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
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,
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).