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Interview – Sarah Vezmar plays Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain

Actress and musician SARAH VEZMAR is appearing as Lina Lamont in a brand new stage production of Singin’ in the Rain at the Salisbury Playhouse (before moving on to the Octagon Theatre, Bolton and the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme). As part of a company of talented actor-musicians, Sarah plays the drums, flute and percussion. Sarah’s recent theatre credits include Tipping the Velvet (Lyric, […]

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Interview – George Stiles and Anthony Drewe on a Chichester double and nurturing new writers

Travels With My Aunt, which has just opened at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, is the latest in a string of acclaimed shows by one the UK’s most successful show-writing partnerships, GEORGE STILES and ANTHONY DREWE (George and Ants). The pair met 30-odd years ago at Exeter University and went on to compose award-winning shows across […]

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Interview – Jon Robyns is playing Emmett in Legally Blonde at Curve Leicester

JON ROBYNS is perhaps best known as Princeton/Rod from the original West End cast of Avenue Q, but his career to date boasts a varied and prolific journey through the West End and beyond, and is by no means slowing down. Musical Theatre Review’s Aura Simon caught up with him at the Curve Leicester, where he’s playing leading […]

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Interview – Richard Carson on his role in Closer Than Ever at The Pheasantry

Actor and singer RICHARD CARSON is soon to appear in Richard Maltby Jr and David Shire’s critically acclaimed revue Closer Than Ever (25–27 April) at The Pheasantry on London’s King’s Road. In this Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Off-Broadway Alliance Award winning companion to their hit revue Starting Here, Starting Now, Maltby and Shire […]

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The Wicker Husband – the inside story on bringing a new musical to life

The Wicker Husband is a musical theatre work-in-progress being brought to life by actor and book-writer Rhys Jennings and composer-lyricist Darren Clark. This nascent show takes its inspiration from a short story of the same name – a folksy fable in the style of a fairy tale – self-published online by Gloucester writer Ursula Wills-Jones. […]

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Interview – Julian Ovenden on new album Be My Love – and being struck by lightning

From Broadway to the West End, to the dappled light of Downton Abbey, JULIAN OVENDEN has been delighting audiences with acting and song since the age of seven (starting as a choir boy at St Paul’s Cathedral). Twenty years and a hugely varied career later, he releases his second solo album, Be My Love, a smooth […]

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Interview – Caroline Sheen stars in new British musical Only the Brave

CAROLINE SHEEN is soon to appear in Rachel Wagstaff, Matthew Brind and Steve Marmion’s new British musical Only the Brave, premiering at the Wales Millennium Centre from 28 March to 2 April. Based on the real lives of men and women caught up in the D-Day landings, the show tells the inspirational true story of […]

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Interview – lyricist Don Black on Bar Mitzvah Boy and 2016 being a very good year

This year is looking to be a good one for lyricist DON BLACK. As well as a new West End musical, Mrs Henderson Presents, under his belt, the London Coliseum is to play host to a revival of Sunset Boulevard (for which he co-wrote the book and lyrics with Christopher Hampton and won two Tony […]

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Interview – Hayley Tamaddon starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago on tour

Having worked on television for the past few years, HAYLEY TAMADDON is back on the boards in the touring production of Chicago. With Emmerdale and Coronation Street, not to mention Dancing On Ice, behind her, the actress now takes on Roxie Hart in the supremely successful musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with former EastEnders […]

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Interview – Oliver Tompsett in The World Goes Round – The Songs of Kander & Ebb

The World Goes Round, the compilation revue of songs by John Kander & Fred Ebb, had a great reception at Chelsea’s Pheasantry last year. It returns to the St James Studio from 2 to 7 February with a cast including OLIVER TOMPSETT, at only 34, a veteran of the musical stage. Tompsett is best known for playing […]

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End of the Rainbow UK tour – first look and exclusive interviews

There’s an unassuming little rehearsal space in East London – wood floor, parish notices, stacked chairs. A table at the back buzzes with laptops, low chatter and paperwork. A keyboard sits in anticipation on its stand, and a makeshift set has been constructed from an old sofa and the resident grand piano. You’d be forgiven for not […]

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In conversation with Andrew Lynford – director of Carnival Dreams the Musical

Andrew Lynford became a household name playing Simon Raymond in the popular soap opera EastEnders. Since leaving his career has diversified and he has also established himself as a director, television presenter, producer and choreographer. His next project is the world premiere production of Carnival Dreams the Musical which will be presented at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon […]

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Interview – creators of Grey Gardens, Scott Frankel, Michael Korie and Doug Wright

Grey Gardens received its European premiere at the Southwark Playhouse opened on 2 January and has quickly proved to be the first must-see show of 2016. This quirky musical takes its inspiration from the 1975 feature-length documentary of the same name – indeed, it’s the first Broadway musical based on a documentary – turning the […]

