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Sondheim’s Saturday Night transfers to Arts theatre

Published 16 March 2009

Stephen Sondheim’s musical Saturday Night, which enjoyed a sell-out season at Jermyn Street theatre, is to transfer to the Arts theatre later this month.

Starring Helena Blackman, runner up in the BBC’s original search for a West End star, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Saturday Night runs at the Arts from 25 March to 11 April.

Set in 1929, just prior to the Wall Street Crash, Saturday Night is a musical comedy telling the story of a group of friends who dream of escaping their everyday Brooklyn lives and joining New York’s glittering high society.

Based on the Epstein brothers’ play Front Porch In Flatbush, Saturday Night was written in the 1950s when Sondheim was just 23. Due to make its – and Sondheim’s – Broadway debut in 1955, when the lead producer Lemuel Ayers died, it sapped both the production’s cash and morale. Although the musical’s songs were performed separately in revues and on albums, it was not until 1997 that it received its long overdue premiere when it was staged at London’s Bridewell theatre.

Since rising to fame in How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Blackman has gone on to star in productions including South Pacific, The Wizard Of Oz and Gypsy. She is joined in the cast of this Tom Littler-directed production by David Ricardo-Pearce, Joanna Hickman and Charlie Cameron.

Saturday Night follows psychological thriller Toyer, which closes at the Arts theatre on 21 March.

MA

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