Varla Jean Merman Brings THE BOOK OF MERMAN to London
International Drag Sensation Varla Jean Merman is returning to London for the first time in 10 years, joining newcomers Well-Strung,The Singing String Quartet, for a two-act evening of sublime entertainment at Leicester Square Theatre from Thursday 19 September - Saturday 21 September.
Press night is Thursday 19 September at 6.30pm.
Varla Jean (aka Jeffery Roberson) is best known for appearing in the cult film Girls Will Be Girls, starring on Broadway in the musical Chicago as Mary Sunshine and for appearing on TV's Project Runway.
Act 1 features all-male string quartet Well-Strung, classical musicians who also sing, putting their own spin on the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Rihanna, Adele, Lady Gaga, and many more! The group features Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola). The show, fresh from two successful Off-Broadway runs, features material written by Donna Drake, Mark Cortale and Jeffery Roberson. Musical arrangements by David Levinson; additional arrangements by Daniel Shevlin. Well-Strung was conceived by Christopher Marchant and Mark Cortale.
Act Two of the evening is Varla Jean Merman in The Book of Merman featuring hilarious new songs, videos and monologues. Varla Jean recently starred in the new Off-Broadway musical Lucky Guy opposite Emmy Award-winning Leslie Jordan from Will & Grace, prompting The New York Times to rave, "If Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman had stood in front of the right pair of funhouse mirrors, they might have resembled Ms. Merman and Mr. Jordan in stature as well as comedic talent". As Varla Jean, Jeffery Roberson has filled cabarets and concert halls across the world including Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the New York Public Theater, and London's Soho Theatre.
Both Well-Strung and Varla Jean's The Book of Merman are directed by Donna Drake. Donna was in the original Broadway casts of A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, Woman of the Year, The Wind in the Willows, 5678-Dance, It's So Nice to be Civilized and the original production of The 1940's Radio Hour. She received an Emmy nomination for Dear Alex and Annie, four Drama Desk nominations, a Mac Award nomination and a Theatre World Award. She choreographed Catherine Zeta Jones for the American Film Institute Awards.
Mark Cortale (co-writer & producer) is also producing Patti LuPone and Seth Rudetsky at Leicester Square Theatre in June. In addition to Well-Strung, Mark manages and produces Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman, Seth Rudetsky and Colleen Ballinger aka Miranda Sings.