Casting and creatives announced for the professional European première of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro.
Full casting and creative team are announced today for the eagerly awaited professional European première of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro, which opened on Broadway in 1947, and was their third collaboration for the stage following Oklahoma! and Carousel.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro, with music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, will open for a 6-week season in The Large at Southwark Playhouse from Friday 5 August and run until Saturday 10 September. Press night is Thursday 11 August at 7.30pm. It is produced by Danielle Tarento and directed by Thom Southerland, the award-winning team behind Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel, Titanic, Parade and Mack & Mabel. Southerland is working on a new adaptation of the book and the production will have brand new orchestrations.
In 1905 in a small Midwestern town, the wife of a local doctor gives birth to a baby boy, Joseph Taylor Jr. Allegro chronicles nearly four decades in the life of this average Joe – through his childhood, from college dorm to marriage altar, and on to his own medical career; from the tranquility of his hometown to the hectic din of big city life and a mid-life discovery of who he is and what his life is truly about, ultimately learning the most important lessons of all – the value of family, that money isn’t everything and that home really is where the heart is.
Cast: Katie Bernstein (Emily West) has just played Peggy in Mrs Henderson Presents. Her other West End roles include Little Becky Two Shoes in Urinetown. Emily Bull (Jennie Brinker) was in Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd at the ENO and played Cosette in Les Misérables in the West End. David Delve (Ned Brinker) was most recently Colonel-Doctor Otternschlag in Grand Hotel at Southwark Playhouse. Julia J Nagle (Marjorie Taylor) appeared in the West End and on tour in Dirty Dancing and was Susan in Company at Southwark Playhouse. Dylan Turner (Charlie Townsend)’s West End shows include Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Chariots of Fire and Rock Of Ages. Susan Travers (Grandma Taylor) has made countless stage and screen appearances over her long career, including the European première of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s State Fair at Trafalgar Studios. Gary Tushaw (Joseph Taylor Jr) was in Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd at the ENO. Steve Watts (Dr Taylor) appeared in Chariots Of Fire in the West End and The Mikado at Charing Cross Theatre. They are joined by Cassandra McCowan, Matthew McDonald, Louise Olley, Benjamin Purkiss, Jacqueline Tate, Samuel Thomas, Leah West and Matthew Woodyatt.
The full creative team are: Director Thom Southerland, Orchestrator Mark Cumberland, Musical Director Dean Austin, Choreographer Lee Proud, Set Designer Anthony Lamble, Costume Designer Jonathan Lipman, Lighting Designer Derek Anderson, Sound Designer Andrew Johnson, Producer & Casting Director Danielle Tarento.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer, 1902-79) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist, 1895-1960) joined forces in 1943 to create the most successful partnership in the American musical theatre. Prior to his work with Hammerstein, Rodgers collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on a series of musical comedies that epitomized the wit and sophistication of Broadway in its heyday. Among their greatest successes were Pal Joey, On Your Toes and Babes in Arms. Throughout the same era Hammerstein brought new life to the operetta, culminating in the masterpiece, Show Boat (music by Jerome Kern).
Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, blending Rodgers’ musical comedy style with Hammerstein’s innovations in operetta. Oklahoma! was followed by Carousel, State Fair (film ’45, ’62; Broadway ‘96), Allegro, South Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Cinderella (television ’57, ’65, ’97; Broadway ‘13), Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music. Collectively, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals have earned Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, Grammys, and Olivier Awards.
Thom Southerland (Director)
Thom was recently named Artistic Director at Charing Cross Theatre. His opening season of major musicals, produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan Williams, includes the return of his acclaimed multi award-winning Titanic and the European première of Death Takes a Holiday. He was longlisted Best Newcomer in the 2011 Evening Standard Awards for Parade. He was named Best Director at the 2011 The Offies – Off West End Theatre Awards – for Me And Juliet at the Finborough. He directed Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel, Titanic, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel and Parade (Southwark Playhouse); The Smallest Show on Earth (Mercury Theatre, Colchester & tour);Jerry Herman’s The Grand Tour (Finborough) The Mikado (Charing Cross Theatre), Daisy Pulls It Off, Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam! (Upstairs At The Gatehouse); the European première of I Sing!, Divorce Me, Darling!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pajama Game and sold-out all-male adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (Union); Noël and Gertie (Cockpit); the European première of The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Landor); and the European première of State Fair (Finborough & transfer to Trafalgar Studios) .
Danielle Tarento (Producer and Casting Director)
Danielle was named Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and won Best Off West End Production at the 2014 Whatsonstage Awards and Best Musical Production at the 2014 Off West End Awards for Titanic at Southwark Playhouse. She has also produced Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel, Dogfight, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel, Parade, Company and Three Sisters at Southwark Playhouse; Pure Imagination: The Songs of Leslie Bricusse (St James Theatre), Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola); Burlesque,Drowning on Dry Land (Jermyn Street); Noël and Gertie (Cockpit). She is co-founder of the Menier Chocolate Factory and co-produced all in-house shows 2004 – 2006, including Sunday In The Park With George, which received a West End transfer and 5 Olivier Awards.She is co-producing the current season of musicals at Charing Cross Theatre.
presents the profesional
European première of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Presented by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe
77-85 Newington Causeway
London SE1 6BD
Friday 5 August – Saturday 10 September