The September 13 opening of the new musical Back to the Future at London's Adelphi Theatre will feature understudy Mark Oxtoby in the role of Dr. Emmett Brown. Tony winner Roger Bart, who stars in the role, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Most of the reviewers have already seen Bart's performance, according to a production spokesperson. Some, however, will review the show with the understudy, and a few have postponed seeing the musical until Bart returns.
The September 13 performance marks the first time Oxtoby, who usually portrays Strickland, has played Doc Brown in front of a live audience; tonight's audience is scheduled to include Christopher Lloyd, who created the role in the Back to the Future film.
Previews for Back to the Future, based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, began August 20. The out-of-town tryout at the Manchester Opera House in March 2020 was cut short when theatres were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cast also features Olly Dobson as Marty McFly with Hugh Coles as George McFly, Rosanna Hyland as Lorraine Baines, Cedric Neal as Goldie Wilson, Aidan Cutler as Biff Tannen, Courtney-Mae Briggs as Jennifer Parker, Will Haswell as Dave McFly, Emma Lloyd as Linda McFly, and Mark Oxtoby as Strickland.
Also in the cast are Rhianne Alleyne, Amy Barker, Matt Barrow, Joshua Clemetson, Jamal Crawford, Bessy Ewa, Morgan Gregory, Ryan Heenan, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Laura Mullowney, Nic Myers, Shane O’Riordan, Katharine Pearson, Oliver Tester, and Justin Thomas.
The musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy winner Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy winner Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film, including "The Power of Love" and "Johnny B. Goode."
The production is directed by Tony winner John Rando with set and costume design by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, lighting consulting by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Gareth Owen, video design by Finn Ross, choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow, illusions by Chris Fisher, orchestrations by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, and dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.
Back to the Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Crush Music, Playing Field, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with, Kimberly Magarro, Robert L. Hutt, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.