The musical — starring former Chicago actress Denise Van Outen — began previews April 4. A reworking of the song cycle penned for British musical theatre actress Marti Webb in 1979, Tell Me On a Sunday concerns an English woman's adventures in New York City. Written for recording and a BBC-TV television special, Tell Me On a Sunday became the first-half of Song & Dance, mounted at London's Palace Theatre in 1982. Webb starred in the original London cast (Wayne Sleep danced the second half of the evening), and Bernadette Peters — who scored a Tony Award for her performance — starred in the Broadway version, which featured revised lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. The new production features the Don Black lyrics, although many have been updated by Black with new material by Jackie Clune.
In an interview for Last Minute/Theatrenow, Clune spoke about the many changes that have been made to the new production: "I've worked on the lyrics; both updating them and creating new ones for the five new songs that Andrew Lloyd Webber has created for the show. He and Don Black, the original lyricist, thought it would be a good idea to have a female input into the work — and I'm nearer Denise [Van Outen]'s age than Don, as well as being a girl! . . . This [version] is much feistier than the original one, which was late 1970s. In that one the girl was a bit of a victim in a way. Today things have changed a lot for women; we're far stronger. I think if an audience today saw the original production, they'd end up shouting 'Don't be such a silly cow!' at the character!"
Produced by Bill Kenwright with direction by Matthew Warchus, the creative team for Tell Me On a Sunday comprises Simon Lee (musical supervision), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Irene Bohan (costume supervision), Mick Potter (sound design), David Holmes (associate lighting design), Tim Clark (associate sound design), Rob Howell (production design) and Nicolas Finlow (musical direction).
A famed U.K. talk-show host, Denise Van Outen has starred in both the London and Broadway productions of Kander and Ebb’s Chicago. Her other London theatrical credits include Stop the World I Want to Get Off, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Les Misérables. Van Outen also appeared on screen in "Love, Honour and Obey" and "Tube Tales."
The recording of the new Tell Me On a Sunday will be released in the U.K. this month; Universal Classics/Really Useful will release the CD in the U.S. May 20. The complete track listing for the recording follows: “Take That Look Off Your Face”
“Let Me Finish #1”
“It's Not the End of the World”
“Goodbye Mum, Goodbye Girls”
“Haven in the Sky”
“First Letter Home”
“Second Letter Home”
“Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad”
“You Made Me Think You Were In Love”
“Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad (Reprise)”
“It's Not the End of the World (If He's Younger)”
“Third Letter Home”
“Come Back With The Same Look In Your Eyes”
“Let's Talk About You”
“Take That Look Off Your Face (Reprise)”
“Tell Me On a Sunday”
“It's Not the End of the World (If He's Married)”
“Fourth Letter Home”
“Ready Made Life/I'm Very You”
“Let Me Finish #2”
“Nothing Like You've Ever Known”
“Fifth Letter Home”
“Somewhere, Someplace, Sometime”
For more information about the production, visit www.tellmeonasunday.com.