I Can’t Sing star Cynthia Erivo walks the red carpet at the Olivier Awards 2014 with MasterCard (Photo: Pamela Raith)
I Can't Sing star Cynthia Erivo walks the red carpet at the Olivier Awards 2014 with MasterCard (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Cynthia Erivo leads New World cast

Published May 18, 2015

Rising musical theatre star Cynthia Erivo will lead the cast of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World when it plays at the St James Theatre this summer.

Erivo, who heads to Broadway in the autumn to reprise her acclaimed performance in The Color Purple, is joined in the 20th anniversary staging of Brown’s musical by Jenna Russell, Damian Humbley and Dean-John Wilson.

First staged off-Broadway in 1995, Brown’s Songs For A New World leaps between time periods and locations, from a Spanish ship to a New York penthouse, as it journeys through a collection of life-changing moments.

The production reunites Russell, who won an Olivier Award for her performance in Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday In The Park With George, with her co-star on the Olivier Award-winning Merrily We Roll Along, Humbley.

Adding to the Olivier-ness of the show, Wilson most recently starred the National Theatre’s Here Lies Love, which was nominated for this year’s MasterCard Best New Musical Award.

Brown, who’s The Last Five Years recently received a big screen adaptation, wrote Songs For A New World aged just 25. The show received its UK premiere six years after its US debut, opening at the Bridewell Theatre in 2001.

Songs For A New World is one of a trio of shows to play at the St James Theatre this summer/autumn.

Galipoli-set musical The Dreamers runs from 30 June to 11 July, with Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust Road, which promises to take audiences on a journey through Carmichael’s musical score, playing from 27 October to 21 November.

The Victoria venue is currently staging the world premiere of designer-inspired drama McQueen. Starring Dianna Agron and Stephen Wight, the production is booking to 27 June.