That Was the Week That Was, May 2-8

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After last week’s round of shows that announced their imminent West End returns, this past week saw Matilda added to the list; so we now have The Mousetrap (from May 17, with two casts), Death Drop (May 19), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (May 20), Les Miserables — the Staged Concert (May 20-September 5, then the full production from September 25), Six (May 21), Prince of Egypt (July 2), The Comeback (July 7-25), Pretty Woman (July 8), Come from Away (July 22), The Phantom of the Opera (July 27), Witness for the Prosecution (August 3), Mary Poppins (August 7), Tom Stoppard’s Leopodstadt (August 7), Hamilton (August 19), Mamma Mia! (August 25), The Woman in Black (September 7), Wicked (September 15), & Juliet (September 24) and Only Fools and Horses (October 1).

And this week also saw the official announcement of Broadway’s return, too; first out of the gate with its announcement was the longest-running Broadway musical of them all, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera (from October 22, at the Majestic Theatre, pictured above by Kieran Brown); but beginning sooner is Broadway’s longest-running American musical of all time, Chicago (from September 14, pictured below).

Also, the most recent British export that was due to open on Broadway on March 12 last year, the fateful night when Broadway was entirely shut down, has announced new dates, resuming performances September 17 prior to a new gala opening night on October 3. And Diana, a new American musical about a very British subject, namely the late Princess of Wales, will begin performances December 1; the same date that the brand-new revival of The Music Man is due to begin its run at the Winter Garden, though its original producer Scott Rudin, who put it all together, has now stepped away from the show after being exposed as a serial bully of his own staff. My weekly column that updates new and returning shows for the West End, other theatres beyond London, major regional theatres and tours, and festivals appears every Monday; starting tomorrow, I will also be adding Broadway opening dates.

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My column is my weekly That’s the Week That Was feature for April 25-May 1, which you can find here.

  • Online concert of the day:
    My regular Sunday night date is with “Broadway’s Mayor” Seth Rudetsky, who does a weekly online version of his cabaret-and-chat shows with Broadway stars that I’ve seen him do regularly in Provincetown every summer. The same producer Mark Cortale now presents this globally accessible continuation of the same format. Tonight’s guest is the original star of Annie — Andrea McArdle, just a tiny tot then in a red dress, now a grandmother!
  • Farewell of the day:
  • Regional former theatrical and concert venue under threat:
  • My theatrical tweet of the day:

My column for today is here.

  • News announcement of the day:
  • Comedy celebrity tweet of the day:
  • And comedian trapped on a ledge tweet of the day:
  • Thought of the day:


My column for today is here.

  • West End casting announcement of the day:
  • Regional theatre announcement of the day:

* Regional theatre re-opening of the day:

A suggestion for an embroidery protest:

  • Funding protest of the day:


My column for today is here.

  • Regional theatre announcement of the day:
  • Theatre book of the day:
  • From the theatrical archive:
  • More reasons to visit Manchester (apart from Manchester International Festival):


My column for today is here.

  • First Broadway show to announce return:
  • Another Broadway return:
  • West End return of the day:
  • Young Vic announces return season from July 9:

* Regional tour news of the day:

  • Executive appointment of the day:
  • My favourite British living composer, bar none:


My column (and podcast) for today is here.

  • West End news of the day (via Baz Bamigboye):
  • Rumour of the day (also via Baz Bamigboye):
  • Casting news of the day:
  • Most ominous West End musical announcement of the day:
  • Music release of the day:

Broadway news of the day:

Scott Rudin tweet of the day:


My column for today is here.

  • Personal news of the day:

SUNDAY MAY 2: Stephen Daldry, 60; Michael Grandage, 59;David Suchet, 75

MONDAY MAY 3: Patti Boulaye, 67; Rob Brydon, 56; Peter Duncan, 67; Ben Elton, 62; Rebecca Hall, 39; Sandi Toksvig, 63; Franki Valli, 87; Stephen Warbeck, theatre and film composer, 68

TUESDAY MAY 4: Michael Barrymore, 69; actor Freddie Fox, 32 (pictured with his father Edward Fox, in AN IDEAL HUSBAND at the Vaudeville, in 2018, above left);  musical theatre actor Liz Robertson, 67; Pia Zadora, 68

WEDNESDAY MAY 5: Richard E Grant, 64 (pictured in God of Carnage, on tour in 2009, above right); Dilys Watling, 78

THURSDAY MAY 6: Barry Burnett, agent; Ariel Dorfman, playwright (Death & the Maiden), 79; Scott Frankel, composer (Grey Gardens, War Paint), 58; Kerry Ellis, 42 (pictured as Elphaba in Wicked, above left); Alison Jiear, 55; Richard Mawbey, wigmaker (to the stars!)

FRIDAY MAY 7: Nick Hytner, former artistic director at National Theatre, now at the Bridge, 65

SATURDAY MAY 8: Marcus Brigstock, 48; Roddy Doyle, novelist, 63 (whose book The Commitments became a West End musical); Phyillida Law, 89; Gary Wilmot, 67 (pic: in ME AND MY GIRL at the Adelphi Theatre, 1989