THE WILD PARTY (musical)
NOT SUITABLE FOR THOSE AGED UNDER 16 OR THE EASILY OFFENDED. CONTAINS ADULT
THEMES AND MATERIAL.
Ends 1st April 2017.
A 1920s vaudeville clown and his showgirl partner decide to throw the party
of the year.
Francis Ruffelle (pictured above, photo by Fern Berresford) stars in a new
musical by Michael John LaChiusa.
The show also stars Broadway legend Donna McKechnie,
and British West End stars Simon Thomas, Victoria Hamilton-Barrit and
The Wild Party will be the inaugural production
at The Other Palace, formerly St. James Theatre, when it reopens in February
2017 as the newest addition to The Really Useful Theatres Group and a home
for new musical theatre.
The Wild Party will be directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie, who
received the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work
on In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre). Drew will direct and choreograph
the European Premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom at West Yorkshire
Playhouse this Christmas, with other recent choreography credits including
Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Bugsy Malone (Lyric
Hammersmith), The Lorax (The Old Vic) and Oklahoma (UK Tour). Drew is also
the Artistic Director of The McOnie Company, for which he recently created a
new dance-thriller version of Jekyll and Hyde at The Old Vic.
Based on Joseph Moncure March’s narrative poem of the same title, The Wild
Party originally opened on Broadway in 2000 with a cast including Toni
Collette, Mandy Patinkin and Eartha Kitt. The production received 7 Tony
Award nominations, and a Grammy Award nomination for its composer and
lyricist Michael John LaChiusa. LaChiusa is one of the most prolific writers
for the American musical stage, with works including Hello Again (1994),
Marie Christine (1999), The Wild Party (2000) and See What I Wanna See
(2005). He was nominated for Tony Awards for his book and score for The Wild
Party and Marie Christine, and for his book for Chronicle of a Death
The Wild Party is produced by Paul Taylor-Mills, who is the new Artistic
Director of The Other Palace. Paul’s recent productions as a producer
include In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre), The Last Five Years (St.
James Theatre), Side Show (Southwark Playhouse) and Carrie: The Musical
The Wild Party has music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa and a book by
George C. Wolfe and Michael John LaChiusa. It is directed and choreographed
by Drew McOnie with musical direction by Theo Jamieson (Funny Girl, West
End), set and costume design by Soutra Gilmour (Dr Faustus, Urinetown, The
Commitments, West End) and lighting design by Richard Howell (Jekyll and
Hyde, Old Vic). Casting is by Will Burton. It is presented by Paul
Taylor-Mills by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.
"The Studio" schedule:
See www.theotherpalace.co.uk for details of productions.
Tuesday 4th until Saturday 15th April 2017
Press night: Thursday 6th April 2017
Hoagy B Carmichael presents the London
THIS JOINT IS JUMPIN'
A red-hot celebration of jazz icon Fats Waller’s life and music.
New York’s hottest jazz musicians and tap dancers star in a red-hot 1920’s
Harlem rent party celebration of jazz icon Fats Waller’s life and music.
This Joint is Jumpin’ is a fusion of live jazz, thrilling tap dancing and
storytelling celebrating and radically interpreting jazz icon Fats Waller’s
music, breathing new life into classics such as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Black and
Blue and Honeysuckle Rose.
This Joint is Jumpin’ is produced by Hoagy B. Carmichael, son of the legendary
American composer Hoagy Carmichael.
Making her London stage debut is Broadway star Lillias White (right, above),
Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning Broadway
star of Dreamgirls, The Life and Netflix’s The Get Down. She made her Broadway
debut in Barnum in 1981.She understudied the role of Effie in the original 1981
production of Dreamgirls and played the part in the 1987 revival, for which she
won the Drama League Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She also appeared on
Broadway in Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Trying, Chicago, and Fela!. For her role in Cy Coleman’s The
Life, she won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her
portrayal of a world-weary, no-nonsense, streetwise hooker named Sonja.
British actor Samuel Anderson (left, above) is the host of the rent party. He is best known on
TV as series regulars Danny Pink in Doctor Who, Daniel in the Sky1 comedy Trollied, and Fingers in Gavin & Stacey. On stage he created the role of
Crowther in the 2004 National Theatre production of Alan Bennett’s The History
Boys and he performed the same role in the Broadway, Sydney, Wellington, and
Hong Kong productions
The red-hot cast also features internationally celebrated tap dance artist
Michela Marino Lerman, Princess Grace Award winner tap dancer Joseph Wiggan
(Shuffle Along, Cirque du Soliel’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour),
critically acclaimed vocalist Michael Mwenso and The Shakes: a unique troupe of
global artists who present music that merges the highest form of entertainment
and artistry. The Shakes are Dion Keith Kerr IV on bass, Mathis Picard on piano,
Mark Kavuma on trumpet, Kyle Poole on drums, Ruben Fox on tenor saxophone, and
the remarkable South African Jazz vocalist Vuyo Sotashe.
The Director is Patrice Miller. Choreographer Michela Marino Lerman. Musical
Director Michael Mwenso.
A video teaser can be seen here
Twitter - @JointisJumpin
Facebook - /JointisJumpin
Tuesday to Thursday at 8pm
Friday at 6.30pm and 9pm
Saturday at 3pm and 8pm
All performances EXCEPT Friday and Saturday Evenings and Previews:
Studio Gallery: £25
Studio Floor and Upper Gallery: £20
Studio Standing: £15
Friday and Saturday:
Studio Floor and Upper Gallery: £25
Studio Standing: £15
Studio Gallery: £20
Studio Floor and Upper Gallery: £15
Studio Standing: £10
By phone: 0844 264 2121
(seen at the afternoon performance on 2nd March 2017).
The monkey is obviously allergic to Jazz musicals. It didn't enjoy "City of
Angels" in any aspect apart from the casting - and sadly, this is no different.
The cast is truly amazing. As hostess, Frances Rufelle (Queenie) maintains a
sex appeal that the monkey is happy to subscribe generously to. Broadway veteran
Donna McKechnie (Dolores) turns the terrible "When It Ends" into a personal
career CV, and Victoria Hamilton-Barrit (Kate) simply fires on everything with
all cylinders. For the gents, John Owen-Jones is an artfully tired Burrs, Steven
Serlin (Goldberg) and Sebastien Torkia (Gold) a pleasing duo with a nice Yiddish
patter. In smaller roles, ingénue Bronte Barbe (Nadine) and duo Gloria Obiango
and Genesis Lynca (Phil and Oscar) are a pairing with talent and voices to
Drew McOnie serves up the usual inventive choreography on a small stage, and
a spare set from Soutra Gilmour provides a space for the action to flow...
... which, for the monkey, it didn't. Apparently it's a decadent party full
of theatrical folk, with a couple of producers trying to move their show up-town
and up-market by sacking the comic; a bunch of dubious dancer types (is there
any other in a musical plot?!) have various antipathies and histories and
there's infidelity a-plenty. Trouble is, there's no drama until an almost "we
need something to happen" couple of occurrences, both lacking the credibility
and development the stories could deserve.
The music is forgettable and often inaudible in the choral moments, and
without stories or deep character studies (a la "A Chorus Line") to hang
anything on, the whole thing seems a waste of a simply amazing cast. I went to a
wonderful party... but sadly, nobody much was there, really, feels the monkey.