Tonight’s The Night opens at the Victoria Palace on Nov. 7, after almost a month of previews. Producer Phil McIntyre, who’s had commercial success (despite widespread critical cavils) with We Will Rock You, has reteamed on the show with the Queen musical's scribe – British comedian turned author Ben Elton (who also wrote the book for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Beautiful Game).
Stewart fans may wonder what Elton has come up with for a story, the author having improbably set Queen’s songs in a futuristic world where music is governed by a fascist state. Tonight’s The Night is no less cosmic in its narrative; a shy Rod Stewart fan tries to win over the girl he loves by imitating his hero, and is tempted by the devil. “Faust” with funk, you might say.
We Will Rock You created a new highest-ever ticket price for a West End show, and Tonight’s The Night equals it with a top tag of £55 (the lowest price is £12 at some performances). That top price will also be equalled by the opening three days later of Jerry Springer: The Opera.
Set and costumes are designed by Lez Brotherston, best known for his work with choreographer Matthew Bourne. Lighting is by Mark Henderson, who also worked on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, and Gareth Valentine is musical supervisor.
The choreography is by the almost omni-present Stephen Mear (who choreographed the recent Anything Goes at the National Theatre and Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and is currently lined up for next year’s Cameron Mackintosh-Disney production of Mary Poppins).