The tiny Landor Theatre continues its musical success with an extension, and new leading lady, for its current production of Smokey Joe's Cafe, followed by a major revival of Maltby and Shire’s award-winning Off-Broadway revue Closer Than Ever.

In the dialogue-free Closer Than Ever, which runs from 15 September to 9 October 2010 (preview 14 September), Maltby and Shire “turn a spotlight on live and loves, relationships and fantasies, wicked satire and the ache of unrequited love”. The revue had its New York premiere in 1989, winning the Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.

Lyricist Richard Maltby Jr and composer David Shire have also collaborated on Big, Baby, Starting Here, Starting Now and Take Flight, which premiere at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory in 2007.

Closer Than Ever is performed by a quartet of West End stars – Clare Burt, Michael Cahill, Ria Jones and Glyn Kerslake – directed by Robert McWhir and choreographed by Matthew Gould.


Meanwhile, the Landor’s current offering Smokey Joe's Cafe, which opened on 20 July 2010 (previews from 13 July) and had been booking to 12 August only, has extended by a month and will now finish on 12 September.

Melanie La Barrie has taken over from Eighties disco diva Kym Mazelle, who finished on 25 July due to prior work commitments in the US. La Barrie’s many musical credits include Les Miserables, Daddy Cool and Mary Poppins in the West End.

She joins a cast that also features Over the Rainbow finalist Steph Fearon, making her professional stage debut, as well as Marc Akinfolarin], Miguel Angel, Edward Baruwa, Simon Hardwick, Ngo Ngofa and Philippa Stefani. Mykal Rand directs and choreographs.

Smokey Joe's Cafe features 39 pop standards written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, including “On Broadway”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Stand By Me” and “I’m a Woman”. It premiered on Broadway in 1995, transferring to the West End's Prince of Wales theatre the following year. This is its first major London revival since.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE on THURSDAY 29 July 2010 - including a FREE programme & a chance to meet Steph & the cast at our EXCLUSIVE post-show reception in the pub - click here for details & to BOOK NOW! **