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American musicals receive London spring season

Published 1 April 2009

Contemporary American musicals The Last 5 Years and tick… tick… BOOM! are to be staged as part of a short series at the Duchess theatre this May with a cast of young West End stars.

The season, together entitled Notes From New York at the Duchess theatre, will fill the time between the early closure of Nicholas De Jongh’s Plague Over England on 2 May and another another show pairing, Collaboration and Taking Sides, which begins its run at the venue on 20 May.

The shows, presented by the team behind the hugely successful Notes From New York series of one-off staged concerts which specialise in showcasing new musical writing, star Notes regulars Paul Spicer and Julie Atherton alongside Paul Keating and Leon Lopez.

The Last 5 Years, which runs from 6-10 May, was previously staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2008, where it also starred Spicer and Atherton, but will be reconceived for the new venue. A two-hander following a five year relationship between Jamie and Cathy, Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle adds a twist to the relationship drama by telling Jamie’s story chronologically while starting Cathy’s story at the end and working to the beginning.

Atherton, who performs in this season during her break from hit puppet musical Avenue Q which reopens at the Gielgud theatre in June, also appears in tick… tick… BOOM! opposite Keating (Little Shop Of Horrors, The Full Monty) and Lopez (Rent). Last seen at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2005, tick… tick… BOOM! is an autobiographical piece by Jonathan Larson, the writer of Rent, exploring his struggle to be accepted as a new musical voice.

In an attempt to make the season as accessible as possible the producers of The Last 5 Years and tick… tick… BOOM! have priced tickets between £10 and £30, also introducing a £50 season ticket for both productions.

MA

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