OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 26 July, Over the Rainbow finalist Lauren Samuels joins the cast of the hit West End show Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre. Samuels, who will play the role through to 22 January 2011, takes over from fellow TV casting graduate Siobhan Dillon, a contestant on How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
ALSO TONIGHT, Strictly Come Dancing power couple Brian Fortuna and Ali Bastian star in Burn the Floor at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The show, billed as an "electrifying Latin and ballroom dance spectacular", arrives in the West End following a worldwide tour including a run on Broadway last year. It continues until 4 September 2010.
ALSO TONIGHT, The House of Bilquis Bibi, Sudha Bhuchar’s modern-day reinterpretation of Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, opens at the Hampstead Theatre, directed by Kristine Landon-Smith, continuing until 14 August.
ALSO TONIGHT, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine at Trafalgar Studios. The Menier Chocolate Factory's Willy Russell Season transfers to the West End. Laura Dos Santos reprises her critically acclaimed performance as Rita, now opposite Tim Pigott-Smith (fresh from Enron) as Frank. Glen Walford’s production of Shirley Valentine, stars Meera Syal as Shirley. Both continue until 30 October.
** DON’T MISS our exclusive Whatsonstage.com Outing to Educating Rita on 2 September 2010 including a FREE programme, FREE drink and a chance to meet Steph and our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A - click here for details! We’re also running an Outing to Shirley Valentine - including FREE programme, FREE drink and our EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Meera Syal – on Thursday 26 August 2010 - click here for details! **
OPENING TUESDAY, 27 July 2010, Ian McDiarmid and Charlie Cox star in Dennis Kelly’s new version of 19th-century German tragedy The Prince of Homburg, directed by Jonathan Munby at the Donmar Warehouse. Continues until 4 September.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, Simon Callow gets to grips with the bard in Shakespeare - The Man from Stratford, a new play by Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, at Richmond Theatre. It runs at Richmond until 31 July 2010, before moving to the Edinburgh Fringe.
ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 25 July), OperaUpClose’s record-breaking production of Puccini’s La Bohème, set in modern London, transfers from the Cock Tavern in Kilburn to Soho Theatre. Continuing until 4 September.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, the Cock Tavern Theatre sees the world premiere of Subs, a new play written by RJ Purdey and directed by Hamish Macdougall, which delves into the life of a magazine sub-editor. Runs until 14 August.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 27 July), Above the Stag presents Blink Twice! ... More Great Songs from Forgotten Shows, a follow-up to last year’s hit, Blink! and running until 22 August.
OPENING FRIDAY, 30 July 2010, Dance extravaganza Into the Hoods returns to the Southbank Centre, redesigned for the larger Royal Festival Hall, and continues until 15 August.
OPENING SATURDAY, 31 July 2010 (previews from 23 July), Great Game Afghanistan. The Tricycle revives its acclaimed cycle of work dedicated to Afghan history and culture. Delivered in three short plays until 29 August.