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Wonderful Town At The Lowry

Connie Fisher stars in less than six weeks at the lovely waterside venue

Published on February 15th 2012.


Wonderful Town At The Lowry

SATURDAY 31 March will see the opening of Wonderful Town – the culmination of a landmark collaboration between the Royal Exchange Theatre, The Hallé Orchestra and The Lowry.

After several years in development, this brand new production of Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, starring Connie Fisher is playing an extra week at The Lowry due to demand, running until Saturday 21 April, prior to the UK tour.

The indomitable pair meet an array of colourful characters along the way, creating chaos at every turn in their search for romance, success and a free meal from Walgreen’s deli.

The night will feature for the first time that Music Director Sir Mark Elder will conduct a musical for The Hallé Orchestra.  It's also the first time that a full symphony orchestra will have played in a theatre orchestra pit in this country.

Speaking about this major creative event, Sir Mark said: “Manchester and Salford are leading the way in artistic collaboration. When I moved to Manchester in 2000, The Lowry was just about to open. Ever since first seeing the Lyric Theatre I have harboured an ambition to put our wonderful orchestra in that pit. The opportunity to do so as part of a production of such a great show – with the skill and talents of Braham and his team at the Royal Exchange – really is an ambition achieved.”

Conversely, this will be the last time that Braham Murray will direct a production as Joint Artistic Director of The Royal Exchange Theatre before his retirement.

He said: “The Royal Exchange has always wanted to collaborate with The Hallé on a grand scale and it doesn't come much grander than this. Also, The Lowry had talked to us about collaboration in principle some time ago but there was nothing around at the time. Then when Wonderful Town came along I remembered that conversation. I didn't know Wonderful Town. I fell in love with it. The music is marvellously inventive, the script is brilliantly funny, the whole a zany celebration of New York. After the auditions we wrote down our first choice selection for all the major parts and that is the cast you will see.”

Artistic Director, Robert Robson, who is responsible for The Lowry’s commissioning and producing activities as well as the development of new and emerging artists and companies, said: “We are delighted for The Lowry to be a partner in this unique and exciting collaboration on this great piece of musical theatre with the three major arts organisations in the north west.”

Wonderful Town will be presented in The Lowry’s acclaimed Lyric Theatre, which has already gained an unrivalled reputation for its staging of some of the world’s most popular musicals.

The full forces of The Hallé Orchestra will be conducted by its Music Director Sir Mark Elder until 14 April. From Mon 16 – Sat 21 April, all performances will be conducted by Wonderful Town’s Musical Director James Burton.

Connie Fisher, star of The Sound of Music and of the BBC’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? plays aspiring writer Ruth Sherwood who arrives in New York with her beautiful younger sister Eileen. The indomitable pair meet an array of colourful characters along the way, creating chaos at every turn in their search for romance, success and a free meal from Walgreen’s deli.

Connie said: “I have always enjoyed playing comedy and the part of Ruth is such a great comic role. As if that opportunity wasn't great enough, I also get to sing with the Hallé and work at The Lowry, Awesome.”

Wonderful Town first premiered in New York in 1953 where it won five Tony Awards including Best Musical. The 2003 revival also won further Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Wonderful Town was last performed in London’s West End in 1986.

The cast for Wonderful Town also includes; Lucy van Gasse, Michael Xavier, Haydn Oakley, Joseph Alessi, Michael Matus, Sevan Stephan, Nic Greenshields, Tiffany Graves, Annette Yeo, Paul Hawkyard, Natalie Moore-Williams, Katy Hards, Lucinda Lawrence, Lucy James, Frankie Jenna, Oliver Roll, Bob Harms, Peter McPherson, Matt Wilman, Giovanni Spanó, Liam Wrate and Alain, Terzoli.

Following the run at The Lowry in spring 2012, Wonderful Town will tour the UK for 11 weeks.

LISTINGS INFORMATION - THE LOWRY, SALFORD QUAYS Sat 31 March – Sat 21 April 2012

Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ. Box Office: 0843 208 6000. Website: www.thelowry.com Times: 7.30pm. Sat 7, Wed 11, Sat 14, Wed 18 & Sat 21 April @ 2.30pm. No show Sun. Tickets £26.50 - £42.50.Previews: Sat 31 March & Mon 2 April 2012 £22 - £35. Captioned Performance: Wed 11 April 7.30pm. Signed Performance: Thu 12 April 7.30pm. Audio Described Performance: Sat 14 April 2.30pm. Touch Tour 1.30pm.

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