Sondheim's Road Show Begins Performances June 24 at London's Menier Chocolate Factory

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24 Jun 2011

John Doyle
John Doyle
Aubrey Reuben

Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s much-traveled musical Road Show begins performances for its U.K. premiere run at London's Menier Chocolate Factory June 24, prior to an official opening July 6, for a run through Sept. 18.

It is directed and designed by John Doyle, who previously fulfilled the same duties for the show's production at New York's Public Theater in 2008.

The show, set in the early part of 20th-century Ameria, features Michael Jibson and David Bedella as brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner, respectively, telling the boom-and-bust true story of what press materials call "two of the most colorful and outrageous fortune-seekers in American history.” From panning for gold in Alaska to building the city of Boca Raton in Florida, both were driven by the need to succeed – at whatever cost. Unfortunately, this left them with a trail of debts, disastrous relationships (including their own as brothers) and unfulfilled dreams.

Originally written in 1999 when a workshop production was presented of it in New York under the title Wise Guys, starring Nathan Lane and Victor Garber and directed by Sam Mendes, it was subsequently revised as Bounce in 2003, when Hal Prince directed it in Chicago and Washington, DC. It then became Road Show when Doyle directed it at the Public Theater.

Doyle has previously directed Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (at the Watermill, Newbury that subsequently transferred to the West End and then Broadway, where he won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical) and Company (Broadway). Other New York directorial credits include Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera, New York) and A Catered Affair (Broadway).



David Bedella (Wilson Mizner) won the 2004 Olivier Award - Best Actor In A Musical for Jerry Springer – The Opera at the National Theatre, which subsequently transferred to the National. He reprised that role in the show’s New York premiere at Carnegie Hall. He recently played the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago, again at the Cambridge Theatre, and has also toured extensively as well as appearing in the West End as Frank N' Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.

Michael Jibson (Addison Mizner) last appeared at the Chocolate Factory as Charles Lindbergh in Take Flight and has appeared in the West End in the RSC's Canterbury Tales and in Our House (Olivier nomination).

Also in leading roles are Jon Robyns as Hollis Bessemer, who was in the original London cast of Avenue Q and played Marius in Les Miserables in the West End and at the 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2; and Gillian Bevan as Mama Mizner, recently seen in the Donmar's concert version of Company at the Queen's Theatre and in the original cast of Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

The ensemble also includes Adrian der Gregorian, Fiona Dunn, Sarah Ingram, Julie Jupp, Glyn Kerslake, Elizabeth Marsh, Christopher Ragland and Robbie Scotcher.

Musical supervision and direction are by Catherine Jayes, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Jane Cox and sound design by Gareth Owen.

To book tickets contact the box office on 020 7378 1713, or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com.