Official Launch of Musical Company
Recently I attended the launch of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth‘s Musical Company. A morning spent at the Joe Allen Restaurant in the same room as four Award-winning, influential, and established artistes. Director Marianne Elliott explained her thought process on the regendering of one of the principal characters. We heard why Patti Lupone, having said she’d turned away from musicals, is now back where she belongs? Are there baked goods involved for Mel Giedroyc to sink her teeth into? And from the intensity of The Ferryman play to Company hear Rosalie Craig sing Being Alive all in the video clip below.
What struck me with this launch was the candidness of the interviewees. To hear Patti talk about theatre etiquette and how it affects those on stage and other audience members. I liked the reference to attending a performance should evoke a sense of community. The sheer reverence in Marianne’s voice when talking about Sondheim and her passion for women to have more opportunity for work as they get older was certainly music to my ears.
This has been a different kind of article. Quite simply I didn’t want any dilution of its potency and possible enjoyment, so below you can watch some of the morning as it happened. Please accept my apologies for some of the sound quality and camera angle – it was experimental if you like this approach I may adopt this for future articles.
Box Office information:
Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London
26 September – 22 December 2018
Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm
Ticket prices from £25
Gielgud Theatre Box Office – Booking 0844 482 5130
Online from CarnsTheatrePassion: carnstheatrepassion/tickets/company
Artistic Director of Elliott & Harper Productions, a company she founded with producer Chris Harper. Elliott is the first woman in Broadway history to win two Tony Awards for Best Director and is currently directing the Broadway transfer of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Marianne’s ground-breaking production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received 7 Olivier Awards in London, including Best New Play and Best Director and 5 Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Director for its run on Broadway. Her production of Saint Joan earned her the Olivier Award for Best Revival and Pillars of the Community earned her the Evening Standard Award for Best Director. War Horse, which she co-directed, and has been seen by over 7 million people world-wide, and is on its second UK tour.
Currently performing in Jez Butterworth’s award-winning play, The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre. Other theatre credits include: Marianne Elliott’s production of The Light Princess, for which she won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was nominated for an Olivier Award, Rosalind in As You Like It, The Threepenny Opera and London Road – all for the National Theatre. Other theatre includes: City of Angels for the Donmar, Lady Macduff in Macbeth for Manchester International Festival, directed by Kenneth Branagh, Sylvia in the musical Finding Neverland and the title role in Miss Julie at Chichester Festival Theatre. Her film and TV credits include: London Road, Spooks, and Casanova.
Recently performed Don’t Cry for me Argentina at the Grammy’s returns to London to make her first appearance in a West End musical for over 25 years with this production of Company. Her previous London theatre credits include originating the role of Fantine in Les Misérables, an Olivier-award winning role in The Cradle will Rock and creating the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Her numerous Broadway credits include: originating the role of Eva Peron in Evita, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Anything Goes, and Master Class. Her many films include: Heist, Driving Miss Daisy and Witness. TV includes: American Horror Story, Glee, Ugly Betty, Will & Grace (as herself), Frasier (1998 Emmy nomination) and Law & Order. LuPone, who is a graduate of the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Juilliard School and a founding member of John Houseman’s The Acting Company, is the author of the The New York Times bestseller Patti LuPone: A Memoir.
Recently co-presented The Great British Bake Off for the BBC alongside her long-time comic partner Sue Perkins, co-presented Let It Shine with Graham Norton and Gary Barlow and commentated for the BBC at Eurovision. Other TV credits include: The Sound of Music Live, Would I Lie to You?, Big Fat Quiz of the Year, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Richard Ayaode’s Travel Man. Mel will soon be playing Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Other theatre credits include: Luce at Southwark Playhouse, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Playhouse), Eurobeat (Novello), and New Boys.
Joe Allen is a New York brasserie, offering classic American dishes, cocktails and a show tune or two at the piano, 7 days a week from breakfast to pre-theatre and well into the evening after the curtains of London’s theatres have been drawn. It has often been dubbed the ‘West-End Canteen’ owing to the many actors and celebrities who’ve visited Joe Allen since it opened its doors in 1977. In 2012 Tim Healy and Lawrence Hartley took over the historic theatreland restaurant, breathing a new lease of life into the institution which moved to 2 Burleigh Street last year, bringing with them the very essence of Joe’s; the team, the bar and the iconic wood panelled walls.