That’s Jewish Entertainment

Presented by Aria Entertainment

Why have Jews dominated the entertainment industry? How is it that so many writers, composers, performers, directors and producers are Jewish?

THAT’S JEWISH ENTERTAINMENT presents a cornucopia of Jewish talent, with song, dance and comedy spanning decades of Jewish life. From the shtetls of Eastern Europe to Broadway. From Yiddish folk songs to Hollywood blockbusters.

It’s been a long bitter-sweet journey, and on the way contributors to this entertainment heritage are artists such as:

THE GERSHWIN BROTHERS / AL JOLSON / SOPHIE TUCKER / EDDIE CANTOR / IRVING BERLIN
THE MARX BROTHERS / FANNY BRICE / WOODY ALLEN / MEL BROOKS / BARBRA STREISAND
JACKIE MASON / JERRY HERMAN / SID CAESER / JOAN RIVERS / BETTE MIDLER
…and many, many more!
From Louis B Mayer to Steven Spielberg. From The Jazz Singer to Yentl. From fiddlers in the shtetl to Fiddler on the Roof.

A CENTURY OF JEWISH ENTERTAINMENT – IN ONE SHOW!


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Production Photos: Pamela Raith

7th February – 11th March 2017

Upstairs at the Gatehouse

12th March 2017

Radlett Centre

CAST

MATTHEW BARROW
JOANNA LEE
DAVID McKECHNIE
EMMA ODELL

CREATIVES

WRITER – CHRIS BURGESS
DIRECTOR – 
KATE GOLLEDGE
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS – 
ANDY COLLYER

The MGM Story – World Premiere

Presented by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Szpiezak Productions

The World Premiere!

THE MGM STORY traces the history of the golden age of song and dance and tells the tale of how the studio fostered the talent of stars including Judy Garland and Gene Kelly and composers such as Cole PorterIrving Berlin and many more.

This brand new musical revue will take you back to those timeless classics, with songs from Singin’ in the RainAn American in ParisThe Wizard of Oz and many more, featuring a brand new book by Chris Burgess and musical arrangements by Andy Collyer.

Set on a disused film set, see how the world of the MGM musicals comes alive. Directed and choreographed by Matthew Cole, with a West End cast and band, we welcome you to the world of….. THE MGM MUSICALS!

GOTTA SING, GOTTA DANCE! IT’S A NIGHT OUT AT THE MOVIES – LIVE ON STAGE

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Pics: Danilo Moroni

WRITTEN BY: CHRIS BURGESS
DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER:
MATTHEW COLE
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS:
ANDY COLLYER
MUSICAL DIRECTION:
CHARLIE INGLES
DESIGNER:
EMILY BESTOW
LIGHTING DESIGNER:
JAMES SMITH
CASTING DIRECTOR:
BENJAMIN NEWSOME
TECHNICAL PRODUCTION MANAGER:
CHRIS SILVESTER


2017 UK TOUR DATES

5th February | New Wolsey Theatre – Ipswich

11th February | The Phoenix Theatre – Blyth

14th February | Theatre by the Lake – Keswick

18th February | The Theatre – Chipping Norton

19th February | NST CAMPUS – Southampton

23rd February | Arts Depot – London

26th February | Hope Mill Theatre – Manchester

 

This production is not affiliated or related to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Media company

Seasons Of Larson – World Premiere

Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Guy James present

SEASONS OF LARSON

The life and music of legendary Broadway composer Jonathan Larson will be celebrated in a special one-off concert on Monday 25 January 2016, when Seasons of Larson will play for one night only at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

On 25 January 1996, the day of the first preview of RENT Off-Broadway, its composer Jonathan Larson died unexpectedly at the age of 35. Tragically he would never live to see the impact his work would have, not only on the face of musical theatre but also on a generation of young artists and performers. Nor would he get to hold the numerous awards he posthumously received. 20 years to the day, Seasons of Larson will explore how Larson become a voice for a new generation on the stage, and celebrate his musical legacy that continues to resonate with people all over the world.

Jonathan Larson is best known for his rock musical RENT, for which he posthumously received the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical. RENT played on Broadway for 12 years, making it the 10th longest running show in Broadway history, and has since received productions all over the world. His earlier works include Superbia and tick, tick… BOOM!

