HAROLD ARLEN (1905-86), MUSIC
Born and bred in New York, Harold Arlen began his career as an accompanist in vaudeville and appeared occasionally as a band vocalist on records, often singing his own compositions. During his career he wrote over 500 songs, including ‘Get Happy’, ‘Let’s Fall in Love’ and ‘Stormy Weather’ (all with lyrics by Ted Koehler). He had a long and productive partnership with Johnny Mercer with many resulting hits, including ‘That Old Black Magic’, ‘Blues in the Night’ and ‘Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate-the Positive’. Broadway musicals include Bloomer Girl, St Louis Woman, House of Flowers, Jamaica and Saratoga. Films include The Petty Girl, The Farmer Takes a Wife and Gay-Purree. With Ira Gershwin he wrote ‘The Man That Got Away’ for Judy Garland to sing in A Star Is Born. He won an Oscar for the song ‘Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz
E Y HARBURG (1896-1981), LYRICS
Edgar Yipsel Harburg, known as Yip Harburg, was an American popular song lyricist who worked with many of the most famous composers of the 20th century, including George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Jule Styne and Burton Lane. His best known songs, apart from those in The Wizard of Oz, include the perennial standards ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’, ‘April in Paris’ and ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’. Broadway musicals include Bloomer Girl, Finian’s Rainbow, Flahooley, Jamaica and Darling of the Day. Films include Gold Diggers of 1937, At the Circus, Cabin in the Sky and the animated film Gay-Purree. He won an Oscar for the song ‘Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz.
HERBERT STOTHART (1885-1949), ORIGINAL BACKGROUND MUSIC
Herbert Stothart was nominated for nine Oscars and won for Best Original Score for his work on the 1939 film of The Wizard of Oz. As a young man he studied music in Europe and at the University of Wisconsin where he also taught. He worked as a musical director for Arthur Hammerstein and later began writing music for the producer’s nephew Oscar Hammerstein II, including some for the operetta Rose Marie. In 1929 he was signed to a contract by Louis B Mayer and spent the last 20 years of his life at MGM studios working on films includingRose Marie, A Night at the Opera, Anna Karenina, David Copperfield, Madame Curie, Idiot’s Delight, Northwest Passage, Mrs Miniver, Mutiny on the Bounty, National Velvet and What Every Woman Knows.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, PRODUCER, ADDITIONAL MUSIC AND ADAPTATION
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of The Likes of Us, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat®, Jesus Christ Superstar, By Jeeves, Evita, Variations and Tell Me On A Sunday later combined as Song & Dance, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game (now called The Boys in the Photograph), The Woman in White and Love Never Dies. He composed the film scores of Gumshoe and The Odessa File, and a setting of the Latin Requiemmass.
As well as many of his own shows his producer credits include Daisy Pulls It Off, Lend me A Tenor, Shirley Valentine, La Bête, the ground-breaking Bollywood musical A R Rahman’s Bombay Dreams, his smash hit productions of The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium and the films of The Phantom of the Opera and the acclaimed Australian production of Love Never Dies.
He pioneered television casting for musical theatre with the Emmy Award-winning BBC series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and will this year search for someone to perform the title role in an arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
His awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, two International Emmys, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre and the Kennedy Center Honor.
He currently owns six London theatres, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the London Palladium.
He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.
TIM RICE, ADDITIONAL LYRICS
Tim Rice was born in 1944. He began songwriting in 1965 in which year the first song he wrote, ‘That’s My Story’ (tune as well as words), was recorded by a group called The Nightshift whose career never recovered. That same year he met fellow budding songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber whose musical ambitions were in theatre rather than rock or pop. They teamed up and wrote four musicals together from 1965 to 1978. The first, The Likes of Us (1965-66), was performed for the first time in 2005 and became available on CD a mere 40 years after its creation. The other three, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1969-71) and Evita (1976-78) were more immediate successes.
Feeling certain that they could never top this lot, the pair went their separate ways in the early 1980s, whereupon ALW immediately topped that lot with Cats. TR then wroteBlondel (1983), a mediaeval romp, with Stephen Oliver, which ran for a year in London. (It has just been revived as Lute at the University Theatre, El Paso.) In 1984 Tim wroteChess, in collaboration with ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. Chess had a healthy run in the West End from 1986 but flopped on Broadway in 1988, the New York Times bloke (since replaced) being particularly forceful in his disapproval. There have been countless productions worldwide since then, with wide variations in quality and indeed storyline. In 1989 Tim translated the famous French musical Starmania (by Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon) into English, which merely resulted in a hit album – in France.
In the 1990s he worked primarily and happily with the Disney empire, contributing lyrics to the movies Aladdin (music Alan Menken) and The Lion King (music Elton John and Hans Zimmer) and to the stage shows Beauty and the Beast and King David (both Alan Menken), The Lion King and Aida (both Sir Elton). Between Disney commitments he wrote the words for Sir Cliff Richard’s theatrical blockbuster Heathcliff (music John Farrar), which toured the UK in 1995-96. For Dreamworks, he and Sir Elton joined forces yet again to write the score for the 2000 animated film The Road to El Dorado.
