Ruby Turner is set to join the previously announced Kristin Chenoweth and Philip Quast for the fifth season of London's Divas at the Donmar series. The fourth performer has yet to be announced.
The acclaimed series at the famed Donmar Warehouse, which presents a selection of "divas" in concert each summer, runs Aug. 5-31. Ruby Turner, the Jamaican-born, Birmingham-bred songstress, opens on Aug. 12 and performs through Aug. 17. Compared to such legendary singers as Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin, Turner touring extensively with Culture Club and gained huge success in such shows as Carmen Jones and Blues Brothers Soul Sisters. Considered by many to be the voice of 1980's soul, the singer will bring her mix of soul, funk, jazz and R&B to the Donmar.
Following Turner in the series is British stage actor Philip Quast, who played the Donmar in the Sam Mendes-directed The Fix. Quast, who will perform at the Donmar from Aug. 19-24, garnered his third Olivier Award this season for his performance in the Royal National Theatre's production of South Pacific. He has also been seen on the U.K. stage in Les Misérables, Sunday in the Park with George and The Secret Garden.
Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth finishes the season, with concerts from Aug. 26 through Aug. 31. Chenoweth made her Broadway debut opposite Bill Irwin in a production of Molière's Scapin and followed that with a lead role in Kander and Ebb's Steel Pier, which earned the actress a Theatre World Award. Roles in A New Brain and the City Center Encores! Strike Up the Band ensued, and in 1998 she portrayed Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, nabbing Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performance. She starred in her own, short-lived TV series "Kristin," and her other TV appearances include roles in "Frasier" and ABC's television adaptation of the musical Annie. Chenoweth will also star in the upcoming TV movie version of Meredith Willson's The Music Man.
The "Divas at the Donmar" series has hosted a handful of celebrated performers since its debut at the trendy London theatre in 1999. Some of the talents who have taken part in the West End concerts include Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Barbara Cook and Betty Buckley. 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 www.donmar warehouse.com for more information. —By Andrew Gans