Former Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton continues her run of musicals by starring in the London fringe premiere of all-singing, all-dancing Irving Berlin musical Top Hat.
Sheffield Theatres today announces the cast for its major new revival of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun. Paul Foster directs Anna-Jane Casey as Annie Oakley and Ben Lewis as Frank Butler in the Christmas production, running in the Crucible 8 December 2016 to 14 January 2017, with a press night on 14 December. The cast also includes: Nicolas Colicos (Buffalo …
People, people who need people are, allegedly, the luckiest people in the world. I’d argue that those who are emotionally and financially self-sufficient have a hell of a bigger reason to feel lucky than those who depend needily on others for their wellbeing. But I’m not a character in a musical – and neither, really are the people who need people who appear in Funny Girl a narrative so far removed from the actual history of kooky kosher comedienne Fanny Brice and her deeply dodgy gangster hubby Julius ‘Nicky’ Arnstein as to be a complete fiction.
This is an artful wheeze. Take the story from the sunniest of films, a 1957 cheer-up British Lion starring Peter Sellers, Margaret Rutherford and Bernard Miles. Bolt on some classic Irving Berlin songs, and you’ve jukeboxed a stage musical. Director-writer Thom Sutherland has done this – fresh from a London success with Grand Hotel – for a cheerful touring show with a six-piece band. I saw it at the Mercury, which produces it, before it squares its shoulders and toots off round the country. A thin Monday house was hard to stir, but the frolicking energy of the cast and the sheer good-humoured Ealingness of the story got us going. Hard not to, with so much help from the Berlin tunes and lyrics.
Puttin’ On The Ritz – which promises to take the audience back to the ‘golden age of Hollywood’ – has the potential to be a hit show. Billed as a ‘song and dance extravaganza’, it plays to the country’s fascination with ballroom dancing (as demonstrated by Strictly Come Dancing) and with the musical genius of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, whose hits caused many audience members to sing along.
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. On this week’s programme: An Oak Tree, Violence and Son and Face the Music.
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