In Blackpool, American Jimmy Osmond, the youngest of the Osmond family of singers, will guest star as himself in the original Boogie Nights, which runs at the Blackpool Grand from 13 July to 30 October 2004.
Not to be confused with the 1998 film about a prodigiously endowed teenager who’s lured into LA's porn industry, the UK-set Boogie Nights takes place at a local disco – where wannabe rock star Roddy O’Neill, his long-suffering girlfriend Debs and their mates are - on the night that Elvis died in 1977. The show features disco hits including "YMCA", "Celebration", "I Will Survive" and "Play That Funky Music".
The musical is loosely based on the teenage experiences of Shane Richie (now best known for his role in EastEnders), who originally starred on tour and in the 1998 West End run. In Blackpool, Roddy will be played by Billy Pearce, who first topped the bill himself at the Grand in 1993.
Boogie Nights 2 catches up with Roddy, his friends and his electric dreams ten years on, when flares are swapped for leg warmers and the disco ditties for 1980s pop hits such as “Tainted Love”, “Material Girl”, “Thriller”, “Relax”, “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.
British chart-topper David Essex – whose musical credits have included Godspell, Evita and Mutiny! - will play an angel. He’ll be joined in the cast by Scott Robinson, from pop group 5ive, making his theatrical debut as Terry, as well as Sophie Lawrence, Joe Speare and Don Crann. Mark Jones, who’s previously appeared in Boogie Nights on tour, will star as Roddy.
Boogie Nights 2 opens on 23 August 2004 at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre before continuing to Northampton, Oxford, Manchester, Stoke, Southend, Wolverhampton, Norwich, Dartford, Liverpool and Eastbourne. Both musicals are produced by Qdos Entertainment.
- by Terri Paddock