Tim has very recently completed the lyrics for a show he is also producing, in partnership with Lee Menzies, From Here to Eternity, with music written by Stuart Brayson, directed by Tamara Harvey, scheduled to open in the West End later in 2012. He is also working on a piece based on the life and times of Machiavelli. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2. In 2010-11 he wrote and presented a 52-part series on the music of every US State, entitled ‘American Pie’.
He has won a variety of awards, mainly for the wrong things, or for simply turning up. These include a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, three Oscars, four Tonys, five or six Grammys and 13 Ivor Novellos. He is a former president of the MCC and chairman of the UK charitable Foundation for Sport and the Arts. Tim lives in London, Cornwall and on the motorway between the two, has three children, his own cricket team and a knighthood. The first volume of his autobiography, Oh What a Circus, was published in September 1999. If his publishers ask, he is currently working on part 2, due out five years ago. In the unlikely event that you want even more info, try www.timrice.co.uk/
JEREMY SAMS, DIRECTOR AND ADAPTATION
Directing includes: The Sound of Music (London Palladium, Toronto, Japan and UK tour), The King and I (Royal Albert Hall), Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory and Trafalgar Studios), 13 the Musical (Broadway), Donkeys’ Years(Comedy), Little Britain Live (UK tour), Noises Off (NT, West End and Broadway),Passion (West End), Wild Oats and Marat/Sade (NT), The Wind in the Willows(Tokyo, Old Vic), Two Pianos, Four Hands (Birmingham Rep, West End), Spend, Spend, Spend (Olivier nominated, Plymouth, West End and tour) and Benefactors(tour, West End).
Lyrics: Amour (Tony nominated) and Ghetto (Broadway).
Translations: Les Parents Terribles, Indiscretions, The Miser and Mary Stuart(NT), The Rehearsal, Becket and Don Giovanni, Figaro’s Wedding, La Bohème, The Magic Fluteand Wagner’s Ring Cycle (ENO) and The Merry Widow (Covent Garden).
As composer: he has written, arranged and directed music for over 50 shows for theatre, television and radio, including The Wind in the Willows and Arcadia(NT), The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), The Mother (BBC), Enduring Love(Pathé, Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Score) and Jane Austen’s Persuasion(BBC Films, BAFTA).
As adaptor: his credits include the book of the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,which has successfully run in London and New York (Olivier nominated).
ARLENE PHILLIPS, CHOREOGRAPHER
Arlene Phillips, OBE first big success came when she formed the dance groupHot Gossip. Since then her career has been exciting and varied: directing, producing, writing, choreographing, presenting and above all, always creating.
Theatre Choreography- The Wizard of Oz, Flashdance, The Sound of Music, Grease, We Will Rock You, Saturday Night Fever, Starlight Express, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar, EFX at the MGM Grand, Matador, Time, A Clockwork Orange (R.S.C.)
Arena and Concert Director– British entry Eurovision Song Contest, Strictly Come Dancing, The Live Tour, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, The James Bond Gala, Midsummer Classics at the Royal Albert Hall, The Bratz UK Arena Tour, Black goes with Everything, and the choreography for An Evening with Gedeminas Tarandas (Bolshoi Ballet).
Ceremonies – Director of Choreography for the Manchester XVII Commonwealth Games, Staging of Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games Official Theme, Amigos Para Sempre.
Film Choreography- Arlene has worked with the directors John Huston (Annie), Ridley Scott (Legend) Clint Eastwood (White Hunter, Black Heart), Ken Russell (Salome’s Last Dance) and Terry Jones (Monty Python’s Meaning of Life).
Television Credits- include Ken Russell’s The ABC of Music, The Benny Hill Show, The Hot Shoe Show, the US syndicated Dancin’ to the Hits, The Kenny Everett Video Showfeaturing dance group Hot Gossip with Sarah Brightman,Blue Peter, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa & Friends, Lesley Garrett – A Night at the Opera and An Evening with Michael Ball, The Brit Awards, The Royal Variety Show, The Prince’s Trust, Children in Need, Party in the Park and the legendaryParty at the Palace.
Music Videos- AC/DC, The Bee Gees, Duran Duran, Erasure, Aretha Franklin, Boy George, Whitney Houston, Joan Jett, Elton John, Kiss, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Queen, Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Robbie Williams. Arlene has choreographed over one hundred TV commercials in England and America including, 7-up, American Express, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Levi Jeans, Vidal Sasoon and Yellow Pages.
