Grand Hotel composer Maury Yeston to attend Q&A at Southwark Playhouse

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Picture: Roy Tan

Broadway composer Maury Yeston is flying in from New York to see at first hand the acclaimed new version of his Tony Award-winning musical Grand Hotel.

And to celebrate it receiving some of best reviews of the summer, Yeston will attend a post-show Question & Answer session on Tuesday 18 August at Southwark Playhouse, hosted by Matt Wolf, London theatre critic for the International Herald Tribune and theatre editor at theartsdesk.com.

Admission is free but only permitted with a valid ticket for that night’s performance. Tickets can be bought at www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

The Q&A will give musical theatre fans the unique chance to hear first hand from one of Broadway’s most celebrated composers, about the troubled birth of Grand Hotel, which is itself the stuff of Broadway legend. Yeston, who says that hit musicals are not written but rather rewritten, was parchuted in to its out-of-town run to fix the show. He ended up writing six new songs and the spectacular opening, ‘The Grand Parade’. Grand Hotel went on to open on Broadway in 1989, where it was nominated for 12 Tonys and won five, running for more than 1,000 performances.

Edward Seckerson in his recent review of Grand Hotel for theartsdesk.com said: “I’ve watched Maury Yeston at work at the BMI Music Theatre Advanced Workshop in New York and can vouch for his astonishing nose for what is wrong and how (if at all possible) it might be put right. Sometimes it’s a tiny thing, sometimes it’s simply a change of emphasis – but you can’t buy instincts like that.”

Grand Hotel is produced by Danielle Tarento and directed by Thom Southerland, the award-winning tream behind Titanic, Parade and Mack & Mabel.

Maury Yeston is a multi award-winning theatre and film composer, lyricist, author and teacher. In addition to winning a Tony Award for Best Score for Titanic (which won another four Tonys including Best Musical), Yeston won a Tony Award and two Drama Desk Awards for his music and lyrics to Nine (based on Fellini’s1963 movie 8 1⁄2). That production also won four additional Tonys including Best Musical. The Broadway revival of Nine, starring Antonio Banderas, won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.

Yeston’s contribution to the score for Grand Hotel was nominated for a Tony and two Drama Desk Awards, and the Donmar Warehouse production won an Olivier Award. His score for Phantom has received national and international acclaim. Most recently, he wrote music and lyrics to Death Takes a Holiday (with a book by Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan), which was nominated for 11 Drama Desk Awards, and the first entirely American full-length ballet, Tom Sawyer: A Ballet In Three Acts which premiered recently in Kansas City.

His newest musical, The Peony Pavilion, commissioned by The People’s Republic of China is to premiere in Beijing in late 2014. In 2009, Nine was adapted into a film with a screenplay by Anthony Minghella and Michael Tolkin, directed by Rob Marshall. It was nominated for five Golden Globes and four Academy Awards. Yeston was nominated for a Critics Choice and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, ‘Cinema Italiano’, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song, ‘Take It All’.

* Readers may also be interested in:

Grand Hotel – Southwark Playhouse – Review

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