After a wait of ten days London audiences will tonight get their dose of Broadway glamour when diva Barbara Cook’s one-woman show opens at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre, after a postponement due to ill health.

Cook (pictured) initially cancelled the first three performances of her new limited London season because the 76-year-old singer came down with a throat infection. Her health was then monitored with decisions made day-to-day as to whether she was able to perform.

It was hoped that Cook would be well enough to go on by Press night, which was scheduled for Thursday 13 May 2004 (See News, 13 May 2004) but on doctors’ advice, producers cancelled that performance mid-afternoon on the thirteenth.

No new dates have been added to the schedule (which had been due to run from 11 to 29 May 2004), so Barbara Cook's Broadway will still close next Saturday 29 May 2004 after only ten performances.

Cook was last seen in London with her 2001 Olivier-nominated show Mostly Sondheim, and has had earlier cabaret seasons at the Donmar Warehouse and the Albery Theatre. In 1997, she celebrated her 70th birthday with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

On her own shores, the American singer is a legend. Broadway's favourite ingenue in the 1950s and 60s, Cook originated important roles in musical theatre such as Cunegonde in Bernstein's Candide, Marian the Librarian in The Music Man (for which she won a Tony), and Amalia in She Loves Me.

Barbara Cook's Broadway recalls those golden years of the Great White Way, trawling through personal anecdotes as well as songs such as "The Party's Over", "Make the Man Love Me", "It's Not Where You Start", "Wait 'Til You're Sixty-Five", "Wonderful Guy", "My White Knight", "Mister Snow", "Nobody Else But Me", "His Face", "This Nearly Was Mine" and "A Perfect Relationship".

The new show arrives in London after a month at New York’s Lincoln Center, where it is scheduled to return for a second limited engagement this summer.

In Barbara Cook's Broadway, Cook is accompanied once again by Wally Harper, her long-time musical director. Together their recordings have included "It's Better with a Band", "Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein", "Champion Season: A Salute to Gower Champion" and "Mostly Sondheim". A recording of the latest show is also being released.

- by Terri Paddock & Hannah Kennedy