Featuring a spectrum of West End and Broadway stars, the charity concert specifically celebrates the many multi award-winning musical productions directed by Nunn, who steps down as National Theatre artistic director at the end of this month.
Nunn's musical credits include: Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables, now in its 18th year at the West End's Palace Theatre; Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific and Oklahoma!; Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and Starlight Express; Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, still playing at the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Cole Porter's Anything Goes, his swansong National musical, which finishes this week at the NT Olivier; as well as other classics such as Chess, Porgy and Bess and The Baker's Wife.
Newly added to the night's roster is Josefina Gabrielle, who starred as Laurey in Nunn's revival of Oklahoma!, at the National, in the West End and, this year, on Broadway. Also currently confirmed to appear are: Philip Quast, singing "Stars" from Les Mis; Judy Kuhn, the original Broadway star of Chess, singing "Someone Else's Story"; Lauren Kennedy, singing Oklahoma's "I'm Jist a Girl Who Cain't Say No"; Kelli James singing "Memory"; Alan Campbell singing the title song from Sunset Boulevard, in which he starred on Broadway; Sally Ann Triplett and her Angels reprising "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" from the current production of Anything Goes; and this year's Olivier Award-winning Professor Henry Higgins, Alex Jennings, singing "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face".
In addition, Show Boat star Kenneth Nichols will sing Porgy to Broadway Laurie Williamson's Bess; Leigh Constantine, Tiffany Graves, Alexis Owen Hobbs, Alexandra Jay, Annette McLaughlin and Rebecca Thornhill will present their version of "Macavity"; and London's current Javerre in Les Mis, Michael McCarthy, will sing "Starlight Express". Also taking part will be David Michael Johnson, Tommy Korberg, Aled Jones and Teri Bibb.
The Night of 1000 Voices is directed by Hugh Wooldridge, with David Firman conducting the City of London Philharmonic orchestra. The performers will be accompanied by children from the Sylvia Young Theatre School and the Sing Live massed choir from around the British Isles.
The 2003 1000 Voices event follows similar extravaganzas at the Albert Hall in 1999, 2000 and 2002, which celebrated musicals through the millennium, the 70th birthday of composer Stephen Sondheim, and the lyrics of Tim Rice, respectively. Proceeds from this year's concert will benefit the Variety Club Children's Charity and the Alan Jay Lerner Fund for Cancer Research. Tickets cost from £17.50 to £49.50, with special gala tickets available for £150.00.
Ahead of The Night of 1000 Voices, Nunn is himself directing another high-profile charity event. This weekend, Sunday 23 March 2003, at the West End's Theatre Drury Lane, he leads the Concert for Peace which features stars including Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Lindsay Duncan and organiser Janie Dee and raises money for charities aiding victims of war.
- by Terri Paddock