Porter, Sondheim & Weill Get National RevivalsDate: 17 September 2002
In addition to Cole Porter's Anything Goes (See News, 23 Aug 02), the National Theatre's upcoming autumn and winter season will see revivals of two other musicals: concert performances of The Frogs with songs by Stephen Sondheim (pictured) and a mobile touring production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera.
Anything Goes, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 18 December 2002 following previews from 11 December, will be revived in the revised version originally produced at New York's Lincoln Center in 1987 (where it starred Patti LuPone) and subsequently at the West End's Prince Edward Theatre (where it starred Elaine Paige).
Outgoing NT artistic director Trevor Nunn will direct the new staging, with choreography by Stephen Mear (whose previous dance duties seen at the National include the West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Singin' in the Rain and associate choreographer with Susan Stroman on Nunn's production of Oklahoma!). Casting is still to be announced.
The Frogs, freely adapted from Aristophanes' ancient comedy by Burt Shevelove (book) and Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics), will be presented in a concert version in the Olivier for five performances only between 7 and 15 November 2002. Originally premiered by Yale Repertory Theatre in the university's swimming pool in 1974, this new land-bound production will be presented by a score of actors and a dozen musicians.
The Threepenny Opera, presented in a translation by Jeremy Sams (lyrics) and Anthony Meech (book), will be directed by Tim Baker with a cast of nine actor-musicians for a tour that kicks off in Canterbury on 31 October and continues to Brecon, Aberystwyth, London's Albany Theatre in Deptford, Norwich, Swansea, Mold, Manchester, Birmingham, Kendal, Northampton and Truro, before culminating in a run at the NT Cottesloe in February 2003. It will open to the press at the Albany Theatre on 13 November.
- by Mark Shenton