Crossing the Big Pond


Planning a trip to London? Let me be your guide to the best the West End has to offer in theatre. Already there are the Bradway hits Wicked, Phantom of the Opera (ok, ok, it was in London first), and the just opened Jersey Boys. However, there are several productions which have not yet made the leap over to the U.S.

There is the Andrew Lloyd Webber produced revival of The Sound of Music. Apparently, Lord Lloyd Webber cannot produce anything new on his own that is capable of making money so he must revive not only his past successes but also breathe new life into other’s works as well (whaever happened to his planned sequel to Phantom?). There is also a revival of Webber’s Joseph….. In a bit of “American Idol” meets musical theatre, the Joseph for this production was chosen on a reality television show. In 2007, the new Broadway cast of Grease was chosen in this way on a series called “Grease: You’re the One that I Want.” Not a very original title.

There is also a new musical version of the classic novel and movie Gone with the Wind. The Trevor Nunn directed production stars Darius Danesh as Rhett Butler. Darius was seen on “Pop Idol” which is the British phenomenon that inspired “American Idol.” I wonder if the judges told him that he was “too theatrical” as Simon Cowell has been known to tell American contestants.

Perhaps the strangest if not the most ambitious show of all is the staging of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. It took three films of nearly three hours each to scratch the surface of the novels. I’m sure Rings purists are left wanting after only one 3 hour musical.

So…. if you are in West End or are planning a trip over the Atlantic, consider taking in one or more of these stage hits. Of course many times, today’s hits of London become tomorrow’s Broadway blockbusters and vice versa.

6 thoughts on “Crossing the Big Pond”

  1. Not going to Europe until I can afford a good 2 weeks to cross the “pond” and back – the Queen Mary takes 6 days and 7 nights to cross it each way!

  2. re Darius. He wasn’t the least bit theatrical on PI. He was a nice, well-mannered young guy except when he told Simon Cowell ” I think you should loosen your belt a notch, because it might be cutting off the circulation to your head.” Only Darius and Will Young ever talked back but then they were the most mature (and intelligent) but not the oldest.

    Simon shook his hand backstage and said it was the best put down he’d had.

    They’re friends now but they had their fights. Darius told Simon where to stick his million pound recording contract because Simon wouldn’t consider recording Darius’s self written songs. Sadly there was no insider who recorded the exact words of that conversation.

    Gone With the Wind is in preview but like all Trevor Nunn productions it’s far too long – running at about the length of the film at the moment. Darius is brilliant. The press have gone from asking if he can fill Gable’s shoes to complaining he’s too like Gable. Well make your mind up!

  3. Thanks for the insight Ria…. glad to hear there are a few brave souls who like to stand up to Simon over there, too. I don’t think I could handle a four-hour long musical.

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