Jolson: The Musical, the Olivier Award-winning Best Musical from London's West End, will have its North American premiere June 16 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto.
The musical also has announced that it will open on Broadway in fall, 1997, but no theatre or date have been specified. The original London production closes March 22 after a 17-month run.
Also, there is no word on whether its award-winning star Brian Conley will break his vow, published in the London Daily Mail, that "I wouldn't go to America for a million pounds" with the show.
Jolson is the musical biography of Broadway star Al Jolson whose "Mammy" and "Swanee" are still standards. His blackface performances of these and many other songs made him a showbiz icon. He also starred in the first "talkie" motion picture, The Jazz Singer in 1927.
Other Jolson hits include "California, Here I Come," "I'm Sitting on Top of the World," "April Showers," "Carolina in the Morning," "Baby Face" and "Give My Regards to Broadway." The musical, which traces Jolson's life and marriage to Ruby Keeler, shows the star both as an audience-pleasing entertainer and as a heartless heel to those who loved him best.
The show is being produced by David & Ed Mirvish (Jane Eyre), Paul Elliott, Larie Mansfield and Greg Smith.
The $8 million (Canadian) Jolson: The Musical with its 42-member cast, will run through August 1997.
For tickets or information call (416) 872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333
-- By Robert Viagas