Finalists for 14th annual Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year 2022 competition

The 12 finalists have been revealed for the 14th Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year competition – affectionately known as SSSSPOTY.

The gala final of this year’s competition – the first since the passing of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim – will be held, fittingly, in the Sondheim Theatre, on 30 May, 2022. This year, The Stephen Sondheim Society (a charitable trust founded in 1993) elected to open the field up to every student of musical theatre, and asked for auditions to be made via video.

More than 300 submissions were received, and the final 12, plus 3 reserves, were selected by critic and broadcaster Edward Seckerson (Chair of the Judges) and Musical Director Nigel Lilley (Follies, National Theatre; Fun Home, Young Vic). Continue reading “Finalists for 14th annual Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year 2022 competition”

News: Sondheim’s Old Friends confirmed

The uber-exclusive (and exclusively priced) Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends – A Celebration  has set its company now, with an astounding rollcall gathering to celebrate Sondheim’s legacy at the West End theatre that now bears his name. A one-night only affair on 3rd May, the show will be staged by Matthew Bourne and Maria Friedman with choreography by Stephen Mear and a 26-piece orchestra conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo.

All profits from the evening will go to the Stephen Sondheim Foundation. Continue reading “News: Sondheim’s Old Friends confirmed”

Review: Steve, Seven Dials Playhouse

The Seven Dials Playhouse opens with the European premiere of Mark Gerrard’s gently amusing and affecting Steve

“No-one reads blogs anymore”

With a lick of paint and a rejigged bar area, the Tristan Bates Theatre as part of the Actors Centre has been rebirthed as the Seven Dials Playhouse, still remaining as cosily intimate a venue as ever. And for their debut production, they’ve gone for a starrily-cast European premiere of Mark Gerrard’s play Steve

Former chorus boy Steve is having drinks to mark his 47th birthday but it’s not really a celebration as though he has a son, a husband and a gaggle of close-knit friends, he’s also got a bit of an existential crisis going on, one which extend throughout the friendship group, as they all deal with the grind of getting older in their own inimitable ways (namely sexting and drinking vodka stingers). Continue reading “Review: Steve, Seven Dials Playhouse”

A few shows to look forward to

Rehearsal pics might not always be the most exciting thing but they do serve as a useful reminder of shows that you should be thinking about booking for – in this case, Cock, Broken Wings, Steve, Straight Line Crazy and if you can fit it in, Doubt


Cock opens at the Ambassadors Theatre on 5th March Continue reading “A few shows to look forward to”

#AdventwithClowns Day 4 – Piaf on demand

Nottingham Playhouse’s Piaf on demand can’t cover up the deficiencies in Pam Gems’ play but it does offer a soaring leading turn from Jenna Russell

“I’m trying to be a f*cking lady”

It was a tricky one, trying to decide whether to trek to Nottingham to their production of Piaf. In all brutal honesty, Pam Gems’ play isn’t by any means a classic but with the part of Édith Piaf, it has created a created a role that offer up spectacular results in the right hands. Elena Roger near blew the roof off the Donmar back in 2008, Frances Ruffelle did well in Leicester in 2013 and I was sure Jenna Russell would do the same. I just didn’t really want to see the play again.

Fortunately, the return of Piaf on demand meant that I got to experience Adam Penford’s production and I’d argue that I probably made the right decision. Jenna Russell is indeed spectacular as la môme piaf and delivers exactly the kind of barnstorming vocal performance that you’d expect from her. But the world around Piaf is far too thinly sketched to make the requisite impact, despite sterling work from Sally Ann Triplett’s Toine and Laura Pitt-Pulford’s Marlene Dietrich. Continue reading “#AdventwithClowns Day 4 – Piaf on demand”

News: live shows at the Hippodrome and Cadogan Hall

Tickets now available for a series of new live shows at
Lolas Underground at The Hippodrome Casino in October, November and December 2021.

