The Menier Chocolate Factory presents The Life of the Party – A Celebration of the Songs of Andrew Lippa from 27 May to 14 June (press night is 30 May). The exciting Broadway composer and lyricist will be accompanied by Caroline O’Connor, Damian Humbley and Summer Strallen in a unique concert performance of songs from some of his most successful shows.
Born in Leeds, Andrew Lippa’s Broadway credits include Big Fish, The Addams Family and the score for The Farnsworth Invention (written by Aaron Sorkin). He also contributed three new songs and all new arrangements for the 1999 production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. In 2000 his musical The Wild Party (Manhattan Theater Club) won the Outer Critics Circle award for best Off-Broadway musical and the 2000 Drama Desk Award for best music.
In addition he wrote the music and lyrics and co-wrote the book with Tom Greenwald for John & Jen (The Lambs Theater) and wrote the music for A Little Princess (Theaterworks, Palo Alto). His oratorio I Am Harvey Milk was premiered by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the recording, released in October 2013, reached number two on the iTunes Classical Chart. I Am Harvey Milk will be seen at LA’s Disney Hall in July and in NYC later this year. Lippa has also been musical director for Kristin Chenoweth since 1999, playing and conducting her sold-out shows in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and London.
Caroline O’Connor is a multi award-winning singer/dancer/actress who performs all over the world. She returns to the UK after starring in A Christmas Story on Broadway. As a leading lady, her most recent credits include Rose in Gypsy (Curve, Leicester), Phyllis in Follies (Chicago) and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Le Châtelet).
Damian Humbley played Charley Kringas at the Menier Chocolate Factory and the Harold Pinter Theatre in the Olivier-nominated Merrily We Roll Along. He also played Jamie in The Last Five Years at the Chocolate Factory and Seymour in the UK tour of the Chocolate Factory’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. His other theatre credits include Putting It Together (St James Theatre), Dickens Abridged (Arts), Company (Sheffield Theatres) and Lend Me a Tenor – the Musical (Gielgud).
Summer Strallen has been Olivier nominated four times, most recently in 2013 for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Top Hat (national tour and Aldwych). Other theatre includes Love Never Dies (Adelphi), Company (Queen’s), The Sound of Music (Palladium), The Drowsy Chaperone, The Boyfriend (Regent’s Park), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Palladium).
The design for The Life of the Party is by Morgan Large.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on 14 April.