Three-time Tony Award-winning American composer and lyricist Charles Strouse (pictured) will celebrate his 80th birthday in London later this month, with a series of events including a one-off BBC concert at London’s Mermaid Theatre on 19 September 2008.

Paul Nicholas, Bonnie Langford and Rosemary Ashe are amongst those lined up to perform at “Charles Strouse’s UK Birthday Celebration”, which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night programme. Martin Yates will conduct the BBC Orchestra.

Born on 7 June 1928 in New York City, Charles Strouse won his three Tony Awards Applause, Bye Bye Birdie (both for Best Musical and Annie (Best Original Score). His other musicals include All American, Golden Boy, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, Charlie and Algernon, Bring Back Birdie, Rags, Nick and Nora and Annie Warbucks.

Strouse is also a two-time Emmy and Grammy Award winner, who wrote the scores for films including Bonnie and Clyde, The Night They Raided Minsky’s, Just Tell Me What You Want, All Dogs Go to Heaven and Ishtar and the theme music to the long-running US sitcom All in the Family. His songs have been recorded by a range of artists from Barbra Streisand to Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr, Louis Armstrong, Grace Jones and Duke Ellington.

While in the UK, Strouse will also make two appearances at the musical theatre shop Dress Circle (17 September and 20 September), where he’ll be signing copies of his 2007 autobiography Put on a Happy Face – A Broadway Memoir, take part in a “Spotlight On..” discussion with Elaine Paige at the Shaw Theatre (23 September), address UK musical theatre writers at a private Mercury Musical Developments meeting (18 September) and visit the current touring production of Annie at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham (22 September).

Strouse’s UK trip follows tributes organised for his 80th birthday in New York, Chicago and Washington DC. For more information, visit www.CharlesStrouse.com.

- by Terri Paddock