The European premiere of Jerry Herman’s Broadway musical The Grand Tour will be presented at London’s Finborough Theatre (1 January to 21 February 2015) by producer Danielle Tarento and director Thom Southerland, the same team that brought audiences Titanic, Parade, Mack & Mabel and Victor/Victoria (press nights are 6 and 7 January).
The Grand Tour has music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, based on the play Jacobowsky and the Colonel by Franz Werfel as adapted by S. N. Behrman.
Opening in 1979, The Grand Tour marked Jerry Herman’s return to Broadway after almost a decade away. It finally gets its European première, directed by Southerland, at the Finborough Theatre as part of the theatre’s 20 Premières Season.
France, 1940. Jacobowsky, a Polish Jewish intellectual, has been one step ahead of the Nazis for years. Stjerbinsky, an aristocrat, anti-semitic Polish colonel is desperately trying to get to England. Jacobowsky has purchased a car he doesn’t know how to drive. The Colonel knows how to drive, but has no car. When the two meet at a Paris hotel, they agree to join forces in order to escape the approaching Nazis. Together with the Colonel’s girlfriend, Marianne, they begin their perilous journey on the road to freedom.
Jerry Herman is one of Broadway’s most prolific composers, whose best known works include Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles and Mack & Mabel. He has been nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. In 2009, Herman received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
Michael Stewart (book) made his Broadway debut with Bye Bye Birdie in 1960. He won two Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical for Hello, Dolly! and was further nominated for Mack & Mabel, Carnival!, I Love My Wife, Barnum, 42nd Street and Harrigan ‘n’ Hart.
Mark Bramble (book) has been nominated for the Tony Award three times: for Best Book of a Musical for Barnum and 42nd Street and Best Direction of a Musical for 42nd Street.
Thom Southerland (director) was named Best Director at the 2011 The Offies – Off West End Theatre Awards – for Me and Juliet at the Finborough. He directed Titanic, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel and Parade (Southwark Playhouse); Daisy Pulls It Off, Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam! (Upstairs At the Gatehouse); I Sing!, Divorce Me, Darling!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pajama Game and all-male adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (Union); Noël and Gertie (Cockpit); The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Landor); and State Fair (Finborough and transfer to Trafalgar Studios).
Danielle Tarento (producer and casting director) was named Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and recently won Best Off West End Production at the 2014 Whatsonstage Awards and Best Musical Production at the 2014 Off West End Awards for Titanic at Southwark Playhouse. She has also produced Dogfight, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel, Parade, Company and Three Sisters at Southwark Playhouse; Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola); Burlesque, Drowning on Dry Land (Jermyn Street); Noël and Gertie (Cockpit). She is co-founder of the Menier Chocolate Factory and co-produced all in-house shows 2004–2006, including Sunday in the Park With George, which received a West End transfer and five Olivier Awards.