Pellow Rejoins Chicago in Manchester & LiverpoolDate: 4 December 2002
Former "Wet Wet Wet" lead singer Marti Pellow (pictured), who made his theatrical stage debut this past June in Chicago, will reprise his West End role as super-slick lawyer Billy Flynn for regional audiences in the new year. Pellow will join the touring production of the hit Kander and Ebb musical for two limited engagements - from 17 February to 1 March 2003 at Manchester's Palace Theatre and from 12 to 24 May 2003 at the Liverpool Empire.
Pellow just completed his run in the West End production of Chicago on 16 November, having added an extra eight weeks to his engagement due to demand. His performance proved so popular that scores of theatregoers voted him Best Actor in a Musical in the 2003 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards, despite the fact that, at five years old, his production was ineligible. He received a special mention at last week's awards launch party (See News, 29 Nov 2002) and has prompted calls for a new category - Best Takeover in a Musical - to be added to the 2004 Awards.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Marti Pellow had 12 British Top Ten songs with Wet Wet Wet, including the singles "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Goodnight Girl" and the mega-hit "Love Is All Around" from the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. Since leaving the band in 1999, Pellow's solo career has seen the release of the album Smile and a sell-out UK tour that included two nights at the Royal Albert Hall.
Chicago, based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Rick Clarke. Musical supervision is by Rob Fisher and musical direction by Gareth Valentine. The production is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie.
The musical opened at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in November 1997 and went on to win the 1998 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production and the 1998 Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. It also continues on Broadway.
- by Terri Paddock