The Week Ahead: All My Sons opens in London and New York, plus top shows to see this week
The Bank Holiday weekend means a late start to this week's theatre, in London at least; but Broadway has a bumper week ahead with an opening every single night up to Thursday, which is the cut-off date for eligibility for this year's Tony Awards. Head over to our New York partner site, the New York Theatre Guide, for reviews of all of them.
This Week in Theatre
Tonight, 23rd April, Sally Field and Bill Pullman star in a revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons at the Old Vic, opening the night after another Broadway revival of the same play with Anette Benning and Tracy Letts at the American Airlines Theatre. A similar coincidence occurred earlier this season when two different revivals of True West opened in the West End and on Broadway around the same time.
Also opening on Broadway: new stage musicals of two 1980s cult film favourites are brought to the stage, with the 1982 film Tootsie set to new songs by David Yazbeck, whose The Band's Visit was a Tony winner last year, opening on Tuesday (23rd April) and the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice set to new songs by Eddie Perfect, who is also currently represented on Broadway by his songs for King Kong, opening on Thursday (25th April). And on Wednesday, Rupert Goold's production of James Graham's Ink, premiered at the Almeida in 2017, finally reaches Broadway, with Bertie Carvel reprising his Olivier winning performance as media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and Jonny Lee Miller newly joining the play as Larry Lamb who edited The Sun for him when Murdoch relaunched it back in 1968, and it quickly became Britain's top-selling newspaper.
Top shows to see this week
London's longest-ever running musical Les Miserables first opened back in 1985, first at the Barbican before transferring to the Palace and then its current home the Queen's; now that original monumental production, co-directed by Trevor Nunn and John Baird and designed by John Napier with its iconic revolve, is set to be retired soon, shutting at the Queen's on 13th July. An all-star staged concert version will play from 10th August to 30th November at the Gielgud next door while the Queen's is extensively refurbished, before the current touring version of the show re-opens at the Queen's from 18th December.
This absolutely terrific and original British musical is now in its second hit year at the Apollo, and deservedly so. In my review when it first opened, I wrote, "Here's a new and distinctively British musical that could give the imminent arrival of Hamilton from Broadway a serious run for its money, and is just the refreshing breath of fresh, inclusive air the West End needs right now." Hamilton has long since arrived and put down serious roots at the Victoria Palace, but this feisty upstart musical continues to captivate across town on Shaftesbury Avenue, newly emboldened by the arrival of the dazzling Layton Williams in the title role.
This Off-Broadway delight is receiving its British premiere at the fringe Arcola. In my review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, I described it as "a fizzy little ray of musical sunshine"; you only have untill 11th May to see it here, before it embarks on a national tour.
Now extended to run through 8th June, Jamie Lloyd's brilliant revival of Harold Pinter's 1978 masterpiece of marital betrayal is galvanised by stellar performances from a trio that comprises Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox and Zawe Ashton. In my review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, I wrote: "More than any other production I've ever seen, it strips the play to its bare bones, both physically and emotionally... This is a magnificent, searing account of Pinter's most autobiographically charged play (inspired by an affair he had himself when he was already married)."
Last chance to see this London transfer for Bruce Norris's blisteringly provocative play, co-produced with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. Running to 27th April only, it dares to put a human (and compassionate) face on convicted paedophiles. As I wrote in my four-star review here, "They have committed one of society's ultimate taboos - and the play is genuinely upsetting. As questions of justice and empathy swirl around, it simultaneously grips and appalls. It makes you constantly re-examine your own assumptions and prejudices. It dares to make these perpetrators intensely human, not just monsters."
Last chance to see the National Theatre's hilarious contemporary version of Moliere's classic play, closing on 30th April, with American actor Denis O'Hare superb in the title role. In my review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, I wrote: "Blanche McIntyre's opulent production - with its glorious living room set by Robert Jones - is full of keenly observed performances that always keep the right side of the hysteria some of them are being provoked to... This is a consistently funny but also buoyantly thoughtful production."