Toe-tapping musical to return to North East

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An award-winning show is to return to the North East to put on the Ritz.

Top Hat, winner of three Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, is on an epic 47-week UK tour, visiting 24 theatres nationwide and returning to the North East to play Sunderland Empire from 24 June – 4 July 2015.

The world premiere stage production of Top Hat opened in the West End at the Aldwych Theatre on 9 May 2012 where it played over 600 performances during its run of nearly two years. Prior to the West End, the production previously enjoyed a sell-out UK Tour in 2011.

Stepping into the shoes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the lead roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont, are Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch, who both return to Top Hat having previously performed these roles in the West End.

They are joined by Clive Hayward who returns as Horace Hardwick, the role he played in the West End, Rebecca Thornhill as Madge Hardwick, Sebastien Torkia as Alberto Beddini and John Conroy as Horace’s valet Bates.

Jerry Travers (Alan Burkitt), the famous American tap dancer, arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont (Charlotte Gooch), the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart. 

With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and based on the RKO motion picture, the screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott has been adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques and is presented by arrangement with RKO Pictures LLC, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures Inc. and the Irving Berlin Music Company. 

Nominated for four Academy Awards, RKO’s Top Hat was the most successful picture of the nine movies Astaire and Rogers made together. It premiered at the Radio City Music Hall in 1935 where it broke all box office records. Within a few weeks, all five songs from the film occupied the top five places on the American Hit Parade. It is still widely regarded as one of the greatest dance musicals of all time.

Performed by a cast of 29 and accompanied by 11 live musicians, this multi award-winning musical comedy includes Irving Berlin classics from the movie such as Cheek to Cheek, Isn’t It a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain and Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.  In addition, from Berlin’s 1200 strong back catalogue, a further ten numbers have been interpolated including well-loved favourites Let’s Face the Music and Dance and Puttin’ On the Ritz.

For tickets, head to the Sunderland Empire’s website.