Search

Top Islington theatre to stage lost musical by great American composer Cole Porter

13:16 17 August 2012

John Savident as the Magician in Aladdin. Photo by Matt Martin Photography.

John Savident as the Magician in Aladdin. Photo by Matt Martin Photography.

Archant

The historic stage premiere of the last musical written by one of America’s greatest composers will be hosted at a top Islington theatre this week.

Cole Porter’s long-forgotten work Aladdin was written in 1958 but has never before been seen in the theatre.

It was performed just once, for a US television special that was broadcast live but not recorded.

Now it is being revived at Sadler’s Wells in Rosebery Avenue by one of the UK’s foremost experts on the musical theatre of the period.

Director and producer Ian Marshall Fisher, who runs the Lost Musicals project, said: “This will be a huge historical moment and an important moment in theatre.

“It’s the last show he ever wrote. It was commissioned because Rodgers and Hammerstein had got 100 million viewers with a live special that caused a power surge in the US.

“The CBS television network wanted to repeat the trick and they called on Porter. It was quite an event – millions of people tuned in to see this live spectacle.

“It was the thing that was going to make everyone stand still, just like the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. It was exactly the same sort of thing.”

The musical, a collaboration between Porter and the famous US writer and humorist S J Perelman, opens on Sunday at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio.

It stars John Savident, most famous for playing Fred Elliot in Coronation Street for more than a decade, as the magician. The cast of the original CBS broadcast included British actor Basil Rathbone.

Although he lived until 1964, aged 73, Cole Porter never wrote another lyric or note of music after Aladdin.

It has remained buried ever since, but Mr Marshall Fisher believes it deserves to be recognised as a great work alongside his other musicals such as Kiss Me, Kate.

“It’s got beautiful Cole Porter melodies and his smart wit and there’s no question it deserves a place up there in the canon,” he said.

Aladdin opens on Sunday, with performances until September 2.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30
One option provided in the consultation document suggests the addition of a pedestrian crossing to provide a more direct route to Highbury and Islington station.

TfL has unveiled radical plans to pedestrianise Highbury Corner.

Yesterday, 09:16
Theresa Conteh, 39, has been missing from the Holloway Road area in Islington since Saturday

A 39-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Islington on Saturday has been found.

Yesterday, 07:00
(L to R): James Timbs-Harrison, Stuart Markland, Liam Browning and James Kendall row more than 3,000 nautical miles for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Four friends who braved a hurricane and slept no more than two hours at a time for 44 days have completed an incredible 3,400-mile rowing trip across the Atlantic in the name of charity.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
Prince Andrew talking at Pitch@Palace

Tech City is the third-largest technology hub in the world, and it’s right on our doorstep. Each week, we bring you news from the thriving area around Old Street roundabout. This week, Victoria Ibitoye talks to Tim El-Sheikh, the founder of the bio-tech start-up Scicasts, who pitched to Prince Andrew at Pitch@Palace

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Rising Star: Little Simz, real name Simbi Ajikawo

Islington rapper Simbi Ajikawo, more commonly known as Little Simz, speaks to the Gazette after becoming the first independent rap artist to feature in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Priscilla 'Sapphira' Silcock, of Blackstock Road, Highbury, is leading a world record attempt for the biggest ever burlesque dance. She is pictured centre with Joy Flatt, left, and Justine Lamond, right

An ambitious dancer and singer from Highbury is organising a 300-strong burlesque spectacular a week today – so she can attract the attention of Sir Richard Branson.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Labour's mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan visited Islington Bunhill Energy Centre, annoucing the creation of 'Energy for Londoners', a not-for-profit company that will take a lead on clean and green energy across the city.

Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today outlined how he would address youth violence and the housing crisis in Islington.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Caledonian Park Clock Tower, Cafe and Toilets Project - 2016 Artist's Impression

Designs have been finalised for a controversial visitor centre at the foot of the Caledonian Park clock tower – despite fierce local opposition to the plans.

Most read news

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe