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Galas: Fry Fronts Perfect Pitch, Mead Joins Boys

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Perfect Pitch, which supports the development of homegrown musicals including Dougal Irvine's Whatsonstage.com Award nominated Departure Lounge, will hold a one-off fundraising event The Great British Musical to celebrate the contribution UK composers have made to the genre.

The event, compèred by Stephen Fry, will be held at the Criterion Theatre on Sunday 10 April 2011 with a line-up including Love Story stars Peter Polycarpou, Michael Xavier, Emma Williams, newly announced Les Mis Javert Hadley Fraser, Paul Keating, Julie Atherton and Stuart Matthew Price.

The concert will include numbers from shows by British writers including Elton John's screen-to-stage adaptation of The Lion King; Love Story which recently finished its Chichester Theatre transfer run at the Duchess Theatre; Willy Russell's long-running Blood Brothers; Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade's Salad Days which was recently revived at Riverside Studios; Stiles and Drewe's Betty Blue Eyes which opens at the Novello Theatre on 13 April (previews from 19 March) and their musical based on the short stories of Rudyard Kipling Just So.

Perfect Pitch, supported for the fourth year by Whatsonstage.com, develop shows through a series of workshops, readings, showcases and productions. In addition to the Perfect Pitch supported Departure Lounge, which played a limited run at Waterloo East Theatre in October last year, they developed The Go-Between by Richard Taylor and David Wood which is part of this year's autumn season at West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Royal and Derngate and Derby Live.

Other performers announced for the The Great British Musical in aid of Perfect Pitch include Steven Webb, Sophia Ragavelas, Jack Shalloo, Dougal Irvine, Jodie Jacobs and John Addison. The cast will be supported by a live nine piece band and an ensemble of seven students from the Musical Theatre Academy (MTA).

Lee Mead and Daniel Boys will reunite for the first time since competing on Any Dream Will Do when they take part in the Live At The Studios concert series at Trafalgar Studios 2 on Friday (4 March 2011).

The stars were both part of the 2007 BBC talent hunt, from which Mead emerged victorious, landing the role of Joseph in the revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre.

Mead has since gone on to star in Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (on tour), and Wicked in the West End. Daniel Boys has enjoyed similar success with credits including Avenue Q in the West End, and Wolfboy at Trafalgar Studios 2.

Mead will appear as Boys' guest for the concert, will be the penultimate in a series which will also showcase Julie Atherton (and special guests) on 2 March and Lisa Faye, with her concert Streisand: The Main Event, on 5 March.

All concerts start at 9.45 pm, following the evening performance of Adam Gwon's musical Ordinary Days, which stars both Atherton and Boys. The show continues its Trafalgar Studios run until 5 March 2011.

An evening of songs by Steven Luke Walker will be showcased at the Charing Cross Theatre (formally the New Players) in a one-off concert on Sunday 20 March 2011.

A West End vocal coach and singing tutor to Guilford School of Acting (GSA) and Mountview, Walker will present a selection of original musical theatre songs inspired by blockbuster films Brokeback Mountain, CS Lewis' The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. Other material will include songs from The Boy King, a musical based upon the legend of Tutankhamun, and The Willow Tree - a musical theatre telling of London’s own infamous Gunpowder Plot - as well as songs written exclusively for the stars appearing on the night.

The line up announced for the concert includes Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert star Samantha Barks, Love Never Dies Phantom Ramin Karimloo, Summer Strallen, Hadley Fraser, Gina Beck, Cassandra Compton, Rebecca Lock, Rebecca Seale, supported by an specially formed choir from GSA.

Eyebrow Productions Showtime Challenge returns to the West End with a production of Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend staged after only 48 hours rehearsal. The performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Sunday 8 May 2011 is presented in aid of the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts.

Previous Showtime Challenge performances have included Crazy For You, Me and My Girl, Sweet Charity which have all been presented in the West End after just two days of rehearsal.

The Boy Friend is set in the carefree world of the French Riviera in the Roaring 1920s. Maisie and the girls live with the maid, Hortense, and Madame Dubonnet at her School for Young Ladies. The all-singing, all-dancing classic begins with the ironic “Perfect Young Ladies”. First performed on the West End in 1953 the show was revived in London in 1984.

Auditions for the show take place this weekend, 5 and 6 March.

Finally in gala news, the Little Prince Trust will present a black tie charity gala at Café De Paris with a line-up of West End stars including Ramin Karimloo, Derek Andrews, Ricky Rojas, Jodie Jacobs, Lucie Downer, Louisa Maxwell, Tam Mutu, Adam Pearce Craig Scott, Stephen John Davis, Walter van Dyk, Charlie Bull, Stephanie Bron, Grace Holdstock, Lisa Donmall, John Marquez.

Created by the parents of Hannah Tarplee who died of a Wilms tumour in June 2005, the Little Princess Trust provides real hair wigs to children suffering from hair loss. The gala concert will be held on Sunday 20 March 2011.


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