London's Lost Musicals Returns for 20th Year; Lerner and Loewe's The Day Before Spring Planned

News   London's Lost Musicals Returns for 20th Year; Lerner and Loewe's The Day Before Spring Planned
London's Lost Musicals season is to return for its 20th year with five semi-staged Sunday afternoon performances each of Cole Porter's 1928 musical Paris, Lerner and Loewe's 1945 show The Day Before Spring and Jule Styne and E.Y. Harburg's 1968 piece Darling of the Day.

The first two will be performed at the Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadlers' Wells, while the third will be staged at the National Porait Gallery's Ondaatje Wing Theatre.

Ian Marshall Fisher, who has directed over 70 neglected Broadway musicals since the venture's inception, will also be directing Cole Porter and Orson Welles' Around the World in New York in November.

The London season will begin performances March 28 with Paris, the 1928 musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter that first showed him to be a leading world talent. The book is by Martin Brown, and revolves around an American socialite Cora Sabbott who comes to Paris to stop her son's relationship with a French actress, with hilarious results. One of the seven numbers is "Let's Do It." The cast will include Anne Reid, Richard Dempsey and Sian Reeves, and the musical director is Gareth Valentine. It will also be performed on April 4, 11, 18 and 25.

It will be followed by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's The Day Before Spring, beginning performances June 13. According to press materials, this completely unknown witty psychoanalytical fantasy received good reviews in 1945. But much of the music was completely lost, until last year when a full conductor's score, containing everything was discovered. (A previous production, presented as part of York Theatre's Musicals in Mufti season in 2007, was based on incomplete materials found in the Library of Congress.) The musical is about a contented married woman, who at a college reunion meets the man that she almost spent her life with. He's still responsive to her - and he has documented their romance in his latest best-selling novel. It will also be performed on June 20, 27, and July 4 and 11.

Finally, Darling of the Day will begin performances Aug. 22. Based on Arnold Bennett's "Buried Alive," this 1968 musical has music by Jule Styne, lyrics by E.Y Harburg and book by Nunnally Johnson, who adapted its story of a celebrated artist, yearning for anonymity. He fakes his own death and assumes his valet's identity, but carries on painting — which means his art mysteriously keeps reappearing. It will also be performed Aug. 29 and Sept. 5, 12 and 19. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4300, or visit for more details.

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