Dear World, Starring Tony Winner Betty Buckley, Will End London Run March 16
By Andrew Gans
Despite rave reviews for its leading lady, Tony winner and Olivier nominee Betty Buckley, The Charing Cross Theatre production of Jerry Herman's Dear World will end its run March 16 rather than the previously announced March 30, according to a production spokesperson.
Acclaimed singing actress Buckley posted on Twitter March 13, "Dear World is closing this Sat. You must come to share with us this beautiful funny touching piece by brilliant Gillian Lynne. This time n London working with Gillian Lynne, this brilliant cast & creative team has been a gift filled with such Grace. I am so grateful."
In his recent New York Times review of the production, Ben Brantley had this to say about Buckley: "But as anyone who saw her in 'Cats' or 'Sunset Boulevard' knows, she’s terrific at probing through song the minds of the lost and broken. Hearing her nuanced interpretations of 'I Don’t Want to Know' and 'And I Was Beautiful,' in a raw and wispy voice that transcends nostalgia, was a welcome reminder of her distinctive gifts and of the subtler skills of Mr. Herman, who is best known for the brassier charms of 'Hello, Dolly' and 'Mame.'"
The production, which officially opened Feb. 13 following previews from Feb. 4, was directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, the choreographer who helped guide Buckley to a Tony Award for her portrayal of the faded glamour cat Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.
Tony winner Buckley portrays Countess Aurelia with Paul Nicholas as Sewerman, Anthony Barclay as Prospector, Brett Brown as Waiter, Michael Chance as Sargeant, Peter Land as President, Annabel Leventon as Constance, Rebecca Lock as Gabrielle, Joanna Loxton, Robert Meadmore as President, Craig Nicholls, Stuart Matthew Price as Julian, Jack Rebaldi as President, Ayman Safia as Mute and Katy Treharne as Nina.
Based on Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot, the musical, according to press notes, centers "around the Countess, living in the basement of a Parisian bistrot in 1945, driven mad by a lost lover and bemoaning her past. When oil is discovered under the streets of the city, she and her motley crew of acquaintances must band together to stop rapacious businessmen from destroying her home, and indeed all of Paris. This surreal musical fable of Good versus Evil (ahead of its time in 1969), with its themes of environmental degradation, corporate greed, evil and human folly, is a resonant and cautionary tale in a post-Enron world."
The production is designed by Matt Kinley with costumes by Tony Award winner Ann Hould-Ward and lighting by Olivier Award winner Mike Robertson. Orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Sarah Travis with Ian Townsend as the musical director.
Dear World opened on Broadway in 1969 with Angela Lansbury in the lead role of Aurelia, the Madwoman of Chaillot. Although the show played only 132 performances, Lansbury went on to win a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical.
Show times are Monday-Saturday at 7:30 PM with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 PM.
Charing Cross Theatre is located at The Arches on Villiers Street. For tickets call 08444 930 650 or visit charingcrosstheatre.co.uk.
Betty Buckley offered acclaimed performances in Broadway's Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776, Triumph of Love and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Her screen credits are numerous.
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