London's Menier Announces Dates for World Premiere of Maltby, Shire and Weidman's Take Flight

News   London's Menier Announces Dates for World Premiere of Maltby, Shire and Weidman's Take Flight
London's Menier Chocolate Factory has confirmed dates for the world premiere of Richard Maltby Jr., David Shire and John Weidman's highly anticipated musical Take Flight.

Inspired by the history of flying, Take Flight will officially open at the Menier's 180-seat Southwark venue July 25 following previews that begin July 13.

The production will reunite director Sam Buntrock, designer David Farley and musical supervisor Caroline Humphris, the creative team behind the Menier's Broadway-bound, multi-Olivier-winning revival of Sunday in the Park With George.

The full cast has yet to be announced, but West End regular Sally Anne Triplett (Guys and Dolls, Chicago and Anything Goes; and Broadway's Carrie) will play the role of Amelia Earhart. Other real-life flying greats depicted in the show include the Wright Bothers and Charles Lindbergh.

The musical has been a long time in development and was first showcased as a concert in 2004 at Australia's Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

The production notes for the Adelaide performance described the show drawing its inspiration from "the spirit of invention in us all...and that it is just as noble in those who fail as in those who succeed. Take Flight is about flying, about the invention of the airplane, about creativity, and about the human need to take risks." Take Flight features a book by John Weidman and a score by Richard Maltby, Jr. (lyrics) and David Shire (music).

Maltby and Shire are the songwriters whose urbane Off-Broadway revues, Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, are beloved by fans of the form. Cabaret singers have plucked songs from the shows to present in nightspots around the world. Maltby (lyricist of Miss Saigon) and Shire also collaborated on the musicals Baby and Big.

John Weidman co-conceived and wrote the book for the Tony-winning musical Contact. He also penned the books for Pacific Overtures, Big and Assassins the Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes.

The Menier has a track record of staging American musicals. Jonathan Larson's tick, tick . . . boom! and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years both received their U.K. premieres there.

For more information on Take Flight, which is booking until Sept. 22, call (0)020 7907 7060.

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