London Datebook: Cats Lives Again, Angels Soars & More

first_imgThe holidays are officially here! In London, that means a spate of eagerly anticipated musical revivals, a seasonal romp at the National, and Shakespeare displaced to Las Vegas. For that and more potential stocking stuffers, read on. DECEMBER 8 – 14 The Memory Lives Again: Cats are supposed to have nine lives, and director Trevor Nunn is breathing a second one into the era-defining Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name. Cats, which proved that British tuners could handle dance as well as song and went on to be performed throughout the world, will open December 11 at the Palladium featuring US recording star Nicole Scherzinger as the latest and possibly sexiest Grizabella yet. DECEMBER 15 – 21 Angels in Britain: There’s much talk of angels around Christmas, but London playgoers will be celebrating the capital’s first-ever revival of City of Angels. The giddy, glorious Tony-winning musical will star Tam Mutu, who will be seen on Broadway in the spring in Dr. Zhivago. Josie Rourke directs and her glam supporting cast includes Rosalie Craig and Les Miz film sensation Samantha Barks; opening night is December 16 at the Donmar Warehouse. ALSO: Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is displaced to Las Vegas in Rupert Goold’s new production, opening December 15. One of London’s great showbiz end-of-year traditions is the annual National Theatre quiz, hosted by Emma Freud and taking place this year on December 19 in the Olivier auditorium: Go and match your wits against the stars! DECEMBER 22 – 28 Riding the Rails: Ready for a Christmas-week treat? Check out the latest London incarnation of The Railway Children, the Olivier Award-winning entertainment that has had two previous, site-specific London runs. This fresh version inaugurates a new space behind King’s Cross Station and will be previewing throughout the holidays. Caroline Harker returns to her original role as Mother opposite Downton Abbey’s Jeremy Swift as Mr. Perks. ALSO: It’s the first full week of previews for the European debut of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, starring Tamsin Greig and Haydn Gwynne and directed, as it was in New York, by Bartlett Sher. Word is that the UK staging at the Playhouse Theatre will have an entirely different look from its Broadway predecessor and some new songs from composer David Yazbek. View Commentscenter_img DECEMBER 29 – JANUARY 4 Have a Grand Year: What better way to ring in 2015 than with the first preview of the Finborough Theatre production of The Grand Tour? The Jerry Herman musical will make its European premiere on January 1, 2015. Alastair Brookshaw, Nic Kyle, and Zoe Doano head the cast of Thom Southerland’s staging of a show seen briefly in 1979 on Broadway. ALSO: It’s your last chance to catch two productions running concurrently at the Trafalgar Studios on January 3. The main house bids farewell to the revival of Ayub Khan Din’s play East is East, starring Jane Horrocks and the playwright himself. The studio theater downstairs says goodbye the same day to a Dickens double-bill of Miss Havisham’s Expectations, starring Linda Marlowe, and Sikes & Nancy. Roll on 2015! ALSO: The National Theatre has a tradition of big, bold holiday productions, ranging over the years from His Dark Materials to War Horse. This year finds Treasure Island, directed by Polly Findlay and adapted by Bryony Lavery; opening night is December 10. Not to be outdone, the Royal Shakespeare Company unfurls their daylong double-bill of the two Henry IV plays at the Barbican on December 11, starring Sir Antony Sher as Falstaff and directed by Sher’s husband (and RSC artistic director) Gregory Doran.last_img

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