Update: Stewart's Tonight’s No Longer for LondonDate: 4 June 2004
UPDATED: This story has now been updated with additional input from a show spokesperson.
Tonight's the Night is the latest in a line of productions to hit the rails after a disastrous spring in the West End. According to today’s Daily Mail, the Ben Elton musical fashioned around the greatest hits of British rocker Rod Stewart, will close at the Victoria Palace this autumn.
A show spokeswoman confirmed to Whatsonstage.com that, although an exact closure date has not yet been confirmed, Tonight's the Night will finish in the West End before the end of the year. It’s currently booking up until 2 October 2004 and is expected to finish then or around the date of its first anniversary. It premiered on 7 November 2003, following previews from 15 October (See News, 2 Jun 2003).
The spokeswoman added that the closure is in keeping with a plan producers have had for some time, to run in the West End for one year before embarking on a UK-wide tour. Regional dates have not yet been announced, but the tour is scheduled to launch in early 2005.
In recent months, producers have launched a massive advertising campaign effectively rebranding Tonight's the Night as “The Rod Stewart Musical”. One of the UK's biggest rock stars in the late 1960s and 1970s, Stewart's many hits over the years have included "Maggie May", "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy", "You Wear It Well", "Hot Legs", "The Killing of Georgie", "First Cut Is the Deepest", "You're in My Heart", "Sailing" and "Tonight's the Night".
Tim Howar, Hannah Waddingham, Dianne Pilkington and Michael McKell lead the 36-strong cast of Tonight's the Night, a Faustian tale in which shy Stu makes a deal with the devil to be more like his idol Rod Stewart so that he can get girl of his dreams Mary.
Ben Elton, whose previous musical credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Beautiful Game and Queen’s We Will Rock You, wrote the book for Tonight's the Night and also directed it. The stage production is designed by Lez Brotherston and choreographed by Stephen Mear, with lighting by Mark Henderson and musical supervision by Gareth Valentine. It's presented in the West End by Phil McIntyre and Arnold Stiefel.
According to the Daily Mail, the Stewart musical is likely to be followed at the Victoria Palace by a Christmas pantomime season starring Lily Savage (played by actor Paul O'Grady) and, in the new year, by the much-anticipated stage musical adaptation of Billy Elliot (See Today’s Goss).
- by Terri Paddock