Sugar, butter, star! We’re seeing stars after learning that Katherine McPhee will open the West End production of Waitress. Catch that and more news in our weekly round-up.
Katherine McPhee will star as Jenna in the upcoming West End premiere of Waitress! The former American Idol runner-up is known for her starring role in the TV show Smash, for which she won the award for best actress. She recently played Jenna on Broadway. Now she’ll reprise her role for West End audiences, starting 8 February. Further casting has yet to be announced. Maybe another Smash star?
David Thaxton will play the Phantom of the Opera for a limited engagement. While current Phantom Tim Howar takes a break from the role (to tour with his band), David Thaxton will wear the mask. Thaxton recently played Javert in the West End production of Les Misérables (he’s also played Enjolras). He’s also starred in Jesus Christ Superstar, Love Never Dies, and Passion. This will mark his first time playing the Phantom. You can catch him in the role from 10 December to 13 May.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announces its 2019 season. Our Town, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a Jamie Lloyd directed Evita are all in the cards. We can’t wait for next summer!
The West End Transfer of Coming Clean is cast. Lee Knight (Harry Potter), Stanton Plummer-Cambridge, Elliot Hadley (5 Guys Chillin’) and Tom Lambert will star in Kevin Elyot’s play about the breakdown of a gay couple’s relationship. Adam Spreadbury-Maher directs.
Trevor Nunn will direct Harley Granville Barker’s Agnes Colander: An Attempt At Life. Written in 1900 but only recently discovered, this play tells the story of a woman who runs away from her unfaithful husband and flees to France, where she meets a new circle of exciting people. The play opens at Jermyn Street Theatre in February.
Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo win the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards for best actor and best actress. Currently starring together in the National Theatre’s Antony and Cleopatra, Fiennes and Okonedo walked away with the awards for best actor and best actress at this year’s London Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Meanwhile, Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance won best play, Hamilton won best musical (surprised, anyone?) and Marianne Elliot won best director for Company.
Wicked extends. Now in its 13th year, Stephen Schwartz’s popular musical is now booking until 30 November 2019. Sounds like a prime excuse to go see it again….
I and You, starring Maisie Williams, will be available for free streaming on Instagram. The sold-out production plays its final performance at the Hampstead Theatre on 24 November, but if you missed it, all is not lost. Starting 30 November, you can stream the production for free on Instagram for 72 hours, ending 3 December. Simply follow @hampstead_theatre, @maisie_williams, @zachwwyatt or @lalatellsastory on Instagram.
New pop musical Mythic extends. Turning the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone on its head, Mythic stars Genevieve McCarthy, Georgie Westall, Daniella Bowen, Miachel Mather and Tim Oxbrow. The show is now booking until 15 December. But wait, there’s more–an original cast recording is in the works!
Anne Washburn’s new play Shipwreck, at the Almeida Theatre, is cast. This play set at a formal dinner with the 45th U.S. President will feature Khalid Abdalla, Fisayo Akinade, Raquel Cassidy, Risteárd Cooper, Elliot Cowan, Tara Fitzgerald, Adam James and Justine Mitchell. Almeida artistic director Robert Gould will direct. Shipwreck opens in February.
Company will start recording its cast album this weekend. And it looks like we’re not only going to get a cast recording, but a documentary about the production as well!