Lazarus Lives On (Virtually)
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has, for the last 25 years, recorded theatrical performances through its National Video Archive of Performance, much like the New York Public Library of Performing Arts does. It now holds over 350 recordings, including the 2016 London production of David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s Lazarus. As part of the museum’s annual Performance Festival, beginning April 21, there will be an opportunity for audiences to see part of the Lazarus recording through VR headsets. For further details, visit VAMam.ac.uk/.
Audra McDonald speaks up for advocacy at London launch of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
The West End prepares for the reprise of Audra McDonald’s Tony-winning performance in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, originally scheduled for last summer and then postponed when she unexpectedly fell pregnant. Now that her second daughter Sally James is six months old (while her older daughter Zoe is 16), she is bringing the show to London this summer, beginning performances June 17 at Wyndham’s Theatre.
At a press launch on April 13, McDonald spoke up for advocacy. For anyone who says actors should just do their work and leave the rest behind, she said, “I don’t see how one can, especially where we are with the state of the world right now. Maybe it’s because my uncle and my parents were always very involved with the civil rights movement, so I just grew up and was raised that you have to speak out and look out for your fellow man, woman and child.” She described the current state of her home country as “turbulent” and said: “Some days I don’t recognize my country and other days I see people being vocal and passionate and I think: ‘There’s my country.’”
Audience brawl during Manchester run of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
A woman was arrested after a brawl broke out during a performance of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance on April 11. Eight people were reported to have begun fighting in the orchestra seating area at around 9:20 PM that night, just over an hour into the production. Police arrested a 48-year-old theatregoer on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, and for assaulting a police constable.
Duncan Sheik hints that American Psycho could return to London
Ahead of the opening of his new musical Whisper House at London’s Other Place Theatre, Duncan Sheik told The Stage newspaper that American Psycho, which originally premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2013 before a short-lived run on Broadway last year, could return. He had met with the show’s original director Rupert Goold and said: “We’re hatching plans to bring it back to London, knock on wood. It’s not dead yet.”
And of the Broadway run, he said: “I think we’d be a bigger part of the conversation if we were on now instead of last year. Not that we’d have necessarily won more awards, but because American Psycho is a critique of late-capitalism and the Trumpian ethos.”
Production and casting news
The original London cast recording of Dreamgirls will be released May 12, it has been announced. “Listen,” a new song written for the 2006 film and added to the West End production, will be released as a single April 28. It is performed by Amber Riley and Liisi LaFontaine. Those who pre-order the album will be able to download Riley’s recording of “And I Am Telling You” beginning April 21, three weeks ahead of the album release date.