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Donmar to extend one of Sondheim's best scores



Preview by Paul Nelson

THE Donmar Warehouse is proud to announce that the revival of Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Weidman's Pacific Overtures has proved so popular that its run is to be extended until September 6.

And, what's more, if you become a member of the Donmar's mailing list, the theatre is offering you the chance to save £4 on best available seats when you book to see the production on any Tuesday to Thursday evening, or Wednesday or Saturday matinee, between now and August 23.

Sondheim and Weidman's musical is set in Nippon, a small remote island 'floating in the middle of the sea'. In 1853, an American expedition, led by Commodore Matthew Perry, changed this ancient kingdom's way of life forever. The events are told through the friendship of a samurai and a fisherman as they struggle with Western and traditional influences.

Pacific Overtures is a glorious theatrical fusion of Japanese Kabuki, Noh theatre and the musical styles of the West.

It features one of Sondheim's best scores. It is a co-production between Donmar Warehouse and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

In this first time collaboration, Gary Griffin directs his acclaimed US production in a new in-the-round staging for the Donmar. The cast, reflecting the nature of this partnership, is a combination of three of the original Chicago cast and seven of this country's finest musical theatre actors.

Pacific Overtures is the fifth Sondheim production at the Donmar Warehouse, following the success of award-winning productions; Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Company, and Assassins.

Mr Griffin, an experienced director of musicals, has directed Sondheim's work before, including Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins and Putting It Together. His other work includes Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and West Side Story.

Pacific Overtures, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Jerome Weidman (with additional material by Hugh Wheeler), Directed by Gary Griffin, Musical Director Thomas Murray, Production Musical Director Mark Warman, Set Design by Daniel Ostling, Costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, Lighting by Hugh Vanstone, Sound by Nick Lidster, Orchestrations by James Stenborg. WITH: Joseph Anthony Foronda (Reciter/Shogun), Kevin Gudahl (Kayama), Richard Henders (Manjiro/Dutch Admiral), Togo Igawa (Lord Abe/Old Man), Cornell John (Warrior/Russian Admiral), Teddy Kempner (2nd Counsellor/Madam/British Admiral), Richard Manera (Lion Dancer/Commodore Perry), Ian McLarnon (3rd Counsellor/American Admiral), Jerome Pradon (Shogun's Mother/French Admiral), Mo Zainai (Tamate/Boy). Presented by Donmar Warehouse and Chicago Shakespeare Theater at the Donmar Warehouse41 Earlham Street, London WC2.

Pacific Overtures will run from June 20 to September 6.

From September 11 to November 15, the Osborne play is A Hotel in Amsterdam, directed by Robin Lefevre. Priority booking opens May 19, Public booking, June 16.

November 20 to February 7 2004, the theatre sees the world stage premiere of Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie, a version of Strindberg's Miss Julie, directed by Michael Grandage. Priority booking for this also opens on May 19, Public booking, June 16.

Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, London WC2. Tickets 020 7369 1732 (no booking fee), personal callers Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm. Ticket Master 0870 160 2878 (c/c 24 hrs booking fee).

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