125th Musical from Buddy Duo Reopens ShaftesburyDate: 10 May 2002
A new feelgood musical, from the makers of previous London longrunner Buddy, has come to the rescue of the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre, which has been dark for three months following noise pollution complaints from neighbours. 125th Street will start performances at the theatre from 30 August 2002 and will soon be taking bookings up to January 2003.
125h Street, from award-winning duo Rob Bettinson and Alan Janes, takes place during one hot and eventful summer's night in 1969 at the Apollo Theatre on 125th Street in Harlem, New York City. In the 1950s and 60s, the Apollo was a magnet for some of the biggest names in music as well as eager young hopefuls keen to display their talents in the weekly 'search for a star' spot.
In a clever marketing and casting ploy, that 'search for a star' spot will be faithfully recreated in 125h Street. Show producers are touring the country this summer auditioning local performers keen to perform in the West End musical for one week each. Casting for the production's permanent roles has not yet been confirmed.
The Shaftesbury Theatre has been dark since 7 February 2002 when its previous resident, South African song and dance show Umoja, was forced by Camden Council to shut down prematurely when neighbours in the flats adjacent to the theatre complained about the noise from the show's drums. After visits from environmental officers, the theatre was served with a Noise Abatement Notice and the show closed with immediate effect. The Shaftesbury has appealed against the council decision.
- by Terri Paddock