Directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie, this will be the first major London production of The Wild Party and the first production at the new The Other Palace Theatre (formerly St James Theatre).
Starring Tony Award winning Frances Ruffelle, the production will open The Other Palace Theatre’s first season, when it reopens in February 2017 as the newest addition to The Really Useful Theatres Group and a home for new musical theatre.
The Wild Party tells the story of Queenie and Burrs, a Vaudeville showgirl and a Vaudeville clown, whose relationship is filled with vicious behaviour and recklessness. In an attempt to save their toxic relationship, the pair decide to throw the best party they can. But as the party reaches its climax, the illusion is stripped away and tragedy occurs, forcing the revellers to face up to reality.
Best known for originating the role of Eponine in Les Misérables in the West End and on Broadway, Frances Ruffelle will play Queenie in Drew McOnie’s production. Talking about joining the production she said: “I discovered the amazingly edgy, jazz-infused score to The Wild Party about 10 years ago. Many West End producers have tried to get the rights with no success, but luckily for me, the composer Michael John LaChuisa was in the audience when I was performing my solo show in New York. We were introduced after the show and I asked him why the show hadn’t been seen in London. He just said: “You are my Queenie, it’s yours”.”
Drew McOnie won an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre). His other recent choreography credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith), The Lorax (The Old Vic) and Oklahoma (UK Tour).
The Wild Party is produced by Paul Taylor-Mills, who has been named the new Artistic Director of The Other Palace. It features music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa and a book by George C. Wolfe and Michael John LaChiusa. Set and costume design is by Soutra Gilmour (Dr Faustus, Urinetown, The Commitments, West End) and lighting design by Richard Howell (Jekyll and Hyde, Old Vic).
The Wild Party will run at The Other Palace Theatre from the 11th February until the 1st April. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/theatre/wild-party/