The stage musical is based around the Fifties and Sixties hits from the compilation album series of the same name. The first Dreamboats and Petticoats became one of the biggest-selling albums of the decade after its release in 2007, amassing sales of more than 600,000. The second album climbed to number two in the charts within the first week of its release. And, just released this month, Dreamboats and Petticoats 3 has gone straight in at No 1 on the Compilation Chart.
The albums feature well-known rock ‘n’ roll classics from the likes of Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury and Chuck Berry. Around such hits, book writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, best known for TV sitcoms Birds of a Feather and Shine on Harvey Moon, have fashioned an original story.
In 1961, emotions run high as talented young musicians Norman and Bobby compete to win the hearts of their adoring female fans – and more importantly, the gorgeous Sue. But when shy Laura shows that she’s no slouch on the piano, rock ‘n’ roll fame beckons.
Amongst the songs included in the show are: “Let’s Dance”, “To Know Him Is to Love Him”, “Shaking All Over”, “Bobby’s Girl”, “Three Steps to Heaven”, “Little Town Flirt”, “Only Sixteen”, “Runaround Sue”, “Happy Birthday Sweet 16”, “Let It Be Me”, “Great Pretender”, “C’mon Everybody” and “Let’s Twist Again”.
Dreamboats and Petticoats is directed by Bob Tomson and designed by Sean Cavanagh, with choreography by Carole Todd, lighting by Mark Howett, sound by Ben Harrison and musical supervision by Keith Strachan. It’s produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield in association with the record label Universal Music.
Following extensive UK touring, Dreamboats and Petticoats had its West End premiere on 27 July 2009 (previews from 22 July) at the Savoy Theatre, where it finished on 31 October to make way for the Broadway import of screen-to-stage musical Legally Blonde (See Photo News, 30 Sep 2009).
Currently at the Playhouse, Terry Johnson’s Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Broadway musical classic La Cage aux Folles has posted closing notices for 2 January, with Douglas Hodge returning to reprise his performance as drag queen Zaza for the final five weeks in London ahead of a Broadway transfer (See News, 11 Nov 2009).