Dinner at Eight — the Musical — Is Served in a London Reading July 1

News   Dinner at Eight — the Musical — Is Served in a London Reading July 1
The musical version of Dinner at Eight, seen in New York City readings in recent years, will have a West End reading on July 1 in the Grand Saloon of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Producer Morty Wolkowitz, whose credits include the long-running Stomp, The Unexpected Man with Alan Bates and Eileen Atkins and One Shot, One Kill at Primary Stages, is sponsoring the West End reading. The American collaborators of the new show will be attendance.

The musical is based on the 1932 George S. Kaufman Edna Ferber Broadway comedy (also known as a starry film), most recently staged at Lincoln Center where it received four 2003 Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Play.

The musical's book is by Julie Gilbert, music by Ben Schaechter and lyrics by Frank Evans.

Gilbert, Ferber's great niece,  is a Pulitzer Prize nominee for "Opposite Attraction," a dual biography of Paulette Goddard and Erich Maria Remarque.

Schaechter is a contributor to the long running Naked Boys Singing as well as the conductor of the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus. Evans' credits include Abie's Island Rose and War Brides; he serves on the steering committee of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.    The musical received the Jerry Bock Award for 2002, selected personally by the composer of Fiddler on the Roof.

Leading the ensemble cast is Elizabeth Counsel as Millicent Jordan.  Her West End credits include Pygmalion, The Three Sisters and St. Joan.  She starred in the British television series "Doctor in the House" and "The Secret Life of Edgar Briggs."  Cast as her husband, Oliver Jordan, is David Firth, who played leads On A Clear Day... and Love Life for London's  Lost Musicals series as well as John Wilkes Booth in the Donmar Warehouse production of Assassins.

Rosie Ashe, playing Millicent's sensible sister Hattie, in known in London as "The Killer Soprano."  Ashe  appeared on the West End in The Witches of Eastwick, Les Miserables and Phantom.  Frank Lazarus, who is double cast as her husband Ed Loomis and as agent, Max Kane, is best known as the composer of A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine.

Nicola Dawn, who plays Kitty Packard, was seen at the Redgrave Theatre in Charlie Girl and Fiddler on the Roof. Mark McKerracher, who plays her uncouth husband, Dan, has played the title role in Phantom of the Opera in London. He also appeared in London's Ragtime.

Bryan Torfeh, veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company, plays the doomed actor Larry Renault.

Veteran Actress Angela Richards plays the veteran actress Carlotta Vance.  She performed in the 25th anniversary celebration of Side by Side by Sondheim, performing "The Ladies Who Lunch," at the Barbican Theatre, broadcast live on the BBC.

Sophia Thierens plays young Paula Jordan. She appeared in Les Miz in London.

Musical director is Kevin Amos, a West End vet.

Director Stuart Wood is directing the West End production of the new musical, When Harry Met Barry, opening in September.

Industry folk interested in the reading may inquire by e mail at stuart.abouttime@tiscali.co.uk.

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