Guys & Dolls Replaces Rock at Piccadilly in JuneDate: 14 December 2004
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 28 Oct 2004 & News, 8 Nov 2004), Michael Grandage’s much-anticipated revival of classic Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, starring Ewan McGregor, will open next spring at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre. It starts previews on 20 May 2005, ahead of a press performance (exact date tbc) in early June). It’s currently booking up to 1 October 2005, with public booking opening on 7 January.
McGregor (pictured), who will make his West End musical debut in Guys and Dolls, has not been seen on the London stage since the 1999 Hampstead Theatre production of Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, which transferred to the West End. He’s best known internationally for his big screen credits such as Star Wars, Big Fish, Down With Love, Black Hawk Down, Little Voice, A Life Less Ordinary, Trainspotting, Rogue Trader, Brassed Off, Shallow Grave and Moulin Rouge, in which he demonstrated his singing and dancing skills.
Guys and Dolls, the “musical fable of Broadway”, has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and a book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerlin, based on the short stories by Damon Runyon about New York low-life in the 1940s. Loesser’s score includes classics such as “Adelaide’s Lament”, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, “Sue Me”, “Luck Be a Lady”, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and the title song.
Premiered on Broadway in 1950, Guys and Dolls first reached London in 1953 when it ran for 555 performances at the Coliseum. It was made into a 1953 Hollywood film starring Marlon Brandon, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. At the National, Richard Eyre mounted a multi award-winning production in 1982, when Bob Hoskins and Julia McKenzie starred. Eyre’s production was revived for an extended run at the NT Olivier in 1996 with a cast that included Clarke Peters as Sky Masterson and Clive Rowe, who won a Laurence Olivier Award for his supporting role as Nicely Nicely Johnson. The Donmar staging will be the first new London production in 23 years.
The story centres around a group of small-time gamblers and their long-suffering girlfriends. Nathan Detroit, under nuptial pressure from his girlfriend Miss Adelaide, needs $1,000 to enter a crap game and, to raise the cash, bets his friend Sky Masterson that he can't woo the prim neighbourhood missionary, Sarah Brown. No further casting has yet been announced.
Directed by Donmar Warehouse artistic director Grandage, Guys and Dolls will be the first Donmar musical originated outside of its own 250-seat auditorium (See News, 17 Jun 2004). It’s designed by Christopher Oram and produced in the West End by the Ambassador Theatre Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment, in association with the Donmar’s own in-house production team.
Currently at the Piccadilly, Jailhouse Rock, the stage musical adaptation of Elvis Presley’s seminal 1957 film, will continue at the theatre until April 2005, when it celebrates its first birthday (having opened on 19 April 2004, previews from 26 March), and will then transfer to the West End’s Albery Theatre. Exact dates for the move have yet to be confirmed.
The latest collaboration from Alan Janes and Rob Bettinson, best known for their long-running Buddy Holly bio-musical Buddy, Jailhouse Rock features 22 songs in total, amongst them Elvis Presley hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Burnin’ Love”, “Suspicious Minds”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and “Always on My Mind”.
Newcomer Mario Kombou plays Vince Everett in a cast that also features Lisa Peace, Roger Alborough and Whatsonstage.com Award nominee Gilz Terera. The musical is directed by Bettinson, produced by Janes and Rene Sheridan, and co-produced by Jonathan Alver and Stephen Dee. The creative team includes designer Adrian Rees, musical supervisor David Mackay and choreographer Drew Anthony.
- by Terri Paddock