Don Johnson, star of American 1980s cop show Miami Vice, headlined a VIP performance last night (24 January 2007, previews from 8 January) of Michael Grandage’s multi award-winning revival of Broadway classic Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre (See News, 22 Nov 2006). The production – in which Johnson plays gambling man Nathan Detroit, following in the footsteps of another American star of the Eighties, Patrick Swayze – marks the actor’s West End debut.

Though best known for his television success, Johnson started his career on stage in the musical Your Own Thing. As well as Miami Vice, his other credits include: Nash Bridges and Just Legal on television; A Boy and His Dog, The Harrad Experiment and The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart on film: and Fortune and Men’s Eyes on stage in Los Angeles. Johnson is also a recording artist with two albums to his name.

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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at Planet Hollywood along with the cast and other guests including singers Antony Costa, Beverley Knight and Tony Christie, T'Pau’s Carol Decker, TV presenter Amanda Lamb, shoe designer Jimmy Choo, Ingrid Tarrant (former wife of Chris Tarrant), Pattie Boyd (former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton) and former cast members Neil Morrissey (TV’s Men Behaving Badly) and Martyn Ellis (who won a Whatsonstage.com Award for his performance as Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the original cast of this production).

Based on Damon Runyon’s short stories about New York gamblers and their girls in the 1940s, Frank Loesser’s 1950 musical was made into a 1953 Hollywood film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. The current London production is designed by Christopher Oram, with choreography by Rob Ashford, musical supervision by Jae Alexander, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Terry Jardine and Chris Full. It’s presented by the Ambassador Theatre Group and Live Nation in association with the Donmar Warehouse.

Don Johnson’s current co-stars – Samantha Janus (a bright spark as a bubbly Miss Adelaide), Norman Bowman (Sky Masterson) and Amy Nuttall (Sarah Brown) – are replaced from 6 February by Claire Sweeney (who’s previously played Miss Adelaide in the West End and on tour), Ben Richards and Lisa Stokke (See News, 23 Jan 2007).

-by Terri Paddock