Must-see concerts this summer and beyond

Friday, May 17, 2024

Catch Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! and Carousel, as well as the UK premiere of Something Rotten! and the world premiere of Figaro

We seem to be in a real golden age for Musical Theatre concert productions and there are no signs of it slowing down.

Jamie Muscato (of Heathers and Moulin Rouge fame) will star as the troubled carnival barker Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Royal Festival Hall on 13 July. Muscato will be joined by Christine Allado as Julie Jordan and Rebecca Caine as Nettie Fowler in this classic tale of ill-fated love last seen in London in 2021 at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

There’s more Rodgers and Hammerstein to come later this summer. On 19 and 20 August, Zizi Strallen will be joined by Phil Dunster in Oklahoma!, marking the iconic musical’s 80th anniversary (slightly belatedly, as it was first performed on Broadway in 1943). Returning to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it made its West End premiere back in 1947, the production will feature the original 28-piece orchestrations performed by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra under the baton of Ben Glassberg.

After plans for a full West End transfer in 2020 were scuppered by the pandemic, the Tony award-winning Something Rotten! is making its much anticipated first trip across the Atlantic. Headed up by Jason Manford as Nick Bottom, the irreverent tale of a downtrodden theatre troupe trying to out-do their rival, a certain William Shakespeare, takes to the stage at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 5 and 6 August.

And, looking ahead to next year, Ashley Jana and Will Nunziata’s romantic historical musical Figaro: An Original Musical in Concert will have its first-ever staging at the London Palladium on 3 and 4 February 2025. You can read Rebecca Applin’s review of the ‘epic in multiple senses’ World Premiere Recording in the June/July issue of Musicals.