawks), Lucy Briers (Parthy Ann Hawks), Rebecca Trehearn (Julia La Verne), Emmanuel Kojo (Joe), Sandra Marvin (Queenie), Alex Young (Ellie May Chipley) and Danny Collins (Frank Schultz) in the West End cast of Daniel Evans’ five star production of Show Boat.