There are a variety of theatrical-themed events which have proven so popular with audiences that they’ve become an annual tradition, such as MADTrust’s West End Eurovision. The month of May might be one to circle on this year’s calendar as, not only does it mark the return of the West End tribute to the Eurovision Song Contest, but it is to play host to another much-loved annual event: The Night of 1000 Stars.
Formerly known as The Night of 1000 Voices, the charity gala has been celebrating musical theatre in its own unique manner since 1999, when it first took over the stage of the Royal Albert Hall as a centenary celebration for The National Opera and Dramatic Association with a performance from 1000 NODA members. Every year since then, the gala has commemorated and extolled the contributions of a respected musical theatre figure or a particular aspect of the industry, such as ‘The Broadway Musical’, and in 2013, eminent Broadway director and producer Hal Prince follows in the footsteps of such individuals as Tim Rice, Stephen Sondheim and Trevor Nunn when The Night of 1000 Stars puts on a never-to-be-forgotten celebration of his work.
This year’s event takes place once again at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 5th May 2013, featuring a wealth of West End and Broadway stars performing songs from a wide selection of the award-winning Prince’s shows, including Cabaret, Candide, Company, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Follies, A Little Night Music, Parade, The Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story. Some of the biggest and best names in the business have performed at previous galas, names like Bonnie Langford, Michael Ball, Philip Quast, Caroline Sheen, Peter Polycarpou, Helena Blackman, Daniel Boys, Sally Ann Triplett, Kerry Ellis and Colm Wilkinson, to name but a few. The Night of 1000 Stars are sure to impress once more with their line-up for the 2013 event which features such high-profile performers as Heather Headley and Debbie Kurup, who are currently starring in the West End musical-adaption of The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre – Headley leads as superstar singer ‘Rachel Marron’, while Kurup plays her envious sister ‘Nicki Marron’. They will be joined by other musical theatre greats like Alex Bourne (London West End Annie), Tiffany Graves, Ian Knauer, Shona Lindsay, Marcus Lovett, Katie Rowley-Jones, Denise Van Outen, Tabitha Webb and Kristin Beth Williams. There will also be further involvement in the event from the Danish actor Christian Lund, composer Jason Robert Brown, TV actor Len Cariou (Blue Bloods) and Kenneth Nichols (Show Boat), as well as an introduction from Alan Titchmarsh.
The performers on the night will be accompanied by the West End Chorus and The City of London Philharmonic, along with Stephen Disley on the Hall’s resplendent organ. Musical supervision comes from Kevin Amos and Stuart Morley, with choreography by Kevan Allen and the English National Ballet’s Dmitri Gruzdyev. Hugh Wooldridge, who is to direct the night’s proceedings, said of the event: “This evening is a must for all who love musicals. Come along and hear the best performers in the world performing some of the world’s greatest songs. Come and join in the fun; come and raise funds for a most splendid charity at the Royal Albert Hall.”
Each year, The Night of 1000 Stars raises funds for a chosen charity and has raised nearly half a million pounds for UK-based charities to date. This year, the chosen charity is once again Gloria Hunniford’s cancer support charity The Caron Keating Foundation, which gives a significant number of grants throughout Britain and has made a considerable difference to individuals and families who are affected by, and dealing with, cancer. Gloria Hunniford, who founded the charity in the name of her daughter, said: “We receive no Government support and our Foundation, in the name of our gorgeous Caron, is entirely reliant on generous people coming together to raise funds and awareness of the scourge of cancer. We are so grateful to everyone for supporting the Caron Keating Foundation. Thank you all.”
The Night of 1000 Stars has delighted audiences for the past 13 years with its blend of stellar performers from London and New York, all of who come together for a unique celebration of musical theatre in aid of a worth cause. It’s a night not to be missed, and on Sunday 5th May 2013, there are not only going to be 1000 stars on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall, but also in the eyes of its privileged audience.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Tuesday 5th February 2013