Looking at theatre and the arts across North East England, the North East Theatre Guide continues to celebrate culture in our region.
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Bill Kenwright presents the much loved musical La Cage Aux Folles with John Partridge as ‘Albin’ and Adrian Zmed as ‘Georges’, opening New Oxford Theatre on Thursday 5 January before embarking on its first ever nationwide tour with a date at Sunderland Empire from Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 August 2017.
John Partridge will play the iconic role of ‘Albin’, who moonlights as star drag act Zaza at the infamous La Cage aux Folles nightclub. Partridge’s extensive theatre credits include the West Endproductions of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, Cats, Starlight Express and Chicago. He is also well known for playing the loveable Christian Clarke in BBC’s EastEnders and as a judge on TV’s Over The Rainbow.
Adrian Zmed will play ‘Georges’, partner of Albin and owner of the nightclub. Zmed co-starred with William Shatner as ‘Officer Vince Romano’ in the 70’s hit TV show T.J. Hooker, which ran for 90 episodes over 5 years, and for playing ‘Johnny Nogerelli’ in the cult classic film Grease 2. This will be his first stage appearance in the UKalthough he is no stranger to Broadway musicals having previously led the casts of Grease, no fewer than 3 times, Falsettos and Blood Brothers.
Written by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman, and based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles follows the story of Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub, and his partner, Albin, a drag artiste and the club’s star attraction. They live an idyllic existence in the south of France but behind the curtains of this sparkling extravaganza, all may be about to change when Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life. Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle. Will Albin be able to play the role of his life to ensure that Jean-Michel can marry his love?
La Cage Aux Folles is a multi-award winning musical. The original Broadway production became an instant smash hit when it opened in 1983. It received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The success of the musical spawned a London Palladium production and several international runs. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2008 London revival garnered the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
Setting out on its first ever UK tour, this brand new production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by Martin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award Winning Bill Deamer,designed by Gary McCann, Sound by Dan Samson (the team responsible for the sumptuous current hit, The Sound of Music), and musical direction by Mark Crossland. This lavishly funny tale of unconditional love and family values, will leave you feeling the need to celebrate that life’s not worth a damn ‘till you can say I am what I am.’
This show-stopping score includes The Best of Times, Song on the Sand and the iconic I Am What I Am, which has been recorded by musical legends Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.
The production tours the UKfrom 5th January 2017, opening at the New Theatre Oxford.
Further casting and dates to be announced.
Tickets on sale now and available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*
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