Blues Brothers & Woody Guthrie Tribute Visit ArtsDate: 27 September 2010
London theatregoers will get the chance to see another Edinburgh Fringe show transfer to the West End this autumn as producers announce Blues Brothers - Live will join A Guide to Sexual Misery at the Arts Theatre, from 15 October until 6 November (previews from 12 October).
The show, which will play concurrently with A Guide to Sexual Misery, is directed by Patrick Wilde whose previous credits include Blondel with Tim Rice, and Edinburgh Fringe outing Scott Mills the Musical. A Guide to Sexual Misery opened on 17 September (previews from 10 September) and will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 13 November 2010.
Billed as the West End Blues Bothers Live the tribute show's run will finish just a month before the Arts Theatre's current leaseholders have been been told they must be out of the venue, with notice having been given for the company to leave the troubled theatre by 13 December - news which Whatsonstage.com broke on 22 September 2010.
Blues Brothers tribute shows have made West End outing before with The Official Tribute to the Blues Brothers having enjoyed four London runs in total, the last of which was a six month run at the Whitehall Theatre (now Trafalgar Studios) to October 2001. The Official Tribute, which starred Simon Foster and Brad Henshaw, ceased touring in 2002.
West End Blues Bothers Live promises "one of the tightest rhythm and blues bands in the city", Blues Bothers Jake and Elwood will deliver classic tunes including, "Gimme Some Lovin", "Think, Minnie the Moocher", "Sweet Home Chicago", and "Jailhouse Rock". West End Blues Bothers Live is produced by Brian Hook and Louis Hartshorn for Hartshorn-Hook Productions.
As previously reported, the uncertain future of the Arts Theatre, which property developers Consolidated St Giles LLP’s plan to redevelop into a hotel, theatre and commercial complex, could put in jeopardy two planned productions announced at the venue.
Christmas show Puss in Boots, produced by End of Pier Productions and Woody Sez, a tribute to the "words, music and spirit" of American singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie, both have runs which now all or partially fall outside the landlord's deadline.
Puss in Boots, scheduled for 17 November 2010 to 9 January 2011 is the second Christmas outing for End of Pier having presented A Christmas Carol in 2009. The company also programme and operate the Arts on behalf of Basrat Ltd, having been awarded the contract in April this year. Woody Sez, a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, is scheduled to run from 13 January to 2 April 2011. End of the Pier say that neither will go ahead if the notice stands, however tickets for both are still on sale through the Arts Theatre website.
Created by Broadway veteran David Lutken Woody Sez premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2007 and returned two years later. The show weaves together Guthrie's words and songs to present a "foot-stomping and heartfelt theatrical journey through the life of America's greatest ballad maker".
Considered the Godfather of American folk music, Guthrie was the original protest singer fighting for and lifting up the spirits of people beaten down by the hardships of The Great Depression. His much-loved songs include "This Land is Your Land" and "Bound for Glory", and he provided inspiration for the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison. Woody Sez is produced by Mary Cossette and Hartshorn-Hook Productions.