Veteran stage and screen star Anita Gillette and cabaret and recording artist Harold Sanditen will be teaming up in London for their new show Harold and Broad.
A Broadway favourite who made her debut in the 1959 production of Gypsy and a familiar face on the big and small screen, Gillette will join Sanditen – the popular host of London’s Crazy Coqs’ Open Mic Night – in a show inspired by the fact that they are both celebrating milestone birthdays this year.
Revealing the roots of their musical partnership, jazz and cabaret vocalist Sanditen said: “When Anita and I first met, there was immediate chemistry. It’s fair to say we fell in like at first sight. We have a very similar sense of humour and we both love to laugh.
“In fact, our rehearsals tend to be a laugh fest. Audiences will immediately get that chemistry, along with some great laughs, some fun anecdotes and terrific music. You’ll laugh, possibly cry, and certainly get some life lessons learned in our collective 140 years on this planet!
“We decided to do this show together after having sung a duet together in my last show. After the show, at dinner, someone said – ‘you two were hilarious. Why don’t you do a whole show together?’ Seed planted, and the rest is history.”
Directed by Barry Kleinbort, Harold and Broad debuted at New York’s Metropolitan Room on 23 and 24 October, before playing London’s The Pheasantry on 1, 2 and 3 November. The show will then return to New York to play Don’t Tell Mama on 3 and 10 December before heading back to London’s The Pheasantry on 27 and 28 January.
The show features a mix of music from the two stars’ birth years along with favourites from songwriters as varied as Bonnie Raitt, John Lennon, Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.
Describing the show Sanditen said: “We chose the title Harold and Broad as a comic take-off on the movie Harold and Maude, but the show has absolutely nothing to do with it.
“I have to say, having been aware of Anita long before I met her, because of her amazing Broadway pedigree, her hilarious role in Moonstruck, and her numerous TV and movie roles in America, I never in a million years dreamed I’d be doing a cabaret show with her. But get me… lol… I’m doing a show with a Broadway legend!”
The musical director for the London shows will be Noam Galperin with Robert Rickenberg on bass and Paul Cavacuiti on drums. Paul Greenwood will be the musical director of the New York shows with Ritt Henn on bass and John Redsecker on drums.