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Ball & Staunton in Sweeney, Fantasticks at Duchess, Shrek to Palladium

Princeton2
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6/1/08
Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton are lining up to make a killing.

The two stars have agreed to lead a new production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd into the Chichester Festival Theatre and then the West End.
That's the good news. The bad news is that we have to wait until the spring of 2011 before director Jonathan Kent gets it onto the boards in West Sussex.
Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton will star in a new production of Sweeney Todd which will hit the stage in 2011
Both actors have their dance cards full to bursting till then. Imelda has already worked on Cranford Christmas, done a small role in Mike Leigh's new film and has other projects to take her through to the end of next year.
Michael is doing his concert shows and performing in Hairspray on the road through this year, where he's getting 30,000 a week (and more) as star and co-producer.
Kent has spent months, on and off, talking with the two actors about playing the demon barber of Fleet Street, who killed his customers, and Mrs Lovett, who turned them into pies.
Gary's interpretation of Sweeney Todd starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton
Michael has long been a fan of Sondheim's. He starred in the London premiere of Sondheim's musical Passion with Maria Friedman (the Donmar's doing it next year) and he has recorded Not While I'm Around from Sweeney Todd, although in the show the number's actually sung by Mrs Lovett.
Sweeney Todd won't be officially announced till late next year, but the two leads had to be approached well in advance in order to be certain of their services.
The musical for next year's Chichester season hasn't been decided yet. Barnum was to have gone there, but there have been problems casting the show. Indeed, at one point Ball's name was in the frame. But it's not happening now.
Instead, I'm hearing rumours that a re- configured Half A Sixpence might find its way to Chichester - but talks about rights and re-writes are continuing before a firm decision is made.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1225664/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-Michael-Ball-Imelda-Staunton-demon-duo-booking-date-Sweeney-Todd.html#ixzz0W3kQXfLV


Tom Jones (not that Tom Jones!) and Harvey Schmidt, who started their musical The Fantasticks off Broadway in 1960 and have never had a decent production in London.
It was done at the Open Air and was fine for outdoors; and then at the King's Head where it didn't really work. A new production, directed and choreographed by Amon Miyamoto, is hoping a third time in London will be lucky.

The show, which ran in NY for 42 years and has been performed constantly in the U.S., opens at the Duchess Theatre on May 24. It's about two fathers who plot to ensure their offspring fall in love.
I think it's an acquired taste, but I'm told Miyamoto has come up with a version that should entrance British audiences. Well, we'll see. Tickets go on sale on Monday from 0844 412 4659.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1225664/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-Michael-Ball-Imelda-Staunton-demon-duo-booking-date-Sweeney-Todd.html#ixzz0W3kbCTNe

Jeffrey Katzenburg, the man who runs Dreamworks Animation. He has been looking around the London Palladium with the creative team behind Shrek, the stage musical: director Jason Moore and designer Tim Hatley.

The musical has had a bumpy run on Broadway and it closes there in early January. It might do better at the Palladium now that people (I hope) have worked out what works and what doesn't, although it's known that Hatley's brilliant sets and costumes stole the show.

I gather the plan is to open there next October, which means Sister Act will close in the late summer. That's the plan, anyway.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1225664/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-Michael-Ball-Imelda-Staunton-demon-duo-booking-date-Sweeney-Todd.html#ixzz0W3kfPkRb
Princeton2
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Just cant see Ball as Sweeney!

Guess Shrek and Wizard of Oz will be be at either Palladium and Drury Lane.

AnythingGoes2
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Shame they couldn't persuade EP to do Sweeney Todd with Ball as they did want... but I think Staunton will be great. Still can't see Ball doing this role though. Maybe EP will bring it to London?

Interesting to hear that Barnum plans aren't working. I hope Cameron aborts that revival and focus' in on something else. Personal opinion, but I've never been a Barnum fan. Still think Gypsy would be great at the Chichester Festival...!

Last I heard with Shrek was that it was full speed ahead Drury Lane fr so many reasons. I think the Palldium is a much better choice as it houses "family" type shows successfully. Maybe the Palladium is back in track due to Wizard of Oz being delayed due to ALW deeply unfortunate news.
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MariusPontmercy
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Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett, wow! And I'll be OK with Ball as Sweeney if it means having a full-scale production with a full orchestra. I can't really picture him in the role, but that's not to say he won't be good.

Personally I think the Shrek cast recording is awful, so (assuming it's representative of what the show is like) I really couldn't care less whether that made it over here or not.

AG2: Haven't the CFT done Gypsy before? I vaguely remember reading that one of the London productions transferred from there, but maybe not.
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Phantom of London
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Fanatastick news for the Duchess, a theatre I think I have never been to and the bonus of seeing the longest running musical in the world also.

Sweeney Todd, Michael Ball, interesting, would not think this would be a massive show, so likely to play a mid-sized house. anyway Scripps will be in heaven i'm sure.
AnythingGoes2
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Nice to see a more full scale production...

Gypsy hasn't been done at the Chichester Fesitval Season... they tried to get for the 2006 festival (which was circus type themed) but it never panned out. EP was attached to it but withdrew too for, reportedly, Drowsy. They eneded up doing Carousel.

Every season its always secretly spoken about but never happens.
Princeton2
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If Sweeney is starting off in Chichester im guessing the London run wouldnt be that full scale, unless they invest more for the London run. Would like to see a proper production having only see the RFH concert (which was excellent)

Maybe they can get Emma Williams for Joanna again (she is one of Mr Balls favourites)
Princeton2
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Oh and Marius unfortunately the Shrek recording is better than it is in reality. Very poor show that actually bored me.

Wonder who they would cast over here?

For Fiona I could see people like Scarlett Strallen, Caroline Sheen, Emma Williams, Lisa OHare etc all being contenders.

For the big green guy I just dont know!
jo
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Michael Ball gave a surprising and impressive turn as the comical villain Count Fosco in THE WOMAN IN WHITE. He might surprise even more with this role, which he has said is a dream role for him.

AnythingGoes2
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I think if EP did it, they would have fantastic chemisty on stage!
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MamasDoin'Fine
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The people I've been with here in new york this week are all stating that 'Shrek' is up for Drury Lane so that means Webber will put Dorothy into the Palladium. A theatre much more suited to family fare.
What ever happens he'll make a killing from both.
Looks like the West End is well and truly going green next year!
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bob8rich
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Fantastic news that Sweeney is heading into the Chichester Festival - but not sure MB is the ideal casting for Mr. Todd. (But I'll reserve judgement until I've seen it - he may surprise me!) Imelda Staunton, however, should make a wonderful Mrs Lovett.

Awful news that the boring twaddle that is Shrek is heading anywhere LOL.

And Fantastic news about The Fantasticks. If done well, it is a fabulous show.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
Updated On: 11/6/09 at 07:41 AM