PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Two-Show Day at the West End's Top Hat With Alex Gaumond
By Matthew Blank
Spend a day with Olivier Award-nominated West End star Alex Gaumond, currently appearing as "Alberto Beddini" in Top Hat, based on the classic film of the same name. He documents his various pre-show and in-theatre rituals and shares a few secrets to staying healthy and energized during a long day at the office.
Gaumond was last seen in the West End playing Galileo in We Will Rock You and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde the Musical (for which he was Olivier Award-nominated). Other musical theatre credits include Desperately Seeking Susan at the Novello Theatre and the UK tour of the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls.
Top Hat, a stage version of the 1935 film of the same name, opened at the West End's Aldwych Theatre May 9, following previews that began April 19 and a previous national tour.
The production, which stars Gavin Lee and Kristen Beth Williams in the roles created in the film by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, respectively, is directed by Matthew White and choreographed by Bill Deamer. They lead a cast of 31 and are accompanied by an orchestra of 15.
It is designed by Hildegarde Bechtler, with costumes by Jon Morrell, lighting by Peter Mumford, musical direction by Daniel Jackson, musical supervision by Richard Balcombe, new orchestrations provided by Chris Walker and sound by Gareth Owen. Top Hat is produced by Kenny Wax, and his partners on the production are Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, Ted Hartley, Flora Suk-Hwa Yoon and Lee Menzies
With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and based on the RKO motion picture, the screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott has been adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques and is presented by arrangement with RKO Pictures LLC, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures Inc. and the Irving Berlin Music Company.
The score features the five Berlin classics from the film, including "Cheek to Cheek," "Isn’t It a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain" and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails," with another ten songs interpolated from elsewhere in the Berlin catalogue, including "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" and "Putting on the Ritz."
In the show, Jerry Travers, the famous American tap dancer, arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont, the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart.
Director Matthew White's credits include the Menier Chocolate Factory's productions of Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors, both of which transferred to the West End, and Maria Friedman – by Special Arrangement for the Donmar Warehouse.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 847 1712. For further details visit www.tophatonstage.com.
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