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Interview – Roxanne Palmer shares the magic of Mr Popper’s Penguins

Having just enjoyed a Christmas season at the Lowry Salford, the world premiere of brand new family musical Mr Popper’s Penguins, directed by Emma Earle, completes its tour of the country with a run at Rose Theatre Kingston from Thursday 14 January to Sunday 17 January. Painter and decorator by day, Mr Popper dreams of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day […]

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Interview – West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining on flying cars and telling stories

Since returning to his hometown of Leeds and becoming artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, James Brining has directed The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Crucible, Enjoy, Talking Heads and Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He recently re-created Sweeney Todd for Welsh National Opera at the Wales Millennium […]

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Interview – Gina Beck embraces the sweeping melodies of Show Boat at the Crucible Sheffield

Show Boat, this year’s Christmas production at Sheffield Theatres, opens tonight (16 December). Spanning 40 pivotal years in American history, the epic musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II follows the lives and loves of three generations aboard a show boat as it plies the Mississippi River. Among those characters is Magnolia Hawks, played by actress and […]

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Interview – Gillian Bevan goes Into the Woods via Manchester

Officially opening this week at the Manchester Royal Exchange is a new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s dark fairytale mash-up, Into the Woods. In the central role of The Witch is local lass GILLIAN BEVAN, who was born just seven miles down the A6 in Stockport. As one of the UK’s most experienced Sondheim proponents, […]

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Interview – Marilyn Cutts on playing Mrs Brice in Funny Girl and why she still loves Doctor Theatre

This week has been all about the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Funny Girl which has not only broken box office records at its current London home, the Menier Chocolate Factory, but has extended its West End run at the Savoy Theatre where it will transfer in April 2016. Actress and singer MARILYN CUTTS is a crucial part of that very production, playing […]

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I Want My Hat Back at the National – writer Joel Horwood on hats, children, and why he is secretly a rabbit

JOEL HORWOOD made his mark as a writer back in 2005 with a madcap musical, Mikey the Pikey. Now an associate artist at the Lyric Hammersmith, his portfolio spans the Royal Court, Bristol Old Vic, the BBC, the Almeida, the Old Vic, and, most recently, the National Theatre. It is for the National that Horwood […]

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Interview from Austria – Sona MacDonald plays Billie Holiday in new play Blue Moon

Acclaimed Austrian-American actress and singer SONA MACDONALD is about portray the role of Billie Holiday in a Blue Moon, a brand new play by Torsten Fischer, who also directs, and Herbert Schäfer (who alongside Vasilis Triantafillopoulos is in charge of sets and costumes). The play will pay tribute to the famous jazz singer and will […]

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Interview – Cassie Compton makes her debut at Crazy Coqs

Actress and singer/songwriter CASSIE COMPTON came to our notice in the first series of The X Factor, since when she has gone from strength to strength on stage, in film and television and music tours. In the West End her many starring roles include Eponine in Les Misérables, Nessarose in Wicked, Jean in American Psycho opposite Matt Smith, and the […]

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Interview – Richard Fleeshman celebrates the Kings of Broadway

Singer, actor and songwriter RICHARD FLEESHMAN will be appearing in Kings of Broadway, a special concert celebrating legendary composers Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne, at London’s Palace Theatre on Sunday 29 November. The latest show from Alex Parker and Alastair Knights, the creative team behind the staging of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music which played the Palace […]

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Interview – Let’s Dance Again! choreographer Nick Winston celebrates Hollywood hoofers

Let’s Dance Again!, celebrating the golden years of Hollywood dance films, comes to the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 13 November. Choreographer NICK WINSTON sets the scene for the evening’s tribute to those iconic hoofers up on the screen… Although musical films are still being made, emphasis now is less on the dance element. Do you […]

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Interview – Millicent Martin returns to London for Sondheim Birthday Gala

MILLICENT MARTIN is making a rare visit to London this Sunday 25 October to appear on stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in Hey, Old Friends! An 85th Birthday Tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Born in Romford, Essex, Martin first trod the boards in the children’s chorus at the Opera House in Covent Garden, and later turned up […]

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A Little Night Music at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre – we chat to Sarah Waddell and Jamie Birkett

Actresses SARAH WADDELL and JAMIE BIRKETT are currently appearing in All Star Productions’ staging of Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre in Walthamstow, London until 31 October. The show reunites the creative team behind last year’s critically acclaimed staging of Into the Woods. Theatre credits for Sarah Waddell, who plays Desiree Armfeldt, include: Into the Woods (Ye Olde […]

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The Roar of the Greasepaint – Interview With Leslie Bricusse – Part Two

Prolific and well-loved British film and musical theatre songwriter LESLIE BRICUSSE has been busy in recent weeks. Not only has the composer, lyricist and librettist revealed that he’s working on a major new musical about the life of his close friend, legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr, but he has been in London celebrating the world premiere of Pure Imagination– The […]

