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Galas: Toto Winner in Wizard, Caird's Challenge

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Calling all dog lovers. “Dangerous Dave”, the miniature Schnauzer who won the canine competition on last year’s Over the Rainbow, will make his West End debut this Thursday night (21 April 2011) in a special gala performance of The Wizard of Oz held in aid of Comic Relief at the London Palladium.

Dangerous Dave was chosen personally by Andrew Lloyd Webber in the reality TV contest. At the gala, he’ll play Toto alongside the publicly-voted Over the Rainbow winner Danielle Hope as Dorothy in a cast that also features Michael Crawford, Hannah Waddigham, Paul Keating, David Ganly, Edward Baker-Duly.

The Wizard of Oz, best known from the 1939 Hollywood film starring Judy Garland, has been “totally reconceived” and includes new songs written by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. The production is helmed by the same creative team behind Lloyd Webber’s Whatsonstage.com Award-winning revival of The Sound of Music starring his first reality TV winner Connie Fisher – director Jeremy Sams, designer Robert Jones and choreographer Arlene Phillips.

Tickets for Thursday’s performance of The Wizard of Oz can be booked online via See Tickets.

In other gala news, Whatsonstage.com blogger and Off-West End deputy editor Jo Caird will be making her own West End debut, also for charity and for one-night-only, in this year’s Showtime Challenge performance of Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Sunday 8 May 2011 in aid of the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts.

The Showtime Challenge, care of Eyebrow Productions, is to present a full West End musical after only 48 hours’ rehearsal – so Jo will be working very hard indeed on her assignment.

Previous Showtime Challenge performances have included Crazy tor You, Me and My Girl and Sweet Charity.

The Whatsonstage.com team will be cheering Jo on – and tweeting – from the event on 8 May.

Tickets for The Boy Friend range from £19 to £39.50, with all proceeds going to the charity, and can be booked via www.eyebrowproductions.com or via See Tickets.

Whatsonstage.com will also be tweeting on Thursday night from this year’s West End Eurovision competition – hosted by Gabby Roslin, judged by Graham Norton, Sheridan Smith and Justin Lee Collins and held in aid of TheatreMAD, The Make A Difference Trust. In advance, you can view all the hilarious videos from competing shows - including Billy Elliot, Wicked, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Wizard of Oz - on Whatsonstage.com here.

Tickets for West End Eurovision, which is almost completely sold out, can be purchased through Ambassador Tickets or in person at the Piccadilly Theatre box office.


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