When President Obama visited Buckingham Palace earlier this spring, and presented Queen Elizabeth II with a copy of the 1951 Rodgers & Hart Songbook signed by the composer, the gift was perfectly in sync with Britain’s on-going love affair with all things Rodgers. With CAROUSEL still spinning in the West End, London this summer will also host a major concert staging of THE KING AND I, and a brand-new all-Rodgers ballet from Adam Cooper, while Connie Fisher leads the von Trapps across the British Isles in a UK tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit London revival.
Raymond Gubbay and the Royal Albert Hall are producing a new fully staged in the round production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical THE KING AND I. For a strictly limited season of only 20 performances beginning June 6, the show will star one of the UK’s best loved performers Maria Friedman, who appears alongside Daniel Dae Kim, star of the massive hit TV series Lost.
The musical will be directed by Jeremy Sams, whose recent directing credits include THE SOUND OF MUSIC (West End, Toronto, upcoming UK tour). Gareth Valentine music directs the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Designer Robert Jones’ recent credits include THE SOUND OF MUSIC and ON THE TOWN and choreographer Susan Kikuchi has been involved in no less than nine international productions of THE KING AND I as either performer or choreographer.
For tickets and information visit The Royal Albert Hall online www.royalalberthall.com
Then in July—only days later and four miles away—Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Raymond Gubbay and Askonas Holt present international dance sensation Adam Cooper in his first new production at Sadler’s Wells since his spectacular LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES in 2005.
Set to a score comprised entirely of melodies by Richard Rodgers, SHALL WE DANCE tells the story of one man's extraordinary quest to find true love. His panoramic voyage transports us from the Orient to the Wild West by way of Russian folk dance, New York jazz and the delirious waltzes of a Viennese ballroom.
Conceived and performed by award-winning dancer and choreographer Adam Cooper, this brand new production thrills and seduces with an exhilarating blend of tap, jazz and classical dance.
Brought to life by a full live orchestra, Richard Rodgers' show stopping score includes music from some of the best-loved musicals of our time, including "March of the Siamese Children" (THE KING AND I), "Carousel Waltz", "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" (ON YOUR TOES), "Do I Hear a Waltz?", "My Funny Valentine" (BABES IN ARMS), "Love Look Away" (FLOWER DRUM SONG) and music from OKLAHOMA!
For more information and tickets, visit Sadler’s Wells (http://www.sadlerswells.com/show/Adam-Coopers-Shall-We-Dance)
And finally, Connie Fisher will return to star as Maria in the National UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and The Really Useful Group's smash hit production of the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein/ Lindsay and Crouse musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Opening at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 26 July 2009, the tour will continue to the Bradford Alhambra and Southampton Mayflower with more venues to be announced. Ms. Fisher won BBC 1’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and played the role at the London Palladium for 15 months to critical acclaim.
R&H Theatricals is represented in Europe by Josef Weinberger Limited (www.josef-weinberger.com)