As previously tipped (See The Goss, 14 Sep 2004), Notes from New York, the West End platform for contemporary US musical theatre, will return next month to celebrate its first anniversary, with the fifth and final one-off concert in the series. Emmerdale’s Amy Nuttall and S Club 7’s Jon Lee (pictured) will headline the gala performance, which takes place at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios on Sunday 21 November 2004.

The final concert will celebrate the songs and shows of all nine composers so far profiled in the series, including: Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Larson (Rent, Tick Tick Boom), Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (Songs for a New World, Parade, The Last Five Years) and the Grammy-nominated Andrew Lippa (John & Jen, The Wild Party). It will also feature the UK and European première of material from Tim Acito's musical fairy tale Zanna Don't, which, following an Off-Broadway run last year, is due to open on Broadway in spring 2005.

Though Nuttall and Lee are best known for their soap and pop fame, respectively, both have notched up stage musical credits. Most notably, Nuttall has played Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, while last year, Lee took on the role of Marius in Les Miserables in the West End (See News, 3 Jun 2003).

Nuttall and Lee will be joined by series regulars Julie Atherton (Fame, Just So) and Paul Spicer (The Witches of Eastwick, Taboo) as well as a selection of, as-yet unnamed, previous cast members.

Launched in November 2003 to present a selection of brand new US musical theatre work in the West End for the very first time, Notes from New York has since enjoyed a succession of sell-out shows, having played at the Arts Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse and, most recently, at the Trafalgar Studios, where it returns for its finale. Produced by Neil Eckersley, the concerts are directed by David Randall, with associate direction and musical staging by series co-founder, Paul Spicer.

Commenting on why Notes from New York is now being discontinued, Eckersley has previously told "It was launched as a series to profile the work of a select number of contemporary US composers, and we feel that it has done just that. It's now time to evolve." A new series from the same team is on the cards for early 2005.

- by Terri Paddock