‘They’re playing our song’ comes to the Menier

It has been reported this morning (What’s on Stage appear to have got there first) that this summer’s musical at the Menier Chocolate Factory is going to be a revival of Marvin Hamlisch’s They’re Playing Our Song.

I’m particularly excited about this choice as it’s a show I know well – during my time as a student, I took the show to the Edinburgh Festival. It’s a perfect show for the Menier, with just two leading characters.

For those of you that don’t know anything about the show, take a look at the Wikipedia entry for a synopsis of the plot. But first, here’s a few reasons why I think it’s an inspired choice by the David Babani and the Menier team:

 

  1. Book by Neil Simon – musicals are often let down by the quality of the script, which can feel like an afterthought bolted onto a set of songs. The book is written by Neil Simon, a phenomenal playright is his own right. As a result, the script is witty and offers much more than just a few links between songs.
  2. Great castingConnie Fisher was brilliant in The Sound of Music, but it’s great to see her playing a very different role. Vocally, she’s superb, and won’t have any problem with the music in this show. Alistair McGowan should also be a great choice, in the role originally played by Tom Conti. From what I’ve heard about McGowan, his vocals should be a fair bit better than Conti’s (listen to a copy of the original CD and you’ll know what I mean!).
  3. Catchy songs – The show is written by Marvin Hamlisch, who is (as WOS pointsl out) “one of only two men to have been awarded all five of the major awards in American entertainment. A Tony and a Pulitzer Prize for A Chorus Line, a Grammy and an Oscar for the score for The Way We Were, and an Emmy for Barbra Streisand, The Concert” –  that’s a pretty impressive CV! My personal favourites are the upbeat ‘They’re playing our song’, and the beautiful balad ‘Just for Tonight’, but there are really no dud numbers
  4. About time too – as far as I can tell, the show hasn’t been produced professionally in London since the original production closed back in 1982, so it’s about time it got a revival!

 

The Menier has a fantastic track record when it comes to musicals. Since the theatre opened back in 2005, I have seen all 6 of the  musicals they’ve produced there – Tick, Tick, Boom, Sunday in the Park with George, The Last 5 Years, Little Shop of Horrors, Take Flight and La Cage Aux Folles. After 6 successes, I have no doubt that They’re Playing Our Song will be another hit.

Previews start in just over a month’s time (25th July) and you will soon be able to book tickets via the theatre’s official website.

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In Brief
They’re Playing Our Song at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Music by Marvin Hamlisch, Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager and book by Neil Simon
Starring Connie Fisher and Alistair McGowan
Previews from 25th July
First night on 4th August
Last night on 28th September

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