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Musicals Extend: Lyric Spring, Playhouse La Cage

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Broadway transfer Spring Awakening  has announced an extended run at the Lyric Hammersmith, where it opened to strong reviews on Tuesday (See Review Round-up, 5 Feb 2009). 

The alt-rock musical, which is based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 play of the same name about teenage sexual discovery, has extended by two weeks and is now booking until 14 March 2009, with a speculated West End transfer in the offing.

Spring Awakening has music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Set in 19th-century Germany, the story centres on brilliant student Melchior, his troubled friend Moritz and Wendla, a beautiful girl on the verge of womanhood. It's directed by Michael Mayer, choreographed by Bill T Jones and features a new and largely unknown British cast (See News, 24 Oct 2009).

DON'T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to Spring Awakening on 9 February, including a FREE programme and access to our EXCLUSIVE post-show reception with the company - all for £27! Click here for details.

Elsewhere, the hit Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Jerry Herman's La Cage Aux Folles has extended its booking period at the West End’s Playhouse theatre by five months, until 26 September 2009.

The production, which currently features Graham Norton as Zaza (until 25 April), was first seen at the Chocolate Factory from 9 January to 8 March 2008 (previews from 27 November 2007), before transferring to the Playhouse on 30 October 2008 (previews from 20 October).

The production, which is directed by Terry Johnson, recently won Best Musical at the Critics' Circle awards and is in the running for six categories in this year's Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice awards, which are announced on 15 February (See News, 5 Dec 2008). It also leads the field for the Oliver awards, where it is nominated in seven categories (See News, 3 Feb 2009).

Based on the 1973 French play by Jean Poiret and subsequent 1978 French-Italian screen version, La Cage Aux Folles focuses on a gay couple – Georges, the manager of a St Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin/Zaza, his star attraction - and the adventures that ensue when Georges' son Jean-Michel brings home his fiancée's ultra-conservative parents to meet them.

- by Theo Bosanquet


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