Starring: Debbie Kurup, Krysten Cummings, Noel Sullivan, Damien Flood and Anton Stephans.

Guest appearance by Mig Ayesa.

Directed by Grant Murphy

Musically Directed by Gareth Bretherton

MONDAY 25TH JANUARY 2016

#NODAYBUTTODAY

THANK YOU JONATHAN LARSON

@SeasonsOfLarson

Pics by Claire Bilyard

The Secret Garden


 

Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Knockhardy Productions present THE SECRET GARDEN

The Secret Garden Broadway Musical by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon enjoyed a 7 performance tour around the UK in the Autumn of 2013.

It ran at Guildford Yvonne Arnaud, St Albans Arena, Fairfield Halls, Trinity Theatre and Buxton Opera House.

It previously has enjoyed a run at The King’s Head Theatre, London and a sell-out performance at Greenwich Theatre as part of the Greenwich Children’s festival.

“Open the door to a world of secrets….”

There’s a door to a garden which has been locked for many years, the key buried and all but forgotten…
When Mary Lennox is orphaned, she must return from India to live with her distant uncle in Yorkshire. With a blossoming friendship with local boy Dickon, Mary begins to take an interest in the mysterious house she now lives and is entranced by the garden…but can she unlock the secrets that are held within?
“A little bit of earth… allows love and happiness to grow…”

From the producing team behind The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Arts Theatre) and The Children of Eden Gala Concert (Prince Edward Theatre), Aria Entertainment and Knockhardy Productions bring the three times Tony Award winning musical The Secret Garden to life in an intimate concert at the King’s Head Theatre, Islington.

Reviews Of The Secret Garden:

“If it were possible to award this show more than 5 stars, then I would, but 5 is sadly the maximum. The most beautiful music I have heard in a long time.” (West End Wilma 5*)

“The Secret Garden In Concert may not be a huge West End production, but it certainly packs a punch along with the bright lights of the bigger shows in Shaftesbury Avenue.” (sosogay.com 4*)

“This concert production of the show is very special and appeals to all ages, something which very few shows manage to achieve.” (West End Frame 4*)

“The simplicity of the production compliments the blossoming melodies of the score and the unexpectedly humorous dialogue. Plus, the performances from the cast fill the small, intimate space at The King’s Head beautifully.” (sosogay.com 4*)

“Every actor was magnificent and sent several shivers down my spine.” (West End Wilma 5*)

“Mary Lennox, played by Ana Martin, is wonderfully obnoxious and endearing. Her temperament plays off perfectly against Alexander Evan’s exquisite portrayal of Archibald Craven.” (What’s Peen Seen 5*)

“Donovan’s wide-eyed charm is just lovely to watch.” (The Public Reviews 4*)

“Zoë Curlett as Lily has a simply stunning voice, and packs aching emotion into every glorious note. Rachael McCormick brings fun and likeability to the bumbling Martha.” (sosogay.com 4*)

“Jordan Lee Davis as Dickon…infused his bright and poppy tunes with a magical power of creation which lit up the stage.” (BroadwayBaby.com 4*)

“Director Matthew Gould has created a tender, bewitching piece powerful enough to reach out and touch you.” (What’s Peen Seen 5*)

“The orchestra sound simply stunning, and add even more emotion to an already picturesque production.” (sosogay.com 4*)

“The Secret Garden really does offer a remarkable opportunity to hear an excellent, if somewhat neglected, piece of musical theatre, delivered to an excellent standard.” (The Public Reviews 4*)

“As a concert this is an unmissable, first class presentation of a musical that deservedly needs re-visiting.” (Fourthwall Magazine 4*)

Cast:

Archibald Craven – Alexander Evans
Neville Craven – Ian Knauer
Lily – Zoe Curlett
Martha – Ashleigh Gray
Dickon – Jordan Lee-Davies
Mrs Medlock – Pippa Winslow
Ben Weatherstaff – Martin Johnston
Colin Craven – Elliot Jones and Finlay Banks
Mary Lennox – Anastasia Martin and Olivia Hallett
Male Ensemble and u/s Ben/Archi – Colin Zammit
Male Ensemble u/s Dickon/Nev – Danny Whitehead
Female Ensemble u/s Martha/Lily – Kirsty Marie Ayers

Creative Team:

Directed by Matthew Gould

Musical Direction by David Keefe

Desgined by Francisco Rodriguez-Weil

Lighting Design by Tom Kitney

Sound Design by Kirsty Gillmore

Casting by Benjamin Newsome

The Jewish Legends – World Premiere


Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment presents

THE JEWISH LEGENDS

A celebration of some of the greatest Jewish performers in entertainment history.

