OPENING TUESDAY, 15 June 2004 (performances since 7 June), the new cast of the world premiere stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally face the critics at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket. Hollywood’s Michael Landes (The New Adventures of Superman) and Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club) take over from Luke Perry and Alyson Hannigan in the title roles made famous by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the 1989 film about friends who, eventually, become lovers (See News, 17 May 2004). They’re joined in the new cast by Britons Dexter Fletcher and Susannah Wise as best friends Jack and Marie.
Playwright Marcy Kahan has adapted the original Nora Ephron screenplay, design is by Ultz and music is provided care of British jazz musicians Jamie and Ben Cullum. When Harry Met Sally is currently booking up to 4 September 2004.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 16 June 2004 (previews from 8 June), the hit 2000 Broadway comedy Dirty Blonde finally receives its West End premiere at the Duke of York’s Theatre (See News, 12 May 2004). The original New York cast – including creator Claudia Shear - reprise their roles in the story about romance between two urban loners who discover in their own lives a bit of the swagger of Mae West, the legendary vaudeville star and Hollywood sex siren.
The play was originally tipped for a 2001 West End run. Instead, it had its UK and European debut at the Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse in July 2002, with another planned London transfer delayed due to lack of venue availability. It’s now produced in the West End by James Hammerstein Productions in association with Nick Salmon for Act Productions and is booking until 4 September 2004.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, 16 June 2004, Talawa Theatre’s revival of black American writer James Baldwin’s 1964 play Blues for Mr Charlie, based around a race-driven Mississippi murder trial on the eve of the civil rights movement, transfers to north London’s Tricycle Theatre, following initial dates at Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre. It continues until 10 July 2004 (See News, 2 Jun 2004).
- by Terri Paddock