Musicals Extend: Jersey Boys, Mead’s Dreamcoat
At the Prince Edward Theatre, Jersey Boys, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, has added six months to its schedule. The UK premiere production opened on 18 March 2008 (previews from 28 February) and is now taking bookings through to 25 April 2009 (See Review Round-up, 19 Mar 2008).
The musical follows four boys – played by Ryan Molloy (as Frankie Valli), Stephen Ashfield, Glenn Carter and Philip Bulcock - on their journey from the wrong side of the tracks in the state of New Jersey to international success as pop music sensation The Four Seasons. The band wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they were 30.
Amongst their many hits included in the show are “Sherry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, “Working My Way Back to You” and “Who Loves You”. The musical has been written by Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman and uses the original music written by band member Bob Gaudio.
Following a four month try-out run in La Jolla, California, Jersey Boys opened in November 2005 at Broadway’s August Wilson Theater, where it continues to sell out. In 2006 it won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The West End production reunites the Broadway creative team, led by director Des McAnuff. Choreography is by Sergio Trujillo and design by Klara Zieglerova.
Meanwhile, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring Lee Mead in the title role, has extended its booking period by three months at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre, where it’s now booking through to 10 January 2009. Mead, the winner of the BBC reality TV competition Any Dream Will Do, will continue to star in the production.
Joseph started life in 1968 as a 20-minute entertainment for an end-of-term school concert. By the time it received its Broadway premiere in 1982, it had been expanded into a full two-hour show. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Joseph’s popular score includes the songs "Any Dream Will Do", "Close Every Door to Me", “Go, Go, Go Joseph”, “Those Canaan Days”, “Benjamin Calypso” and "One More Angel in Heaven".
The new staging of the record-breaking 1990s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium, which was directed by the late Steven Pimlott, is designed by Mark Thompson and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The musical opened at the Adelphi on 17 July 2007 (previews from 6 July).
- by Terri Paddock