A former teacher and charity worker from the North East of England, I love people and places and like to try out new experiences wherever possible. Capturing that 'perfect pic' is all part of the pleasure. Access issues are a particular interest.
Stunning Saddlers Wells Performance Comes to Sunderland
West Side Story receives the full Saddler's Wells treatment when it travels to the Sunderland Empire in October this year.
Deemed by the Guardian newspaper as 'The greatest Broadway musical of all time', who am I to argue with that?
An avid movie musical fan, my bookshelf has more DVDs of this genre than any other, but I've only recently had the opportunity to see some of my favourite shows at live theatre, and they didn't disappoint.
Based on a book by Arthur Laurents, the west side tale of New York gangs the 'Jets' and the 'Sharks' was a modern interpretation of the classic Shakespeare play 'Romeo and Juliet', it tells the story of two young lovers whose future has been 'star-crossed' not by warring Italian families as in the original play, but by racial distinctions between the white Polish-American and Puerto Rican communities in 1950s New York.
The stunning musical score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim reflect the all-consuming passion between the lead protagonists Maria and Tony In this absorbing boy meets girl story.
The original 1957 Broadway show was seen as ground-breaking in musical theatre in its gritty approach to the social issues surrounding ethnic and class divisions in post-war U.S.A. and moved away from the sugar-coated, whimsical world of musicals from a another era.
The outstanding musical score has stood the test of time with unforgettable songs such as 'America', which allows gorgeous stage productions while award winning original choreography from Jerome Robbins displays the passion between the two cultures and makes a political statement about the tension between them.
Other solo highlights include 'Tonight', 'Somewhere and 'Maria', the beautiful plaintive song of a boy who falls in love with a girl he can never win. It's a tragedy waiting to happen.
The production, which runs from 1st – 12th October has already gained international acclaim and is sure to delight Wearside audiences with the touring show from the prestigious Saddler's Wells ballet company following in the footsteps of the original choreography.
It will have you singing all the way home.
La la la la in America. La la la la in America…….
Tickets range from £17.90 - £64.90 plus £2.85 transaction fee.
A couple of others from this autumn's line-up have caught my eye:
Friday 27th September
An Evening of Burlesque
A tantalising taste of the exotic arrives fresh from the West End with a glitzy cabaret for adults only. With themes from Arabian Nights to WW2 WAFs and more, the Royal Academy-trained dancers are set to thrill with this riotous performance of naughty but nice.
Tickets cost £26.90 plus £2.85 transaction fee
Thursday 31st October
The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular
Boasting live performances from the era of the Big Band orchestra and unforgettable songs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr. – the original members of the 'Rat Pack' are remembered in this spectacular production with Swing classics such as 'Come Fly With Me', That's Amore and Mack the Knife, to name just a few.
Tickets £19.90 plus £2.85 transaction fee
The season, which also includes comedy, plays, ballet and cookery shows has something for everyone. Check it out here
4-5 High St West, SR1 3EX
Tel: 0844 8472499
For Special Assistance Tel: 0191 5661040
Please be aware that you might incur booking fees and charges for using your debit/credit card.
The theatre can be easily reached by car, bus, rail or Metro and has an array of shops, bars and eateries close by in The Bridges Shopping Centre. Why not try 'The Lampton Worm' for some traditional 'pub grub' from the Wetherspoons group or Luciano's Italian restaurant just a stone's throw from the theatre? So whether you're on an afternoon excursion of a special evening occasion there's plenty to please.