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Photos: Connie Fisher Does Bernstein After Music

By • West End
Connie Fisher’s first stage role after leaving The Sound of Music (where her contract finishes on 23 February) will be a concert celebration of the work of legendary American composer Leonard Bernstein. In Simply Bernstein - which runs for five performances only from 4 to 6 April 2008 at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, south London – Fisher will be joined by fellow West End stars Sally Dexter, Annette McLaughlin and Hal Fowler, who she met today for a photocall at the venue.

Simply Bernstein follows the similarly musical-themed Simply Sondheim concert starring Daniel Evans and Maria Friedman, which was presented last August at Cadogan Hall, ordinarily a classical music venue (See News, 31 Jul 2007). In the new concert, Fisher and the company will sing songs such as “I Feel Pretty”, “Maria” and “Wonderful Town” from Bernstein Broadway classics including On the Town, West Side Story, Wonderful Town and Candide (which receives a full-scale revival care of English National Opera this June).

Commenting on her new job, Fisher said today: “Bernstein wrote such great songs. Lots are funny and quirky – and I consider myself quite quirky – and there are some real undiscovered gems. The show will be a wonderful opportunity to stretch myself and show my versatility.”

Fisher won her role as nun-turned-nanny Maria von Trapp in Jeremy Sams’ revival of The Sound of Music, which opened at the London Palladium in November 2006, after winning the BBC reality TV contest How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?. Amongst other accolades, she went on to win Best Newcomer prizes at both the Critics’ Circle and Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards last year.

Speaking exclusively to Whatsonstage.com today, Fisher said she was now looking forward to taking on another ‘Maria’ even if “the Maria in West Side Story is a very different kind of Maria to Maria Von Trapp”. She added that it would be “weird and wonderful” to be on a different stage after The Sound of Music but that she was attracted by the opportunity for “discovering Bernstein”.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE SIMPLY BERNSTEIN PHOTOCALL PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

Anthony Barclay and Mark Meadows will also perform in Simply Bernstein, which is directed by Fiona Laird. The singers will be accompanied by the Southbank Sinfonia orchestra. The concert at the 900-seat Cadogan Hall, a converted church that is now the home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brodsky Quartet, is produced by Daniel Wood.

Adam McGinlay, general manager of Cadogan Hall, said today: “2008 marks the 90th year of Leonard Bernstein's birth, so we are delighted that Daniel is presenting this spectacular run of back-to-back Bernstein hits with a unique line-up of West End stars and the impeccable talents of Southbank Sinfonia.”

- by Terri Paddock


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