Grease, Queen & Singalong Abba Extend BookingsDate: 10 February 2003
Grease - currently starring Ben Richards as Danny, Caroline Sheen (soon to join the cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Sandy, and Steps' Lee Latchford-Evans as Teen Angel - has added seven weeks to its run at the Victoria Palace, where it's now booking to 19 April 2003. Premiered on Broadway in 1972, the rockabilly musical was immortalised by the 1979 film that brought international fame to its co-stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Hit songs from the soundtrack include "You're the One That I Want", "Summer Lovin'", "Greased Lightning", "Hopeless Devoted to You" and the title song.
The musical previously ran for six years in the West End, first at the Dominion and then at the Cambridge Theatre. It returned to the Dominion for two weeks in October 2001 as part of a year-long, UK-wide tour, at the end of which it transferred to the Victoria Palace in September 2002. Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Grease, this production of Grease is directed by David Gilmore, choreographed by Arlene Phillips and produced by Paul Nicholas and David Ian.
After success in rep at the Prince Charles cinema - where the Sing-a-long-a version of the film, The Sound of Music, started the karaoke-style phenomenon more than three years ago - the Sing-a-long-a ABBA concert opened at the West End's Whitehall Theatre on 9 January. It has now added four weeks to its limited season and is now booking up to 30 March 2003.
Despite being critically panned when it opened at the Dominion Theatre in May 2002, the Queen-Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You has proved to be a hit with audiences. In addition to its box office success, last week it scored five wins, including Best New Musical, in the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards, including Best New Musical.
Currently starring award winners Tony Vincent, Hannah Jane Fox and Sharon D Clarke as well as Nigel Planer, the musical has now added another six months to its West End booking period, taking it up to 3 January 2004. Directed by Christopher Renshaw and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, the musical's real star attraction, particularly for the hordes of Queen fans, is the score packing in more than 30 of the band's greatest hits including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Under Pressure", "Radio Gaga" and, of course, "We Will Rock You".
- by Terri Paddock