Kim Criswell Will Be Ethel Merman in Readings of Merman's Apprentice

Olivier nominee Kim Criswell will play Ethel Merman in Merman’s Apprentice, a new musical fable with book and lyrics by Stephen Cole and music by David Evans, which has been chosen to be the opening show of London's Landor Theatre's "From Page to Stage Festival" Feb. 11-12 at 7:30 PM.

Kim Criswell is the hostess-with-the-mostes' in Goodspeed's Call Me Madam
Kim Criswell is the hostess-with-the-mostes' in Goodspeed's Call Me Madam (Photo by Diane Sobolewski)

An additional presentation for industry professionals will be offered Feb. 13 at 2:30 PM at The Concert Artistes’ Association at 20 Bedford Street, London.

In addition to Criswell, the readings will also feature Olivia Hallett as Merman's 12-year-old apprentice, Muriel Plakenstein, David Burt as David Merrick, John Guerrasio as Moe, Nigel Richards as Marvin, Ben Stock as Pop and Tony Award winner Elizabeth Seal as Ethel's Mom with Daniel Cane, Thomas Sutcliffe, Lindsey Nicholls and Kimberley Moses.

Stewart Nicholls will direct with musical direction by Richard Healy.

"Picture it: 1970," press notes state. "The Golden Age of Musical Theatre is drawing to an end. But twelve-year-old Muriel Plakenstein doesn't know that. So she runs away from home to become a Broadway star, and meets the Queen of Broadway Ethel Merman, who takes her to a Hello, Dolly! rehearsal where they sing together. When legendary producer David Merrick hears the kid, he decides to star Muriel in the first all-child cast of Dolly! Naturally, Merman takes her under wing to teach her the ropes of being a star...making little Muriel Plakenstein Merman's Apprentice."

Cole’s friendship with Merman inspired the musical fable, which combines real-life events and characters with a fictional story.

For information and tickets to the Landor performances, visit or call 020 7737 7276; industry professionals should email