TV Appearances- Judge on So You Think You Can Dance, Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly Dance Fever, Grease:The School Musical and DanceX (a show she created with Bruno Tonioli). Presenter of a number of Awards including The NTAs, Oliviers, Mum of the Year, Children of Courage The South Bank Show and The Inspiration Awards. Panellist on shows including Loose Women, Rhod Gilbert, Never Mind the .Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You
Branding- Alana Dancing Star a series of children’s dance books for Faber, an exclusive clothing range for Marisota, fashion jewellery for QVC and an all in one Dancing with Colour make up kit for VIE at Home.
ROBERT JONES, PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Theatre includes: extensive West End credits, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, When We Are Married, Ragtime, The Goodbye Girl, Dance of Death (also Australia), Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Secret Rapture, Benefactors, Lautrec, Jolson (also Canada and Australia), Rock ’n’ Roll (and Broadway), Calendar Girls (and UK tour, Australia and Canada), Heroes (and Los Angeles) The Sound of Music (and Toronto, UK tour and Tokyo). Also, The King and I (Royal Albert Hall), On the Town (ENO and Paris Châtelet). RSC: more than 15 productions, including Pentecost, The Herbal Bed, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VIII (and New York), Othello, The Winter’s Tale and Hamlet. NT: Look Back in Anger, Noises Off (and West End, UK tour and Broadway) and The Playboy of the Western World. Almeida: The Mercy Seat, Ruined, There Came a Gypsy Riding and The Late Henry Moss. Donmar Warehouse: Lobby Hero, Divas, Black Comedy/The Real Inspector Hound and A Voyage Round My Father. Chichester Festival Theatre: The Music Man, Hay Fever, The Water Babies, Cyrano de Bergerac and Saturday Sunday Monday. Also, Rebecca and Aspects of Love (UK tours), Scenes from a Marriage(Belgrade, Coventry) and productions for Hampstead, the Bush, the Tricycle, Sheffield Crucible and Manchester Royal Exchange.
Opera includes: Tristan und Isolde (Tokyo), Giulio Cesare (Glyndebourne, Lille and Chicago), Le Couronnement de Poppée (Paris, Berlin), The Elixir of Love(ENO), Manon Lescaut (Gothenburg), Don Carlo (Frankfurt) and Anna Bolena(Metropolitan Opera, New York).
Film includes: Hamlet with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart (BBC Films/Illuminations). Awards: Robert has been nominated for two Olivier Awards and was the winner of a Canadian Dora Award and Drama Logue Award.
MICK POTTER, SOUND DESIGNER
Mick holds a BA Honours degree in Creative Design from the Central School of Art and Design London.
He has designed the sound for numerous world premiere productions including: Saturday Night Fever (London, New York and worldwide), Starlight Express (Las Vegas, USA Tour, UK tour), Bombay Dreams (London, New York), The Woman In White (London, New York), the largest ever production of Phantom Of The Opera (Las Vegas), the critically acclaimed West End production of Evita (London,) Ich War Noch Neimals In New York (Hamburg, Stuttgart, Oberhausen), Der Schuh Des Manitu (Berlin), Zorro The Musical (London, Paris and worldwide), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit productions of The Sound Of Music (London, Toronto, UK Tour) and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London), Sister Act (London, Hamburg, Stuttgart), Les Misérables International 25th Anniversary Production (London, UK Tour, USA Tour and worldwide), the world premiere of Love Never Dies (London and Australia- Helpmann Award nominee),Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz (London, Toronto),Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Miss Saigon (Tokyo and worldwide) and his new musical Betty Blue Eyes (London),The Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Celebration at the 02 Arena (London),The Phantom Of The Opera 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Royal Albert Hall (London),the new production of The Phantom Of The Opera (UK Tour),Evita (New York).
Mick has created all new sound designs for the London production of Les Misérables and both the London and New York productions of Phantom Of The Opera.
Awards include the 2005 Olivier Award in the UK for Best Sound Design for the London Production of The Woman In White, the 2006 Parnelli Sound Designer Of The Year Award in the USA for Phantom Of The Opera in Las Vegas and the 2011 Green Room Award in Australia for Best Sound Design for Love Never Dies.
HUGH VANSTONE, LIGHTING DESIGNER
Hugh Vanstone has designed the lighting for more than 160 productions and worked for most of the UK’s national companies and on Broadway. He has received three Olivier Awards for Best Lighting Designer: in 2004 for Pacific Overtures (Donmar Warehouse); in 2000 for The Graduate (West End) and The Cherry Orchard (NT); and in 1998 for The Unexpected Man (RSC) and The Blue Room (Donmar Warehouse).
Theatre includes: most recently, Roald Dahl’s Matilda (RSC), Deathtrap (West End), La Bête (West End and Broadway), Shrek (USA tour), The Late Middle Classes (Donmar Warehouse), The Real Thing (Old Vic), Arabian Nights (RSC), A Steady Rain (Broadway) and Tanz der Vampire (Vienna and Stuttgart).
Future projects include: the London opening of Shrek (West End).