The new musical 125th Street, has posted early closing notices at the Shaftesbury Theatre after a run of less than 5 months. The last performance will be on 11 Jan 03

The show opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in September to mixed notices from the popular press: Our reviewer AMANDA HODGES' says, "The framework of the show is effective and engaging"; THE GUARDIAN says, "This show isn't at all bad when the undoubtedly talented cast are allowed to get on and sing. Most of the time, though, they are gagged by a flabby, predictable and sentimental script." THE EVENING STANDARD says, "The chances of discovering the new Aretha Franklin or Michael Jackson are, on tonight's evidence, slim." TIME OUT says, "There is a generosity of spirit about '125th Steet' that is gnawingly persuasive." THE STAGE says, "A good night out for the not particularly demanding."

This new musical from Rob Bettinson and Alan Janes, the creaters of 'Buddy', is designed by Adrian Rees, lighting by Joe Atkins and choreography by Kim Gavin.

The cast includes Domenick Allen, Gary Bryden, Julian Cannonier, Kenneth Avery-clarke, Peter Dalton, Johnnie Fiori, Jia Frances, Paul Gyngel, Julian Littman, Alana Maria, Jack Mcmanus, Vinta Morgan, Kevyn Morrow, Lauretta Nkwocha, Amanda Posener, Jason Rowe, Ray Shell, Gilz Terera, Trevor A. Toussaint, Philippa Waller plus an authentic amateur appearing every night.

The show celebrates the music of the black groups of the '60s.

The show takes place during one hectic night at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. It’s the sizzling summer of 1969 and with the whole city in turmoil, Tony Sorrento’s Big Night Out is beamed live across the nation from the Apollo stage.

But tonight, Tony’s Big Night Out could be his last if he doesn’t get hip and get with the times - a painful process for Tony who has talked the theatre’s owner, Mo Finkle, into letting him broadcast from the most ‘happening’ spot in New York.

The show features America Search For A Star, an amateur talent competition, and tonight there’s another problem for our archaic host – only one of his pre-auditioned amateurs has shown up, a real amateur gleaned from our audience of 2002. The die has been cast for the rest of the night where anything can happen – and probably will!

To make matters worse, a riot is raging in the streets outside and the major stars on the bill are caught up in the pandemonium, unable to reach the theatre. All of which leaves our host with a major problem. The nation awaits. Tony has to go live. The show must go on! Will Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, and the backstage wannabes be able to fill the shoes of Aretha, Marvin, James, Dionne and the Chiffons?

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