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New End Pays Tribute to Singer-Comic Danny Kaye

By • West End
London's New End theatre continues a successful line in small-scale tribute musicals next month with the premiere of a new piece about Hollywood's late singer-actor-comedian Danny Kaye, featuring many of his famous, nonsensical, tongue-twisting songs. Kaye's the Word opens at the Hampstead-based theatre on 20 February 2003 (previews from 18 February) and continues to 4 March.

Written by Tony Hare (of Radio 2's The News Huddlines), the evening is performed by cabaret artist Paul Hull who tackles such classic Kaye songs and routines as "Pellet with the Poison" from the film The Court Jester, "Tchaikovsky" (in which the names of more than 50 polysyllabic Russian composers are rattled off in 39 seconds), "Minnie the Moocher", "The Maladjusted Jester", "Life Could Not Better Be", "Lullabye in Ragtime", "Anatole of Paris", "No Two People" and "The Ugly Duckling", from the film Hans Christian Andersen.

Born David Daniel Kaminsky in Brooklyn in 1913, Danny Kaye (pictured) became one of Hollywood's most popular "Golden Age" entertainers, combining dance, popular song, classical music, complicated verse, impersonation and improvisation into a unique, signature style. In addition to regular stage, radio and television work, Kaye starred in 17 movies, including The Kid from Brooklyn, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Inspector General, Hans Christian Andersen and The Court Jester, in which he displayed his vocal talents with "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true".

Kaye's the Word also features Sarah Elliott and is directed by Fascinating Aida's Adèle Anderson, with musical direction by Colin Billings. It follows recent productions of The House That Nat Built (about Nat King Cole) and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (about Billie Holliday) at the New End.

- by Terri Paddock


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