Dear World - Betty Buckley stars
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
BETTY Buckley, making a rare London stage appearance, will star alongside Paul Nicholas in the British premiere of Jerry Herman’s musical Dear World, which runs at Charing Cross Theatre from February 4 (previews from February 13) to March 30, 2013.
Based on Jean Giraudoux’s play The Madwoman of Chaillot and with book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, Dear World is set in post-war Paris in 1945.
A tale of good versus evil, it focuses on the Countesses Aurelia, Constance and Gabrielle, who deviously scheme to stop businessmen from drilling for oil in the Parisian neighbourhood of Chaillot.
The show premiered on Broadway in 1969 starring Angela Lansbury, who went on to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of the Countess Aurelia, and Milo O’Shea as the Sewerman. However, this will be the first production to be staged outside of the United States.
Betty Buckley won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. She also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical for her performance as Hesione in Triumph of Love and an Olivier Award nomination for her critically acclaimed interpretation of Norma Desmond in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, a role she reprised on Broadway.
Buckley has also appeared in films such as Carrie, recorded 15 solo albums and, throughout the year, gives concerts and makes solo appearances.
Although Paul Nicholas will always be remembered for his award-winning role of Vince in Just Good Friends, his other television credits include Bust, Close To Home, Two Up Two Down and The Lady Killers. He has also appeared in the films Tommy, Stardust, The World Is Full Of Married Men, Blind Terror, The Nutcracker and Invitation To The Wedding.
His recent stage credits include Keeler, which he also produced and directed, a national tour of The Haunting and The Pirates of Penzance. He has also played Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Danny in Grease and Rum Tum Tugger in Cats.
As a singer, Nicholas had four top ten UK hits, including the international bestseller Heaven On The Seventh Floor, four gold albums and his own pop series called simply Paul. As a producer, he joined forces with David Ian and credits include Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Ain’t Misbehavin. Earlier this year, he directed a new musical version of A Tale of Two Cities at Charing Cross Theatre.
Jerry Herman’s other musicals include Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles and Mack and Mabel. In 2009, he received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.
Directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne (Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Dear World will have set design by Matt Kinley, costumes by Tony Award-winner Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Olivier Award-winner Mike Robertson, musical direction by Ian Townsend and orchestrations by another Tony Award-winner, Sarah Travis.