Whitfield, last seen on the London stage in the 2002 production of Bedroom Farce, will portray Madame Maude P. Dilly in On the Town, which will play 20 performances at ENO beginning April 20 and running through May 25.
Directed by Jude Kelly with choreography by Stephen Mear, On the Town will also feature the previously announced Helen Anker (Ivy Smith), Rodney Clarke (Master of Ceremonies), Janine Duvitski (Lucy Schmeeler), Alison Jiear (Dolores Dolores), Caroline O'Connor (Hildy Esterhazy), Lucy Schaufer (Claire de Loone) and Andrew Shore (Judge Pitkin). (Graeme Danby will play the role of Judge Pitkin April 24 and May 17, 18, 19, 22, 23 and 25.)
Full casting will be announced shortly.
The creative team also includes Simon Lee (conductor), Robert Jones (designs) and Mark Henderson (lighting design).
June Whitfield has been seen on the London stage in Pink Strings and Sealing Wax, Ace of Clubs, South Pacific, Love From Judy, A Bedfull of Foreigners, Not Now Darling, Over My Dead Body, An Ideal Husband, Ring Around the Moon, Cinderella and Bedroom Farce. Her numerous screen credits include "Common As Muck," "Family Money," "Tom Jones," "Jude," "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" and "Absolutely Fabulous." She was honored with an OBE in 1985 and a CBE in 1999. Her autobiography is titled ". . . and June Whitfield." On the Town features music by Leonard Bernstein and a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Based on an idea by Jerome Robbins, the musical love letter to Manhattan opened on Broadway at the Adelphi Theatre in December 1944. Directed by George Abbott with choreography by Robbins, the cast featured Sono Osato, Nancy Walker, Cris Alexander, John Battles, Robert Chisholm, Comden, Green, Ray Harrison and Susan Steell. The musical was revived on Broadway in 1971 and 1998. The 1949 film featured Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen, Florence Bates, Alice Pearce and George Meader.
The English National Opera at the London Coliseum is located in London on St. Martin's Lane. For ticket information call 0870 145 0900 or visit www.eno.org.