Tonight (13 March 2012) Top Hat opens at the New Victoria Theatre Woking where it will play until 17 March 2012 before visiting Bristol Hippodrome (21 – 31 March 2012) prior to its West End run.
Directed by Matthew White and choreographed by Bill Deamer, set designs are by Hildegard Bechtler, costume designs by Jon Morrell, lighting design by Peter Mumford, sound by Gareth Owen, new orchestrations by Chris Walker, musical supervision by Richard Balcombe and musical direction by Daniel Jackson.
Chambers and Strallen are joined by Martin Ball and Vivien Parry playing husband and wife Horace and Madge Hardwick, Ricardo Afonso as Alberto Beddini and Stephen Boswell as Horace’s valet Bates.
With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and based on the RKO motion picture, the screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott has been adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques and is presented by arrangement with RKO Pictures LLC, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures Inc. and the Irving Berlin Music Company.
Jerry Travers (Tom Chambers), the famous American tap dancer, arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont (Summer Strallen), the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart.
Nominated for four Academy Awards Top Hat is widely regarded as one of the greatest dance musicals of all time and the most successful picture of the nine movies Astaire and Rogers made together. Top Hat premiered at the Radio City Music Hall where it broke all box office records. Within a few weeks, all five songs from the film occupied the top five places on the American Hit Parade.
Performed by a cast of 31 and accompanied by a live band of 15, this new musical comedy includes Irving Berlin classics from the movie such as Cheek to Cheek, Isn’t It a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain and Top Hat White Tie and Tails. In addition, from Berlin’s 1200 strong back catalogue, a further ten numbers have been interpolated including Let’s Face the Music and Dance and Puttin’ On the Ritz.
Tom Chambers was winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2008 with his partner Camilla Dallerup. On television he is also well known as surgeon Sam Strachan in Holby City, a role he played for three years, and Head Teacher Max Tyler in the BBC’s Waterloo Road. In 2010 he starred in the sold out production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at The Sunderland Empire. After studying at the National Youth Music Theatre and Guildford School of Acting, Chambers went on to star in the British film Fakers. His other theatre credits include productions for the Young Vic, Sadler’s Wells, Derby Playhouse and the Lyric Hammersmith.
Summer Strallen created the role of Meg Giry in Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre, for which she was nominated for Best Performance for a Supporting Role in a Musical at the 2011 Olivier Awards. Previously she has been seen on stage as Maria in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium, Janet Van Der Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello for which she was Olivier Award nominated, the title role in Dick Whittington at the Barbican and Maisie in The Boy Friend for the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park for which she was also Olivier Award nominated. On film and television her credits include Hotel Babylon, Beyond the Sea and Hollyoaks.
Matthew White directed Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors both for the Menier Chocolate Factory, both of which transferred to the West End. His other directing credits include the world premiere of David Walliams’ Childrens novel Mr Stink, The Black and White Ball at the King’s Head, The Magic Flute for the Peacock Theatre, Far From the Madding Crowd for the Watermill Theatre, Maria Friedman – by Special Arrangement for the Donmar Warehouse, as well as national tours of Carousel and The Demon Headmaster.
Seventy seven years after its movie release, Michael White’s production of Top Hat arrives in the West End having completed a 17 week UK tour in December last year.
Top Hat is produced by Kenny Wax, and his partners on the production are Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, Ted Hartley, Flora Suk-Hwa Yoon and Lee Menzies.
Book Top Hat tickets online now.
[posted by 13/03/2012]