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Lansbury & Cook Salute Herman; Loved-up Jones

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Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Award-winning Best Actress in a Musical Leanne Jones (pictured) will join fellow Whatsonstage.com Award winners Ben James-Ellis (her Hairspray co-star) and Kerry Ellis (Wicked) in the latest late night cabaret, held in aid of Theatrecares, at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios at 11.30pm this coming Monday 17 March 2008.

Following September’s successful gender-swapping event (See News, 9 Aug 2007), the theme for the new cabaret – entitled Love Me Tender, Hate Me Please is “that thorny little thing called love – how it runs smoothly or not-so-smoothly”.

The evening will feature performances by many other West End stars including: Shaun Escoffery (Parade), David Bedella (Jerry Springer), Dean Collinson (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Shona Lindsay (Aspects of Love), Leon Lopez (Rent), John Owen-Jones (Les Miserables) and Adele Anderson (Fascinating Aida).

All proceeds from the cabaret goes to Theatrecares (formerly known as West End Cares), which in turn distribute funds to various HIV and AIDS projects in the UK and Africa. To date Theatrecares has raised over £2 million, with late night cabarets a mainstay of the charity’s events programme for many years. Tickets cost £20 and can be booked by calling 0870 060 6632.

The next Theatrecares charity event, West End Rocks, will take place at Madame Jo Jo’s club in Soho where a band comprising numerous stage stars will perform an eclectic set of cover versions of chart-topping hits ranging from “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and “Hold the Line” to “More Than Words” and “Hallelujah”. Jon Robyns, Oliver Tompsett, Paul Ayres and Cassidy Janson are amongst those due to take part in the 8.00pm gig on Sunday 27 April. Tickets cost £15 and can be booked on 020 7395 7528.

Further ahead this spring, Broadway legends Barbara Cook and Angela Lansbury will fly in for a one-off concert celebrating the work of American composer and lyricist Jerry Herman. Jerry Herman’s Broadway, which aims to raise £250,000 for Crusaid, takes place at the London Palladium on Sunday 4 May 2008.

Cook, Lansbury and fellow Broadway stars Melissa Errico, Sal Viviano and Ron Raines – all making their London stage debuts - will perform songs such as “I Won’t Send Roses”, “I Am What I Am”, “The Best of Times”, “Tap Your Troubles Away” and “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” from Herman musicals including Hello Dolly, Mack and Mabel, Best of Times and La Cage Aux Folles.

The performers will be accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the musical direction of long-time Herman collaborator Don Pippin. In addition, Jerry Herman himself will perform and will preview two new numbers from his latest musical score, Miss Spectacular, which he’s readying for a Las Vegas premiere.

Tickets range from £15 to £250 and can be booked on 0844 412 4657.

- by Terri Paddock


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