Ahead of its Broadway premiere in April, Dr Zhivago held its launch in London last week.
The musical, which is based on Boris Pasternak's 1957 novel, is directed by Des McAnuff who attended the launch. McAnuff is behind many theatrical hits, including the Broadway and West End productions of Jersey Boys. The stellar creative team also includes Michael Weller (book), Lucy Simon (music), Michael Korie (lyrics), Amy Powers (lyrics) and Kelly Devine (choreography).
If you are a fan of the 1965 film listen up because during the launch McAnuff confirmed that the rights have been secured to 'Lara's Theme'. Written by Maurice Jarre, the piece of music famously featured in the movie which was directed by David Lean and starred Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.
Also in attendance at last week’s launch were the musical’s stars, Tam Mutu and Kelli Barrett who play Dr Zhivago and Lara. The event was held in London as Mutu is currently appearing in City Of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse which meant he wouldn’t have been able to attend a launch in New York. Dr Zhivago will be his Broadway debut.
Marking the first time they had performed together in public, Mutu and Barrett sang two stunning duets from the show. The melodies beautifully grew whilst the carefully placed key changes allowed Mutu and Barrett’s voices to soar. Although they are yet to begin rehearsals, Mutu and Barrett share strong chemistry and are clearly already comfortable performing together. They are a match made in heaven and promise to have New York audiences falling in love with their talents.
A West End regular, Mutu recently completed a run as Javert in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre and received huge praise for his run as the alternate Phantom in the world premiere of Love Never Dies. Earlier this year I was blown away by Barrett when I saw her play Nessarose in the Broadway production of Wicked. She was the original Sherrie in Rock Of Ages and looks set to become Broadway’s next big thing.
Speaking at the launch, Mutu revealed that he thinks an epic romance is just what Broadway needs. He pointed out that there is nothing else like Dr Zhivago at the moment on the Great White Way. He said that despite everything that is going on in the world, love will always “win out.”
Barrett admitted to not having time to read the novel prior to her audition, but since winning the role she explained she had done extensive research and “completely fallen in love” with Lara. She described the character as being “very three dimensional” and “beautifully round” whilst also having “a lot of darkness”.
Now that Dr Zhivago has been officially launched, excitement builds for the first preview at the Broadway Theatre in New York on 27th March 2015. If the musical is well received in America producers are keen to transfer it to the West End – stay tuned for updates!