The Friday musical round-up: 26th September

Not for the first time, I have failed to write my Friday round-up for a couple of weeks, due to a combination of lack of time and lack of news…

It’s still been a little quiet on the musical theatre news front, but there’s just about enough to sustain a post, so here I am… For those of you who are slightly more observant, you might notice me slip in a couple of things that didn’t strictly happen in the last week. Enjoy…

  • A Little Night Music has been confirmed as the Christmas musical this year at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The show is directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, and casting will follow in due course. In the meantime, tickets are already on sale via the Menier’s website, where you can also find full details and publicity image for the show.
  • Lee Mead is already been tipped for a follow-up role in another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical after he hangs up his multi-coloured coat. According to WOS, he is going to heading up the cast or a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Rather improbably, the production will apparently be directed by Marianne Elliott, a well-known director but with no previous musical theatre experience
  • Dirty Dancing is getting a new cast member, and rather unusually, he comes from the Royal Ballet. According to The Stage, Martin Harvey will be taking on the leading role, and will be joined by Leanne Rowe as ‘Baby’
  • Imagine This started its press campaign, inviting journalists to meet the cast and creative team, and hear a few of the show’s songs. What’s On Stage reports events here, and the Official London Theatre site focuses on Director Timothy Sheader’s nerves about the project. I doubt he’s the only person to be worried, as it’s certainly an ambitious show – check out The Stage newsblog for another point of view
  • Gethin Jones in rumoured to have been lined up to replace Lee Mead when his time in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to an end early next year. According to WOS, the former Blue Peter presenter and star of Strictly Come Dancing will make his theatre debut in the show.
  • Come Dancing, a new musical written by former Kinks frontman Ray Davies, opened this week at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Thankfully it’s actually an original musical, rather than another jukebox show, as noted by the show’s reviews
  • Never Forget‘s producers have managed to get themselves into a pay row with the cast of the show… The Stage reports that they have asked the cast to take significant pay cuts when the show moves from the Savoy Theatre to the smaller Lyric Theatre later in the year. Unsurprisingly, not everyone is particularly happy with their attempts. You can also see a response on The Stage’s newsblog here
  • Charles Strouse has told The Stage that producers are in talks to bring a new production of his most famous show, Annie, to the West End. It’s currently playing at the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, but he hopes it won’t end there
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the latest film-cum-musical, has announced its leading cast members. What’s On Stage announces that the show will mark a return to the West End stage for Jason Donovan, and this is confirmed by the show’s official website
  • Eurobeat The Musical opened at the Novello Theatre to mixed reviews… Nicholas de Jongh of the Evening Standard hated it, but Charles Spencer of the Daily Telegraph loved it. You can make up your own minds by booking tickets via the show’s official website

Have a good weekend.

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