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Interview – Sam Bailey – a passion for musical theatre leads to dream West End concert

SAM BAILEY, the 2013 winner of X Factor, is to perform a one-off concert of musical theatre songs, Sam Bailey – Live in the West End, at London’s Lyric Theatre on 12 October, with guest stars including Collabro, Michael Xavier and Scott Alan. She talked to Ollie Wilson about the show and her love of musical theatre. How did […]

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Triple threat writer Leslie Bricusse on what inspires his Pure Imagination. Interview – Part One

Prolific and well-loved British film and musical theatre songwriter LESLIE BRICUSSE has been in the news this week. Not only has the composer, lyricist and librettist revealed that he’s working on a major new musical about the life of his close friend, legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr, but he has been in London celebrating the world premiere of Pure Imagination– […]

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Interview – Jonathan Butterell on why See What I Wanna See has made him want to act again

JONATHAN BUTTERELL, who choreographed the original production of Michael John LaChiusa’s Off-Broadway hit See What I Wanna See at New York’s Public Theater, has joined the cast of its London premiere at the Jermyn Street Theatre after a 22-year break from acting (in recent times he has been mainly concentrating on directing). Jonathan also directed the premieres of Michael John LaChiusa’s other works Giant and Tres Nińas. […]

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Interview – American actress Alexandra Silber back in the UK making her cabaret bow at Crazy Coqs

August has already been a big month for the American (but Scottish-trained) soprano ALEXANDRA SILBER as she’s just landed the part of Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler On the Roof which opens on 12 November – eight years after she sang Hodel in the same show in the West End. And it’s going to get even […]

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Composer and lyricist Alexander S. Bermange brings his own style of wit and whimsy to The Pheasantry

ALEXANDER S. BERMANGE is a prolific composer and lyricist who has written nine musicals and contributed music for a further nine titles, as well as writing material for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. His songs, both comic and dramatic, have been sung by a variety of artists including Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimloo, Lara Pulver, […]

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Interview – Kerry Ellis and Louise Dearman prepare for their one-off London concert in September

If this interview is anything to go by, KERRY ELLIS and LOUISE DEARMAN’s one-off concert on 27 September is bound to be a fun-filled evening of great songs, fantastic anecdotes and a lot of laughs. Both actresses have an association with the musical Wicked, Dearman being the first person ever to play both Elphaba and Glinda in the […]

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Interview – Grand Hotel composer/lyricist Maury Yeston on his musical theatre vision

Maury Yeston is not just a Tony-Award-winning composer/lyricist: he’s a passionate teacher and advocate of new musical theatre writing. Forget the aphorism that “those who can’t, teach”– his first two shows on Broadway – Nine and Titanic – both secured the Tony for Best New Musical, and both shows continue to delight audiences. He is […]

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Interview – George Stiles and Anthony Drewe on being partners in rhyme

This summer has seen the opening of The 3 Little Pigs, the brand new family musical from multi award-winning British songwriting duo GEORGE STILES and ANTHONY DREWE. Stiles (music) and Drewe (book and lyrics) have put their own musical twist on the retelling of this classic fairy tale which will play at the Palace Theatre until Sunday 6 September […]

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Interview – Alex Gaumond feels blessed to be in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park

ALEX GAUMOND is playing Adam Pontipee in the current Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, heading up the cast with Laura Pitt-Pulford as Milly. The Canadian actor and singer recently took on the role of Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd at the ENO, played opposite Robert Lindsay in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy), and portrayed Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the […]

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Interview – Matt Cardle – from X Factor to Memphis the Musical

X Factor winner, multi-platinum selling recording artist and songwriter MATT CARDLE has joined Beverley Knight in the cast of David Bryan and Joe DiPietro’s Memphis the Musical. He took over the role of radio DJ Huey Calhoun from Killian Donnelly (opposite Knight as Felicia Farrell) on 6 July and will continue in the show until the end of its run […]

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Interview – Robert J. Sherman reveals new musical Love Birds at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe

ROBERT ‘ROBBIE’ J. SHERMAN is the son of Robert B. Sherman (1925–2012), one half of the Academy-Award-winning songwriting partnership (with brother Richard) responsible for the unforgettable numbers in classic movie musicals such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. His grandfather Al Sherman also enjoyed a successful […]

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Interview – look what happened to Rebecca LaChance in Mack & Mabel at Chichester

After an extensive search, American actress REBECCA LaCHANCE was cast as Mabel Normand alongside Michael Ball’s Mack Sennett in Chichester’s summer musical, Mack and Mabel, which opens tonight at the Festival Theatre (playing until 5 September, and then touring across the UK and Ireland). Based on the true romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, this musical comedy (book […]

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Interview – Luke Sheppard brings a new dimension to Oliver! at the Watermill Theatre

