Yes, it's still a ballet, but Matthew Bourne's newly choreographed version of Swan Lake, a hit both in London and Los Angeles, is likely to come to Broadway in March 1998.
After a run at London's Piccadilly Theatre, the piece, a modernized, theatricalized look at the ballet, had a hit run at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre, April 22-June 15, 1997. Hopes are that the London/L.A. cast will also come to New York.
Though dates and venues haven't been selected yet (a process expected to take several more weeks), Swan Lake will require a medium-to large sized house for its dancers and full orchestra.
According to "The Theatre List" newsletter (put out by the Society of London Theatre), the Adventures In Motion Pictures company has made its reputation "through the subversion of traditional dance forms with productions of The Nutcracker and Highland Fling (based on La Sylphide)." The latter was revived by the company in late February following their Swan Lake engagement. Other pieces by the troupe include Does Your Crimplene Go All Crusty When You Rub? (1987-90) and The Percys Of Fitzrovia (1991-93). Their next production, also staged by Bourne, will be an adaptation of "Cinderella," set for the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
In this Swan Lake, Royal Ballet principal Adam Cooper plays the prince turned into a swan. Also performing are Scott Ambler (Prince) and Fiona Chadwick. Howard Watson, of the Society of London Theatre, told Playbill On-Line that by the time the production closed Feb. 1, its 5-month run was a record for dance in "a proper lyric house." The Piccadilly Theatre seats over 1,000.
Robert Noble, of the Mackintosh office in London, told Playbill On-Line that the musical would not come to New York in 1997, but the producer hopes the show will arrive here in `98. "We're not quite sure at the moment what the next option is. We're looking at Australia and Asia, and Broadway when that comes available."
Asked why this Swan Lake has captured the public imagination, Noble said, "It's a mix of ballet and musical theatre. It's very accessible and more comic; you don't feel like you're sitting through your `normal' ballet."
A look at the Piccadilly stagebill shows that this Swan Lake has scenes not only in an opera house and the prince's bedroom, but in "A Seedy Club," where characters include a Pop Idol, East End Gangsters and a Pimp.
In its London and California mountings, Swan Lake, winner of the 1996 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, had lighting by Rick Fisher and a design by Lez Brotherston. The Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky score has been newly orchestrated by Rowland Lee.