Grease & Phantom Get New Leads Urbani & AndersonDate: 30 April 2003
Craig Urbani, Olivier-nominated for his performance this year in Susan Stroman's Contact, will follow up his seven-month run in the Whatsonstage.com Award-winning dance musical with a limited fortnight's return to Grease at the Victoria Palace.
Contact, which opened at the West End's Queen's on 23 October 2002 (previews from 3 October), closes on Saturday 10 May 2003. From the following Monday, 12 May 2003, Urbani can be seen playing greaser lead Danny in Grease, a role he previously performed at the Dominion Theatre and on tour.
Urbani (pictured), also well known for his long stint playing the title in Buddy fills in for current Danny, newlywed Ben Richards, who's taking a break for his honeymoon. Grease also stars Joanne Farrell as Sandy. Following previous West End runs and a year-long, UK-wide tour, the nostalgic 1950s musical opened at the Victoria Palace in September 2002 and is currently booking up to September 2003.
Meanwhile, another long-running musical also welcomes a new male lead. Niklas Andersson has this week taken over the role of Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. In the West End, Anderson has previously been seen as Chris in Miss Saigon and Marius in Les Miserables, while his credits in his native Sweden include West Side Story.
- by Terri Paddock