Why did American Jews find such success in the world of entertainment? Because they arrived in America in the late nineteenth century with nothing but a gift to peddle. And what better to peddle than a song, a dance or a comic routine.

This show uniquely explores a century of song, dance and comedy with a nod to some legendary performers such as Streisand, Jolson, Midler, Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice and Groucho Marx. Song writers include Burt Bacharach.

Their songs, their lives, their stories.

Written by Chris Burgess

Musical Arrangements by Andy Collyer

Directed by Stewart Nicholls

Musically Directed by Lee Freeman/Freddie Tapner

Cast includes: Molly Walsh, Kimberly Moses, Martin Milnes, Joanna Lee, Steven Serlin and Martin Neely.

Pics by Jamie Scott-Smith

Reviews:

London Theatre – 5*

“..the cast don’t just sing their way through the performance but provide witty and informative background information on some of the true greats”

“..had the audience rocking with laughter”

“it was the music that was the real attraction with literally something for everyone”

“There were show tunes, easy listening, emotional killers and wonderful comic songs”

“The performers were absolutely brilliant and it’s really difficult to pick out a particular highlight in this well crafted production”

“…left me really hoping for once that there was going to be a The Jewish Legends 2 – the Sequel” – Remote Goat

“The whole company led by Martin Neely gives a joyous impersonation of Groucho Marx”

 

Rags The Musical – Ŵest End Charity Concert

RAGS THE MUSICAL – IN CONCERT
Monday 28th April 2014
A charity gala in aid of the charity CENTREPOINT, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people.

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY

Coming to London’s West End for the first time ever, RAGS The Musical played for one night only in a special concert adaptation at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

RAGS The Musical opened on Broadway in 1986, receiving Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. With music written by Charles Strouse (Annie), lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), and a book by Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof), West End audiences will see – for the very first time – this beautiful and powerful musical on stage.

Telling the tale of a group of Jewish immigrants as they arrive to start a new life in America, RAGS The Musical is a story of love, loss and hope. Featuring a score celebrating the multicultural music which was filling the streets on New York in 1910, this concert version features all of the show’s major songs, including Children of the Wind, Wanting and Penny A Tune.

RAGS The Musical – In Concert was produced by Aria Entertainment and Knockhardy Productions, in aid of Centrepoint, whose previous West End charity concerts include Children of Eden at The Prince of Wales Theatre, and Cinderella Boom or Bust at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

The cast included..

Rebecca – Caroline Sheen
Saul – Tim Rogers
Avram – Matt Zimmerman
Bella – Leila Benn Harris
Ben – James Yeoburn
Rachel – Jenny Logan
David – Sebastian Croft
Nathan – Graham MacDuff

Ensemble: Amelia Adams-Pearce, Shirley Jameson, Ben Stock, Marc Joseph, Danny Whitehead

Directed by Bronagh Lagan

Musical Direction by Caroline Humphris

Choreography by Grant Murphy

NOMINATED AS THEATRICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR BY WHATSONSTAGE

Reviews:

WHATS ON STAGE

A fabulous band on stage. Crisply led by Caroline Humphris, the 11 musicians changed instruments at an extraordinary rate as they made up for the fact that the Rags score is intended for a total of 25 players.

Caroline Sheen as the resilient Rebecca showed a thrilling vocal range and an engaging presence.

There were fine performances too from Leila Benn Harris as Bella, trying to break from the stifling past her father Avram (Matt Zimmerman) clings to. She’s helped along by the husband-hunting widow Rachel, played with wit and charm by Jenny Logan.

The ensemble was boosted by young performers from ArtsEd who bring energy and zest to the big company numbers like “Bread and Freedom”, and the spine-tingling “Children of the Wind”.

