The University of Chichester’s regional touring company are on the road to launch Chichester’s centenary celebrations of Leonard Bernstein, the man who composed the Chichester Psalms.
They are touring with a production of Bernstein’s famed symphonic musical On The Town. Dates include The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis on Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 at 7.30pm.
Spokesman Paul Ackerley said: “On The Town has been a classic since its original Broadway run in 1944 and was a revolutionary musical, being the first ever written by a symphonic composer. At its heart, the musical is a love-affair with New York City, from the city’s high-culture to its low-brow ‘street smarts’, to the innocent adventurousness of three sailors and the women they come across.
“Written during World War Two, the effervescence of the iconic songs and laugh-out loud comedy of the satirical script also play out against the brooding, heart-breaking possibility that this might be the sailors’ first and last time that they will ever see the city, a poignancy that radiates from the cast of strong women that they meet along the way. It is, in all sense and for all the senses, a total embrace!
“The production features a West End professional live band in the pit under the musical direction of Dustin Conrad (Little Shop of Horrors, UK tour), and some of the freshest, glorious voices on stage from the next generation of musical theatre performers, doing justice to hits like New York, New York and the achingly-beautiful Some Other Time. The exuberant, accompanying dance numbers and ballet sequence are legendary.
“The production is once again under the direction of Karen Howard, with choreography by Damien Delaney, who have brought all previous seven, triumphant touring productions to the stage including City of Angels, Sweet Charity and Anything Goes. The stage and costume designs are by Ryan Laight who created the magical worlds for the sell-out productions of Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun and White Christmas.
“The show will once again open at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis and this year will tour for the first time to Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Camberley in Surrey as well as returning to it’s popular second home at the Theatre Royal Winchester.”
Actors Briana Paine and Charlotte Fishwick who play Diana Dream and Hildy are delighted to bring the musical to life. Briana said: “It’s our final year as students on Chichester’s flagship musical theatre course and On The Town is a dream production to showcase the talents of the cast, and the research into Bernstein’s incredible work has been a joy. The creative team helping to bring it to life has so much industry experience. It’s a fully-scaled production and we are touring to some of the nicest theatres in the region. It’s an opportunity in our lifetime.”
Kody Mortimer who plays one of the sailors, said: “The course at Chichester is such a great training and gives you so much confidence.”
FULL TOUR DATES:
The show starts at The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis on Thursday 15 March. The complete tour is: Thursday, March 15, 7.30pm – Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Friday, March 16, 7.30pm – Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Sunday, March 18, 7.30pm – Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells; Wednesday, March 21, 7.30pm – Camberley Theatre; Friday, March 23, 7.30pm – Connaught Theatre, Worthing; Sunday, March 25, 7.30pm – Theatre Royal Winchester.