Pradon & John Make Pacific Overtures at the DonmarDate: 17 April 2003
Jerome Pradon and Cornell John will star in the Donmar Warehouse's upcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim's 1976 East-meets-West musical Pacific Overtures, which opens on 30 June 2003 (previews 20 June) and continues to 23 August.
Pradon last year made a high-profile return to play Javert in Les Miserables, while his other West End musical credits include Whistle Down the Wind, Martin Guerre and Miss Saigon. John has starred in The Lion King and Sweet Charity was most recently seen in The Full Monty.
Pradon and John are joined in the cast by Richard Henders (a National Theatre regular whose NT musicals include Sondheim's Candide and The Frogs as well as Trevor Nunn's just finished revival of Porter's Anything Goes), Teddy Kempner (Kiss Me Kate, City of Angels, Snoopy), Togo Igawa, Ian McLarnon, Mo Zainal, Richard Manera, Joseph A Foronda and Kevin Gudahl.
Set in Nippon, a small remote island 'floating in the middle of the sea', Pacific Overtures charts the Westernisation of Japan from Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853 expedition to the modern age, with cultural changes reflected through a traditional samurai and a fisherman who once shipwrecked in Boston. The musical's book is by John Weidman, with music and lyrics by Sondheim.
The revival, first seen in 2001 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater which is co-producing in London, will be directed by Chicago's Gary Griffin and designed by Daniel Ostling, with costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Nick Lidster, musical direction by Thomas Murray and orchestrations by James Stenborg.
Pacific Overtures continues a Sondheim tradition at the Donmar Warehouse where previous outings of the American composer's work have included Assassins, Into the Woods and Merrily We Roll Along, directed by Michael Grandage, who has since succeeded Sam Mendes as the theatre's artistic director.
Currently at the Donmar, the revival of Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist finishes its season this week and is followed by Grandage's own production of Albert Camus' Caligula, which runs from 24 April to 14 June 2003, with Michael Sheen in the title role.
- by Terri Paddock