Hollywood's Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (pictured) will make her West End musical debut this winter playing a Russian prima ballerina in Grand Hotel (See The Goss, 6 Jul 2004), which runs at the Donmar Warehouse from 29 November 2004 to 12 February 2005 (previews from 19 November). The full cast, confirmed today, also features Thoroughly Modern Millie’s Helen Baker and, reuniting at the Donmar after 2000’s Merrily We Roll Along, Julian Ovenden and Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Award winner Daniel Evans.

In 1928 Berlin, the guests and staff at Grand Hotel are suffering from an excess of hope and optimism as the stock market booms. The city's decadent high life is in full swing.

Grand Hotel is based on the Vicki Baum novel, which the musical's book writer Luther Davis found in a second-hand bookshop. Music and lyrics are by Robert Wright and George Forrest (Kismet), with additional material by Maury Yeston. The musical was revived to great acclaim on Broadway in 1989 and subsequently opened at the West End's Dominion Theatre in 1992.

Mastrantonio, who plays Elizaveta Grushinskaya, is best known for films including The Perfect Storm, Robin Hood, Robin Hood, The Abyss, The Colour of Money, Scarface and Consenting Adults.

In addition to Merrily We Roll Along, Evans (Otto Kringelein) has been seen on stage in The Tempest, Cloud Nine, Candide and Peter Pan, while Ovenden’s (Baron Felix von Gaigern) recent credits include A Woman of No Importance, King Lear and TV’s The Forsyte Saga. Baker’s (Flaemmchen) other musical credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The Grand Hotel cast also features Gillian Bevan (as Raffaella), Martyn Ellis (Hermann Preysing) and Gary Raymond (Colonel-Doctor) while the ensemble are Sara Annis, Hattie Bayton, David Birrell, John Conroy, Elizabeth Cooper-Gee, Paul Hazel, David Lukas, Graham Macduff, Joseph Noble and Sevan Stephan.

Grand Hotel is directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage, whose previous musical credits include the multi award-winning Merrily We Roll Along. It’s designed by Christopher Oram, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Terry Jardine for Autograph, musical direction by Jae Alexander and choreography by former Royal Ballet and AMP principal Adam Cooper (See The Goss, 19 Dec 2003).

- by Terri Paddock