Arcola Theatre to Present U.K. Premiere of Marvin Hamlisch, John Guare and Craig Carnelia's Sweet Smell of Success
By Mark Shenton
London's Arcola Theatre will present the U.K. premiere of Sweet Smell of Success, the Marvin Hamlisch (music), Craig Carnelia (lyrics) and John Guare (book) musical based on the 1957 Hollywood film of the same name. It will begin performances Nov. 9, prior to an official opening Nov. 14, for a run through Dec. 22.
The musical, which was originally presented on Broadway in 2002 in a production directed by the National's Nicholas Hytner, will be directed at the Arcola by Mehmet Ergan and star Olivier Award-winning actor David Bamber as JJ Hunsecker (a role originated on Broadway by John Lithgow), with Adrian der Gregorian as Sidney Falcone (played on Broadway by Brian d'Arcy James).
Set in New York in 1952, it revolves around JJ Hunsecker, who writes a daily gossip column in the New York Globe, syndicated to 60 million readers across America. But things take a highly personal turn when JJ uses his connections to ruin his own sister Susan's relationship with a man he thinks is inappropriate.
Bamber, who plays JJ Hunsecker, won the Best Actor Olivier Award for My Night With Reg. He was most recently seen onstage in Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre; other West End roles include Absurd Person Singular, The Glee Club and Otherwise Engaged. On TV he was recently seen in "Psychoville" and was Cicero in "Rome" and Theo in "The Borgias." On film, he played Adolf Hitler in the Tom Cruise action thriller "Valkyrie."
Der Gregorian, who plays Sidney Falcone, appeared in the West End in The Woman in White and La Cage Aux Folles.
Also in leading roles are Caroline Keiff as Susan (originally played by Kelli O'Hara), seen in the original West End casts of Wicked and Legally Blonde; Stuart Matthew Price as Dallas (originally Jack Noseworthy), previously seen in Parade at the Donmar Warehouse; and Celia Graham as Rita (originally Stacey Logan), who has appeared as Christine in both The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies.
The cast also features Claire Doyle, Russell Morton, Tosh Wanogho-Maud, Brenan Davies, Zoe Doano, Claudia Kariuki, Morgan Deare and Michael Chadwick.
The production is designed by Mark Bailey, with choreography by Nathan M. Wright, lighting by David Howe, sound by Ed Borgnis and musical direction by Bob Broad.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7503 1646 or visit www.arcolatheatre.com for more details.
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