Matthew Bourne's newly choreographed, theatrical version of the ballet Swan Lake, a hit both in London and Los Angeles, opens Oct. 8 for a 16-week engagement at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre. Previews began the evening of Sept. 26. The flamboyant dance/theatre show, with men dancing the swan roles usually assigned to ballerinas, is co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Katharine Dore. The cast will feature Adam Cooper and William Kemp, alternating in the role of the Swan, while Scott Ambler and Ben Wright take turns playing the Prince. Fiona Chadwick and Isabel Mortimer will alternate as the Queen. Other performers include Andrew Walkinshaw as the Young Prince, Barry Atkinson as the Private Secretary, and Emily Percy as the Prince's Girlfriend. Casting for specific performances will be available at points of purchase and will also be posted on the Swan Lake web site, www.swanlake usa.com.
Tickets for the Broadway production are on sale via Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100.
As he did in London and L.A., Lez Brotherson is designing the Broadway production. The production has lighting by Rick Fisher, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's score received new orchestrations by Andrew Lloyd Webber's longtime collaborator, David Cullen.
After a run at London's Piccadilly Theatre, the piece, a modernized look at the ballet that is strongly influenced by contemporary stage musicals, had a hit run at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre, April 22-June 15, 1997. Asked why this Swan Lake has captured the public imagination, Robert Noble, of the Mackintosh office in London said, "It's a mix of ballet and musical theatre. It's very accessible and more comic; you don't feel like you're sitting through your `normal' ballet."
A look at the Piccadilly program shows that this Swan Lake has scenes not only in an opera house and the prince's bedroom, but in "A Seedy Club," where characters include a Pop Idol, East End Gangsters and a Pimp.
According to "The Theatre List" newsletter (put out by the Society of London Theatre), the "Adventures In Motion Pictures" troupe has made its reputation "through the subversion of traditional dance forms with productions of The Nutcracker and Highland Fling (based on La Sylphide)." The latter was revived by the company in late February following their Swan Lake engagement. Other pieces by the troupe include Does Your Crimplene Go All Crusty When You Rub? (1987-90) and The Percys Of Fitzrovia (1991-93). Another recent production, also staged by Bourne, was an adaptation of "Cinderella," staged at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.