Maureen Lipman as Narrator proved the icing on the cake. Who better to bring the necessary wry humour and warmth to Rags?

Centrepoint will rightly benefit from this one-off staging, but it would be satisfying to see such a promising production given a longer lease of life.

POST SCRIPT JOURNAL

Rags in Concert was an absolute triumph, surprising and moving. Rather than a concert version, Lipson and Lagan took the adventurous decision to present an almost fully staged version of this neglected score. Costumes, choreography and a superb cast combined to make Rags an absolute treat for the eyes and ears.

The richness of the music, with its recurring Klezmer motifs and layered, complex score were beautifully brought to life in a performance that moved many, including myself to tears. If Caroline Sheen never gets to realise her role as Rebecca in a fully staged version, then musical theatre will be by far the poorer.

Rags is a score in the tradition of great musicals, its structure, its content and its form follow on, in a direct linear trajectory, from the Golden Age of musicals. But that line connects not just back to the Golden Age of musicals, but to drama, to Shakespeare, to Euripides. A musical is a part of that theatrical lineage, not removed from it.

ENTERTAINMENT FOCUS 4****

Excellent traditional Jewish-inspired score of Charles Strouse to life whilst the actors performed the songs around them.

Maureen Lipman as one of Britain’s top Jewish actors, she was the perfect choice,

Given that the actors didn’t have the full dialogue to work with, they were remarkably efficient at presenting rounded characters, and hearing the orchestrated hits sung live proved a thrilling experience.

The wonderful Caroline Sheen was impressive in the lead role of Rebecca, capturing her odd combination of feistiness and insecurity as an outsider.

‘Children of the Wind’, left many a spine tingling and more than a few pairs of eyes misting over.

Graham MacDuff and Tim Rogers provided neat contrasts as the love rivals;

the dashing James Yeoburn dazzled us as Ben

Rags is an overlooked musical that has a gripping story and a great moral and social heart. It may be set a century ago, but its themes and very human stories are universal and timeless.

Rags the Musical in Concert was a flavour of what a full production of the show could offer the West End, and a reminder of the class of the music and the power of the story. Is it too much to hope for a revival soon, preferably with this cast?

REMOTE GOAT 4****

Had this been the production that had opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on 21st August 1986, it would probably still be running.

The evening opened with the brilliant Caroline Humphris leading an eleven strong band

inventive, catchy songs and there is a surprising amount of (very good) staging from director Bronagh Lagan and choreographer Grant Murphy.

The excellent cast were “off-book” and fully costumed – if it wasn’t for the narration and the ‘Thriller’ set I would have thought it was a fully staged production – and a good one at that!

A wonderful evening.

Stand out performances came from Caroline Sheen as Rebecca, Tim Rogers as Saul, James Yeoburn as Ben and the hilarious Jenny Logan as Rachel.

The star of the evening (besides the band) was the young Sebastian Croft as David. I am sure we are going to see a lot of him in the future.

Children of Eden – Ŵest End Charity Concert


A star studded Gala performance of this lost musical in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis research starring Gareth Gates, Brenda Edwards, Russell Grant with guest performance by Kerry Ellis.

This production was co-produced with Tony Green in January 2012.

Direction by Drew Baker
Musical Direction by James Draisey
Design by Ben M. Rogers

Reviews:

I saw a wonderful cast of stellar West End talent bringing their hearts, souls and glorious voices  to a one-night charity benefit concert performance of musical Children Of Eden. The Stage – Mark Shenton

Dearman was the highlight of the evening – gorgeous vocals, delicate acting and a fantastic frock made for a compelling performance. Anton Stephans had the challenging task of playing God, which he did beautifully, making his Creator a very human Father. Broadway World Review – Carrie Dunn

The charity gala showed off some of the west end’s best talent, with the wonderful cast including Louise Dearman, Oliver Thornton and a guest performance from Kerry Ellis. In addition there was a choir made up of 36 professionals and theatre students who sounded beautiful and added a softness to some of the songs. The whole night was a brilliant one in aid of a fantastic charity and hopefully helped raise a lot of money. Backstage Pass – Steve Stubbs and Louise Miles

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