LUKE SHEPPARD, a young director with a varied – and critically lauded – handful of shows under his (relatively) newly-donned belt, talks to Musical Theatre Review’s Oliver Beatson about his latest production, the Watermill Theatre’s up-and-coming production of Oliver! In what looks to be Oliver! with a twist – the production (playing at the Newbury venue from 31 July to 19 September) will offer the theatre’s signature integrated-musician […]

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Interview – Andy Barnes on why Perfect Pitch is dedicated to new British musical theatre

When new British chamber musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts had its official opening at the Arcola Theatre this week, it was partly due to the backing of Perfect Pitch, the UK company dedicated to the creation and development of new British musicals. Perfect Pitch executive producer ANDY BARNES took time out to give Musical Theatre […]

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Interview – Kyle Riabko on the inspiration behind What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined

KYLE RIABKO is the 27-year-old actor-musician Canadian behind the Menier Chocolate Factory’s upcoming production, What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined. As the title suggests, it’s a show that explores the contribution that songwriter Burt Bacharach has made to popular music, but rather than a jukebox rehash of this unparalleled songbook, it’s a respectful and impassioned reworking, performed by a small […]

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Sibling Revelry: an Exclusive interview with the Callaway sisters

EXCLUSIVE! Sibling Revelry: An interview with ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY and sister LIZ. Seventeen years after bring their Sibling Revelry show over from New York to form part of the Divas At the Donmar series, the Callaway sisters, Ann Hampton and Liz, are back in London from 7–11 July with an updated version at the Hippodrome. […]

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Face the Music – interviews with Samuel Haughton and Joanne Clifton

All Star Productions is presenting the first UK stage production of Irving Berlin and Moss Hart’s musical comedy Face the Music at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, Walthamstow until 3 July. In the cast are JOANNE CLIFTON (World and European Professional Ballroom Dancing Champion, Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer 2014) as the Street Walker and actor/singer SAMUEL HAUGHTON (Wind in the Willows, […]

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Onstage Acts – Julie Atherton on the musical theatre course which backs new writing

After great success last year, West End performers Paul Spicer and Julie Atherton are bringing back Onstage Acts, a summer course exploring contemporary musical theatre (running from 27 to 31 July and featuring masterclasses from theatre practitioners who work in all areas of the industry). The programme is presented by Spicer’s production company, Stage Acts Productions. Onstage Acts, developed as an […]

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Interview – Dougal Irvine, composer of Teddy at the Southwark Playhouse

Teddy is an original piece of writing set around London’s Elephant and Castle in the 1950s. Opening tonight at the Southwark Playhouse, just a minute’s walk from the Elephant’s infamous roundabout, the piece is described as a play with an original score and new songs. The show, produced by Snapdragon Productions and Theatre Bench, is the brainchild […]

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Interview – Sally Ann Triplett doing what she loves in A Damsel in Distress at Chichester

Actress and singer SALLY ANN TRIPLETT is currently starring in a major new stage version of A Damsel in Distress at Chichester Festival Theatre. Directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, the musical comedy has songs by George and Ira Gershwin, and is based on the novel by P.G. Wodehouse 
and the play by Wodehouse and Ian Hay (also […]

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West End actress Joanna Strand in cabaret mode at the Crazy Coqs

Jazz vocalist and West End actress Joanna Strand is at London’s Crazy Coqs from 2 to 4 June, with some special guests. She has had a versatile career in jazz, cabaret and musical shows including Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Lyric, Belfast), Hello, Dolly!, Jekyll and Hyde (Union Theatre), Master Class with […]

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Interview – actor and MD Ben Stock presents his one-man show at the Crazy Coqs

West End and UK theatre actor BEN STOCK presents his new show And There Was Music, a celebration of the songs and music that have influenced his career and life to date, this week at London’s Crazy Coqs (26 to 28 May). His debut solo album with SimG Records, also entitled And There Was None, is released on 1 June. From […]

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Interview – rising star Ellie Bamber having a ball in High Society at the Old Vic

ELLIE BAMBER is the rising star who plays the role of 14-year-old Dinah Lord in Maria Friedman’s effervescent revival of Cole Porter’s High Society at The Old Vic (opening tonight, Thursday 14 May). Ellie made her screen debut at the age of 15 alongside Martin Clunes in the ITV drama A Mother’s Son, having earlier appeared on stage […]

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Interview – Howard Samuels celebrates the genius of Fran Landesman in Invade My Privacy at the Crazy Coqs

Lisa Martland writes: This week (starting today, Tuesday May 12!) HOWARD SAMUELS and LUCY DIXON return to London’s Crazy Coqs for three performances of their sell-out show Invade My Privacy, a cabaret devoted to the genius that is and was Fran Landesman. Dixon and Samuels first met in the Sondheim musical Company and worked together again in the […]

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