Faye Tozer and Dylan Turner To Star in New Musical About William Haines in London
By Mark Shenton
Faye Tozer and Dylan Turner will star in The Tailor-Made Man, a new musical telling the true story of gay silent-screen star William Haines, who was fired by Louis B. Mayer for refusing to give up his lifelong partner Jimmy Shields and marry. It will begin performances at London's Arts Theatre Feb. 13, 2013, prior to an official opening Feb. 21, for an eight-week season through April 6.
In 1930, William "Billy” Haines was one of MGM’s most idolized male stars, second only to John Gilbert. On screen he was tailor-made to get the girl in the last reel. On the back lot he cruised every bit player and stagehand in sight. Billy lived openly with his lover and former stand-in Jimmy Shields. This was tolerated by the studio until rumors started to seep out into the wider world. Louis B. Mayer ordered him to marry the sultry silent screen vamp Pola Negri. Billy refused and so Louis B. Mayer fired him. Billy's defiance of the studio led to his second and even more successful career as an interior designer to the stars.
Tozer is a member of British award-winning pop group Steps, who have recently successfully reformed with a number one album, sell-out tour and a hit television show. When Steps originally split up in 2001, Faye went on to have a top 10 hit with Russell Watson, "Someone Like You," which led to an arena tour in the U.K. and New Zealand. She made her musical theatre debut in the tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tell Me on a Sunday. She has since appeared in the West End in Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens.
Turner's West End theatre credits includes Chariots of Fire, Rock of Ages, Life is a Dream, Mamma Mia! and Grease, as well as the U.K. tours of Chicago and Footloose.
The Tailor-Made Man was originally written as a play by Claudio Macor. He has now written the book for the musical, with music by Duncan Walsh Atkins and Adam Meggido and lyrics by Adam Meggido. The musical adaptation is by Amy Rosenthal. It will be directed by Macor, with Martin Constantine as the creative associate. Choreography will be by Nathan M. Wright, with design by Sophia Simensky, lighting by Humphrey McDermott, sound by Tom Marshall and musical direction by Duncan Walsh Atkins. It will be produced in London by Stephen McGill.
To book tickets, which are on sale from Nov. 12, contact the box office on 020 7836 8463, or for more details visit www.artstheatrewestend.co.uk.
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