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 Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 16:29

A sexual predator who randomly attacked a teenage girl as she walked to school in Highbury has today been jailed for six years.

Yesterday, 15:38

Theodore Johnson, 63, appeared at the Old Bailey this morning charged with murdering the 51-year-old last month.

Yesterday, 14:23

Green-fingered youngsters could be growing their own fruit and veg if their school wins a £5,000 grant.

Yesterday, 10:38

The Cally’s Westbourne Estate celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday. the Gazette hears how it was reclaimed from the hands of drug dealers.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A self-styled devil worshipper who locked a teenager in his Barnsbury flat and raped her has been jailed for nine years.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The leader of Islington Council believes plans for a new academy will address the shortage of primary schools places in the area.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Divisive Highbury Grove head Tom Sherrington, who came under fire last year over job cuts, finances and discipline, has left the school with immediate effect.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Traditional cars will be banned from parking and loading in a number roads around Old Street in the hope of cleaning up Shoreditch’s filthy air.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now