Dorothy Fields Comes Back to King's Head, 15 OctDate: 7 October 2002
Dorothy Fields Forever returns for a third time to the fringe King's Head Theatre in Islington, north London, later this month ahead of an expected New York transfer. The musical revue show that pays tribute to the "neglected" American lyricist Dorothy Fields first ran for six weeks in June and returned in September; it will now play another four weeks from 15 October to 10 November 2002.
Fields, who died in 1974, had a career that spanned six decades and encompassed some 500 songs, 19 Broadway musicals (amongst them Annie Get Your Gun and Sweet Charity) and some of the 20th century's most memorable show tunes, not least "I'm in the Mood For Love", "On the Sunny Side of the Street", "A Fine Romance", "Big Spender" and "The Way You Look Tonight". The last, which featured in the film Swing Time starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, was rewarded with an Oscar in 1937. Fields was the first female to win an Oscar and also the first to be inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
During her career, Fields also worked with some of the US's biggest names in music - including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Arthur Schwartz, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin - yet she never achieved the fame or recognition of her male contemporaries.
David Kernan and Eden Phillips, who devised Dorothy Fields Forever, have aimed to redress the balance with their tribute to "a neglected legend in the world of song....Hollywood's first forgotten lady of lyrics". In the revue - written by Phillips and directed by Kernan - Angela Richards plays Fields. She is joined in the cast by Robert Meadmore, Rebecca Lock, Kathryn Akin and Storie James.
Dan Crawford, the King's Head's American artistic director, plans now to take the show to New York's 91st Street Theater for an open-ended season ahead of a possible US regional tour. He would like to plough hoped-for co-producing profits - from this and any future transfer ventures - back into the King's Head, which has been beset with financial worries since losing its subsidy two years ago (See The Goss, 29 Aug 2002).
Currently playing at the Islington venue, the new musical Let Us Fly - based on the life and times of Soviet Union folk hero Vladimir Vysotsky and starring Dave Willetts and Anna Francolini - continues to 13 October 2002.
- by Terri Paddock