15 stars from across the musical theatre world have been confirmed to appear in ‘With A Little Bit Of Lerner’, a project from the BBC Concert Orchestra in association with the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).
On Wednesday 23 May, the BBC Concert Orchestra, under the baton of Broadway maestro Larry Blank, will present an evening of glitz, glamour and charm to mark the 100th birthday of musical theatre icon, Alan J. Lerner, at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
Set to take to the stage are some of the genre’s leading lights. From West End to Broadway, the illustrious cast-list includes Olivier Award-winning actors Alexander Hanson and David Bedella through to international recording artists such as Christine Andreas and Julian Ovenden who take centre-stage alongside popular West End leads, Alexia Khadime and Rob Houchen. Distinguished English actress and singer, and widow of the late Lerner, Liz Robertson leads the cast in this performance.
Actor, Liz Robertson and widow of the late Alan J. Lerner, said: “Alan looked on lyric writing as a popular art form placing it somewhere between photography and woodcarving making him in my eyes a cross between Ansel Adams and Chippendale. I am delighted this project has come together and am thankful to the BBC Concert Orchestra and SOLT for their support in celebrating what would have been Alan’s 100th birthday”.
The full cast comprises Alexander Hanson, Alexia Khadime, Ben Forster, Caroline Sheen, Charlotte Page, Christine Andreas, David Bedella, Jamie Lambert, Julian Ovenden, Linzi Hateley, Liz Robertson, Matt Ford, Rachel Tucker, Rob Houchen and Samantha Bond.
Heralded for his role in crafting some of the most popular and enduring songs for stage and screen, the work of American lyricist and librettist, Alan J. Lerner, alongside Frederick Loewe, and later Burton Lane, continues to resonate with audiences today.
Counting three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards among his many honours, Lerner’s career saw collaborations with some of the genre’s most prolific writers, many of whom are surveyed in this concert celebration as the programme takes a wider look at Lerner’s many other contemporaries and collaborators, such as John Barry, Charles Strouse, and Andre Prévin.
Featuring show-tunes from Brigadoon, Gigi and many more, the extensive line-up of musical-theatre stars will help bring to life Lerner’s music as never before. Presented in two Acts, the evening will move through many of the genre’s most iconic shows, beginning with numbers from My Fair Lady before concluding with music from Burton Lane’s On a Clear Day. New arrangements by Mark Cumberland and Larry Blank will bring a new energy to old classics.
Actor, Julian Ovenden, said: “I am delighted to be returning to the Southbank Centre with the sparkling BBC Concert Orchestra for this survey of the life and work of the great Alan J. Lerner. Alongside this stellar line-up, we’ll look forward to doing justice to some of the greatest and best-loved musical theatre numbers”.
This concert will be recorded for future broadcast on Friday 22 June on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Radio 3 In Concert’ where it will be available to listen again for 30 days thereafter.
Tickets for ‘With a Little Bit of Lerner’ are available now via the Southbank Centre’s website.