OCTOBER 2021
Wednesday 6th October – 8pm – David O’Reilly
Thursday 14th October – 7pm – Joe McElderry
Wednesday 20th October – 8.00pm – Hayley TamaddonNOVEMBER 2021

Monday 1st November – 8.00pm – Maria Coyne
Wednesday 3rd November – 8.00pm – Jo O’Meara
Tuesday 23rd November – 8.00pm – Kerry Ellis
Monday 29th November – 8.00pm – Lizzie Bea
DECEMBER 2021

Thursday 2nd December – 7.00pm – Michael Mather
Monday 6th December – 8.00pm – Evie Rose Lane
Tuesday 7th December – 8.00pm – Emma WIlliams
Thursday 9th December – 7.00pm – Sophie Louise Dann
Sunday 12th December – 2.30pm – Alice Fearn
Tuesday 14th to Thursday 15th December – 7.30pm  – Christina Bianco
Monday 20th December – 8.00pm – Danielle Steers
Tuesday 21st December – 8.00pm – The Girls From OZ

Plus Jenna Russell, Keala Settle, Shoshana Bean, and Jessica Vosk all playing Cadogan Hall.

 

News: Full cast announced for Nottingham Playhouse’s Piaf

Nottingham Playhouse has announced the full cast of the much-anticipated Piaf.

Pam Gems’ Piaf – a Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse co-production – tells the extraordinary life story of the sensational, world-renowned singer Edith Piaf. Her most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien, though the international star began her life singing on the streets of Paris.

Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell (EastEnders, BBC, Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s Theatre) has already been confirmed to take the title role. Now Sally Ann Triplett (Last Ship on Broadway, Anything Goes at the National Theatre) will be joining her in the role of Toine – Edith Piaf’s best friend and confidante. Russell and Triplett are friends themselves, but this will be the first time they have performed together since the original West End production of Sondheim’s Follies 30 years ago. This is also a return to the Playhouse for Triplett, as she played Judy Garland in My Judy Garland Life in 2014. Continue reading “News: Full cast announced for Nottingham Playhouse’s Piaf”

News: Kings of Broadway live concert announced

Following an online concert that took place earlier this year, Kings of Broadway will entertain live audiences this December. The musical celebration will take place at the Palace Theatre on 9th December, just a week after the upcoming England lockdown is said to end.

Over 30 performers will come together for the concert, celebrating music of Jule Styne, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim. Styne wrote the music for Gypsy and Funny Girl, with Hello, Dolly! by Jerry Herman and Company by Sondheim. Continue reading “News: Kings of Broadway live concert announced”

News: Seth Rudetzy’s Vote-a-thon has quite the line up

Join Seth and James as Stars In The House hosts an Election Day Vote-A-Thon featuring Iain Armitage, Colleen Ballinger, Laura Benanti, Annette Bening, Stephanie J. Block, Brenda Braxton, Betty Buckley, Laura Bell Bundy, Andréa Burns, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Tom Cavanagh, Michael Cerveris, Will Chase, Javier Colon, Gavin Creel, Marcia Cross, Charlotte d’Amboise, Darius DeHaas, Dana Delany, Colin Donnell, Jill Eikenberry, Melissa Errico, Victor Garber, Peri Gilpin, Josh Groban, Sean Hayes, Marilu Henner, Megan Hilty, Carly Hughes, Jeremy Jordan, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Judy Kuhn, Anika Larsen, Laura Leighton, Beth Malone, Melissa Manchester, Terrence Mann, Andrea Martin, Michael McElroy, Lindsay Mendez, Laurie Metcalf, Ingrid Michaelson, Lisa Mordente, Jessie Mueller, Patti Murin, Julia Murney, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Adam Pascal, Lauren Patten, Christine Pedi, Rosie Perez, Anthony Rapp, Caroline Rhea, Alice Ripley, Chita Rivera, Jenna Russell, Lea Salonga, Glenn Scarpelli, Marc Shaiman, Martin Short, Elizabeth Stanley, Ben Stiller, Michael Tucker, Jenna Ushkowitz, Vanessa Williams, Schele Williams, Marissa Winokur, BD Wong, Tony Yazbeck and Bellamy Young.

News: the Hippodrome to host music, magic and comedy this winter

Fourth Wall Live and The Hippodrome Casino London are thrilled to announce a series of over 40 shows at the Hippodrome Casino this winter. The season runs from 18 November every week for 5 weeks and will include two shows nightly at 7.00pm and 9.00pm.

The series will feature stars from the world of musical theatre, comedy and magic with all tickets priced £20. Audiences will be safely socially distanced following the most up-to-date safety guidelines. There will be 130 tickets on sale per show and tickets go on sale soon. Sign up at www.fw-live.com for advance presale and further announcements. Continue reading “News: the Hippodrome to host music, magic and comedy this winter”