Musicals Extend: Gipsy Kings Zorro, Blood BrothersDate: 13 August 2008
After opening last month to surprisingly strong reviews (See Review Round-up, 16 Jul 2008), Gipsy Kings musical Zorro has extended its booking period by ten months at the West End’s Garrick Theatre, where it has been breaking box office records.
The flamenco musical got off to a shaky start, with technical problems necessitating the cancellation of several performances on tour and during previews in the West End, but it ultimately proved a hit with London critics when it opened on 16 July 2008 (previews from 2 July). Initially booking until 10 January 2009 at the Garrick – where last week it took £255,000, the highest ever weekly take at the venue - it is now taking bookings through to September 2009. Plans are now underway for international productions in Tokyo, Sydney and the US.
Zorro is based on the 2005 bestseller by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende (who also produces) about Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional wealthy caballero who defends the people of Spanish California against injustice, and includes Gipsy King standards “Bamboleo”, “Baila Me” and “Djobi Djoba” as well as specially written new songs.
Leading the 30-strong cast, Matt Rawle reprises his pre-West End performance in the title role with Lesli Margherita as Inez, alongside new West End company members Emma Williams and Adam Levy. The production is directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Spanish choreographer and dancer Rafael Amargo and designed by Tom Piper. Also on the creative team is co-composer and musical arranger John Cameron and book author Stephen Clark.
At the Phoenix Theatre, one of the West End’s longest-runners, Blood Brothers, has opened a new six-month booking period and is now taking bookings through to 30 May 2009. This production of Willy Russell's Liverpool-set musical about twin brothers separated at birth first opened on 27 August 1988 at the Albery Theatre before transferring to its current home at the Phoenix in November 1991. Lyn Paul currently stars as the twins' tragic mother, Mrs Johnstone. Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Thomson and Bill Kenwright and designed by Marty Flood.
- by Terri Paddock