Everyone’s Talking About Nicole Scherzinger In Cats & Speed-The-Plow + More #WestEndUpdate
| By Andrew Tomlins
Following months of rumours, on Sunday Andrew Lloyd Webber finally confirmed that Nicole Scherzinger will star as Grizabella in the upcoming West End revival of Cats at the London Palladium. The show runs between Saturday 6th December 2014 and Saturday 28th February 2015, with Scherzinger appearing until 7th February.
Discussing her new role, the former Pussycat Doll said: “I am really thrilled to be making my West End debut in such an iconic show and I couldn’t be more excited. To have the opportunity to work with Andrew, Trevor and Gillian is a dream come true.
"I grew up listening to Andrew’s extraordinary music and was lucky enough, a couple of years ago, to record Cats’ beautiful song Memory. Andrew’s score is breathtaking and I am truly honoured to have been asked to take part in what I know will be a very special time in my career. I can’t wait to begin rehearsals.”
Whilst Scherzinger is best known for her music career and for judging the British and American versions of The X Factor, she has also worked on various theatrical projects throughout her career. She starred as Maureen in the 2010 Hollywood Bowl production of RENT and has received huge acclaim for her television performances of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ at the Royal Variety and ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ITV special.
This week is also important for Lindsay Lohan as she officially makes her West End debut in Speed-The-Plow at the Playhouse Theatre. Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay also star in David Mamet's play which is directed by Lindsay Posner.
Described as a "high-octane modern classic", Speed-The-Plow is a "brilliantly satirical portrayal of Hollywood filled with Mamet's trademark wit and mesmerising dialogue." It runs until Saturday 29th November, making way for the West End premiere of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Urinetown has transferred to the Apollo Theatre where it is in previews ahead of its official opening on Wednesday 8th October 2014. From what I’ve heard the musical has already made its mark on the West End, with audiences going mad after one of the biggest songs ‘Run Freedom Run’. Its satirical style of comedy makes Urinetown totally different to anything else we have running in the West End at the moment.
Following its sell out run at the National Theatre, Great Britain has transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket where it runs until Saturday 10th January 2015. I was thrilled to see the show a second time this week as it is one of my favourite plays of 2014. Written by Richard Bean, Great Britain is a hysterically funny and unapologetic satire about the phone hacking scandal. Lucy Punch has taken over from Billie Piper in the central role and delivers a triumphant performance.
Last week Evita celebrated a glitzy West End return. Following a UK Tour, the musical has transferred to the Dominion Theatre starring Madalena Alberto as Eva and Marti Pellow as Che. Alberto comes into her own during the second half, performing with charm the biggest numbers ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’, ‘Rainbow High’ and ‘You Must Love Me’ with elegance, strength and confidence. You must catch the show before it closes on Saturday 1st November 2014.
In other news it has been announced that Katie Brayben will play the title role in the West End production of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical. The show opens at the Aldwych Theatre in February next year. Alan Morrissey will play King’s husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, with Lorna Want as song-writer Cynthia Weil, Glynis Barber as Genie Klein, King’s mother, and Gary Trainor as music publisher and producer Don Kirshner.
This weekend is particularly busy with East Is East at Trafalgar Studios, Sunny Afternoon at the Harold Pinter Theatre and The Scottsboro Boys at the Garrick Theatre all beginning previews. Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies close at the Aldwych Theatre ahead of their Broadway transfer.