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This week’s Top Tune salutes the launch of esteemed theater company Menier Chocolate Factory London‘s upcoming revival of Cy Coleman‘s 1980 hit Broadway musical Barnum. Winner of 3 Tony’s and starring Jim Dale, Glenn Close and Kevin Kline, the original Broadway production (based on the life of “the greatest showman on earth”, P.T. Barnum) ran for 854 performances at The St. James Theater and spawned several successful touring productions in London, Australia, and Madrid.
The musical features a score by Coleman (who was also a producer of the show), lyrics by Michael Stewart and a book by Mark Bramble. The original director-choreographer Joe Layton deftly turned the theatre into a circus combining real life circus performers with musical theater singers and dancers. This London revival runs November 25 through March 3rd and is directed by Gordon Greenberg with choreography by Rebecca Howell and features Marcus Brigstocke as P.T. Barnum.
We’re thrilled to note that the UK revival coincides with the release of a new recording of the score; Harbinger Records along with The Musical Theater Project presents the Barnum Backers’ Audition. Backers’ auditions are the stuff of theatrical lore (explains Coleman biographer Andy Propst). A composer and lyricist set up in a living room or perhaps a restaurant somewhere in Manhattan and, in front of well-heeled potential investors for the newest show, set about performing what they’ve created. If all goes well, at the end of the informal presentation, checks are written or financial commitments are made, allowing the producers to proceed with starting the show to Broadway. The recording is a rare and joyous look into the birth of a major musical performed by the authors themselves!
Contact & Licensing Info:
“One Brick At a Time” music: Cy Coleman, lyrics: Michael Stewart. Published by Notable Music Co. ASCAP
Contact: Damon Booth / email@example.com
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing / Contact: Sean McGraw / firstname.lastname@example.org
Master controlled by Sony Music Group