West Side Story won Grammy for Best Musical Show Album

The cast album of ‘West Side Story’ has picked up the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. The announcement was made during the Grammy Awards’ pre-telecast ceremony held at the Los Angels Convention Center. The creative team behind the ‘West Side Story’ new Broadway cast album is Leonard Bernstein, composer; Stephen Sondheim, lyricist. David Caddick & David Lai produced the album which was released by Masterworks Broadway.

WEST SIDE STORY is directed by its two-time Tony Award winning librettist Arthur Laurents with the original Jerome Robbins choreography restaged by Tony Award nomineeJoey McKneely. The new production began previews on Broadway Monday, February 23, 2009, opened to critical acclaim breaking box office records at the Palace Theatre on Thursday, March 19, 2009, and recouped its $14 million investment after running only 30 weeks.

via BroadwayWorld

Girl of the Week: Jemma Rix

Jemma grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, and it was here during her early childhood that her love for performing and entertaining was developed. At 21 she moved to Melbourne to enhance and develop her skills and opportunities as a Musical Theatre performer.

After a number of commercial engagements, Jemma left Australia and headed to Universal Studios Japan where she was initially cast as the Bride of Frankenstein in the Monster Rock and Roll Show. She was then cast as Elphaba in a world first staged adaptation of WICKED. Later, Jemma was thrilled to be a part of the Australian premiere of WICKED in Melbourne. This led to numerous opportunities including performing at the 2008 Carols by Candlelight, WICKED cast performances at Melbourne’s Federation Square and Town Hall, Special Guest Performer at the 2009 Australian Ethnic Business Awards and the 2009 QANTAS Business Awards, AFL pre-match entertainment performances, Singing at the ANZ Rob Guest Endowment Fund Concert and appearing on Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s morning TV show.

Jemma Rix Appreciation Society on Facebook

Elisa Colla to join Wicked Australia as new Nessarose

It was announced that the Australian Production of  Wicked will welcome a new Nessarose,  Elisa Colla, starting performances in March.

With only 21 years, Elisa will make her professional debut in the role of Nessarose, sister of Elphaba after graduating from the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) in 2009.

Elisa said: “I feel so lucky to be cast in this extraordinary show as my first professional musical. It is so magical! I can’t wait to slip into Nessarose’s costume and be a part of this glorious production.”

Penny McNamee, who has played Nessarose for more than 18 months since Wicked first opened in Melbourne in July 2008, is leaving the show to return to work in film and television. After performing Nessarose in almost 650 shows and winning a Green Room Award as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Penny says she is going to miss her Wicked family. “I’m taking away such wonderful friendships from this show,” she said.

The Oz production of Wicked is currently being played at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre

Spice Girls having their Musical

It has been announced recently that a stage production based on the Spice Girls and their music is being created by Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer.

The working title of ‘Viva Forever’ takes its name from the girl group’s 1998 number one single. Mogul Fuller former Spice Girls manager and Craymer will work together to produce the show for London’s West End.
“What Judy has achieved with her all-conquering box office smash hit MAMMA MIA! and what the Spice Girls created with their powerful record-breaking mix of girl power and hit songs, has influenced pop culture more than anyone can imagine,” Fuller added. Craymer said she planned to “create a unique celebration of the band and its music, with its own flavour and joyful message”. She added: “It is important to me that the excitement, style and humour of the Spice Girls is well represented on stage.”

via Mamma Mia

Andy Karl to join Wicked in Broadway as new Fiyero

Andy Karl will join the cast of Wicked in Broadway as the lovely Fiyero. He will start performances on February 2, 2010, with Kevin Kern playing his final performance as Fiyero on January 31.

Karl made his Broadway debut in Saturday Night Fever playing the role of Joey and covering the leading role of Tony Manero. He’s best known for playing homeboy Luke in the original cast of the off-Broadway hit Altar Boyz, UPS guy Kyle in Legally Blonde (opposite wife Orfeh) and Joey, Allison Janney’s office romance, in last season’s 9 to 5.

via Broadway.com

Rachel Tucker and Louise Dearman to join Wicked in West End

Rachel Tucker, former I’d Do Anything finalist, and part of We Will Rock You cast will take up the role of Elphaba in Wicked at the West End’s Apollo Victoria theatre as from 29 March 2010 replacing Alexia Khadime.

Also a new Glinda joins the West End-Ozzian Cast when Louise Dearman will replace Dianne Pilkington  in the role.

The current London company is led by Alexia Khadime as Elphaba and Dianne Pilkington as Glinda and also features Harriet Thorpe (Madame Morrible), Oliver Tompsett (Fiyero) and Sam Kelly (The Wizard).

Rachel Tucker, who came 4th on the reality BBC1 series I’d Do Anything, has most recently been co-presenting The Friday Show with Eamonn Holmes for BBC Northern Ireland. She has just finished playing Meat in the Queen/Ben Elton musical “We Will Rock You” at the Dominion Theatre.

Louise Dearman recently played Eva Peron in the UK national tour of Evita. In the West End she appeared in “Guys and Dolls” at the Piccadilly Theatre and starred as Sarah Brown in the subsequent UK national tour.