Chicago-Born Pacific Overtures Opens in London June 30

News   Chicago-Born Pacific Overtures Opens in London June 30
The Donmar Warehouse production of Pacific Overtures, which began performances June 20 in London, officially opens on June 30.

Heading the cast of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical, which features additional material by Hugh Wheeler, are Joseph A. Foronda, Kevin Gudahl, Richard Henders, Togo Igawa, Cornell John, Teddy Kempner, Richard Manera, Ian McLarnon, Jerome Pradon and Mo Zainal. Gary Griffin directs the musical, which plays the Donmar through Sept. 6.

This production of the Sondheim musical debuted at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2001 to much acclaim. Griffin also directs this mounting, although much of the Donmar casting is different. Those reprising their work overseas include Richard Manera as The Thief, Kevin Gudahl as Kayama and Joseph A. Foronda as The Reciter. Foronda and Gudahl both won Joseph Jefferson Awards for acting in the Chicago Shakes staging.

According to the Donmar's official website, the creative team for Pacific Overtures, which fuses traditional Japanese Kabuki and Noh theatre with Western musical styles, comprises Daniel Ostling (scenic design) and Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), who reprise their Chicago work, and Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Nick Lidster for Autograph (sound design), James Stenborg (orchestrations), Thomas Murray (musical direction) and Mark Warman (production musical direction).

Pacific Overtures debuted at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on January 11, 1976, and ran for 193 performances. Originally directed by Hal Prince, the work features a book by John Weidman and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. Pacific Overtures was voted Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics' Circle and also earned nine Tony nominations, winning two: Best Costume Design (Florence Klotz) and Best Scenic Design (Boris Aronson). Sondheim's score includes "The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea," "There Is No Other Way," "Four Black Dragons," "Chrysanthemum Tea," "Poems," "Welcome to Kanagawa," "Someone in a Tree," "Lion Dance," "Please Hello," "A Bowler Hat," "Pretty Lady" and "Next."

The Donmar Warehouse is located at 41 Earlham Street in London. The telephone number for the theatre's box office is 011 44 20 7369 1732; go to for more information.

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