Following regional dates, the Motown compilation musical opened at the Cambridge on 19 July 2005 (previews from 7 July). It finishes there on 22 April 2006 – making way for Chicago which, in turn, leaves the Adelphi Theatre to make way for the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita (See News, 26 Jan 2006) – and then reopens on 27 April at the Aldwych for 12 weeks to 22 July.
At its new temporary home, Dancing in the Streets handily fills the gap between the closure of Fame on 22 April and the UK premiere of screen-to-stager Dirty Dancing, which starts performances on 29 September (See News, 24 Feb 2006). After its Aldwych dates, the game of West End monopoly will continue as Dancing in the Streets searches for another, more permanent West End home.
Meanwhile, a second production of Dancing in the Streets is embarking on a major 33-date UK tour. It launches on 20 March 2006 in Belfast, and continues to Plymouth, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Manchester, Cheltenham, Folkestone, Tunbridge Wells, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Worthing, Leicester, Peterborough, Llandudno, Torquay, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Sheffield, Southport, Buxton, York, Reading, St Albans, High Wycombe, Dundee, Salisbury, Cambridge, Grimsby, Kings Lynn, Nottingham, and Skegness, where it concludes on 16 July 2006.
Forty years after Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles first arrived in the UK in the spring of 1965 with the Tamla Motown Revue tour, Dancing in the Streets recreates what it was like to be there and to experience the energy, style and music of the greatest stars of the Motown stable.
The show’s medley of hits includes classics made famous by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, the Commodores, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. It’s directed by Keith Strachan, with choreography by Carole Todd, and is produced by Flying Music, the same company behind The Rat Pack. The current West End cast of Dancing in the Streets includes 17-year-old James Bellamy from ITV’s The X Factor.
Commenting on the musical’s intra-West End transfer, producers Derek Nicol and Paul Walden said: “We have enjoyed a spectacular year in the West End with this production, that had been in development for the past five years. Audiences in their thousands are still dancing in the aisles each week. But we always knew we had to leave the Cambridge Theatre on 22 April due to Chicago moving from the Adelphi to make room for Evita. Our 12-week season at the Aldwych Theatre before Dirty Dancing opens allows us to search for another home with an open-ended commitment. We are determined to keep this critically acclaimed feelgood production running in the West End.”
- by Caroline Ansdell & Terri Paddock