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Garcia heads for Leonard Bernstein's On the Town



Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE ENGLISH National Opera (ENO) will continue last year's trend, set by the Royal Opera House with its staging of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, by incorporating Leonard Bernstein's 1944 Broadway classic, On the Town, into its regular programme.

The new, star-studded production will run at the Coliseum from March 10, 2005, to May 24, 2005 (previews from March 5).

In a break from tradition, the cast will feature stars from musical theatre and will include Adam Garcia (pictured). No stranger to the stage, Garcia has appeared in Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Birdy; while his screen credits include Coyote Ugly.

Also appearing in the 65- plus strong company, will be Caroline O'Connor, most recently seen, on stage, in Bombshells. Her other stage credits include Mack and Mabel, The Rink and Hot Stuff; and for film, the highly successful Moulin Rouge.

Supporting the cast, where necessary, will be stars of the opera. They will include leading bass, Willard H White in a minor role of a workman.

On the Town follows the fortunes of three American sailors - Chip (Garcia), Ozzie and Gabey - who, on wartime shore leave for a single day, set out to explore the best New York has to offer. And that includes the ladies - Hildy (O'Connor), Claire and Ivy.

The characters Chip and Gabey were, of course, immortalised by Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in the 1949 screen version.

On the Town is to be directed by Jude Kelly.

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