PHOTO ARCHIVE: Betty Buckley's Stage Highlights
By Matthew Blank
Tony Award winner Betty Buckley returned to the London stage Feb. 4 in Charing Cross Theatre's production of Jerry Herman's Dear World. Playbill.com looks back at her stage career, spanning more than 40 years.
Buckley made her Broadway debut in 1969 in the original cast of 1776. Other credits include Pippin, Cats, Sunset Boulevard, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carrie and Triumph of Love. She won a 1983 Tony Award for Cats.
Dear World is directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, the choreographer who helped guide Buckley to a Tony Award for her performance in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Performances are scheduled through March 30 with an official opening Feb. 13.
Tony winner Buckley portrays Countess Aurelia with Paul Nicholas as Sewerman, Anthony Barclay as Prospector, Brett Brown as Waiter, Michael Chance as Sargeant, Peter Land as President, Annabel Leventon as Constance, Rebecca Lock as Gabrielle, Joanna Loxton, Robert Meadmore as President, Craig Nicholls, Stuart Matthew Price as Julian, Jack Rebaldi as President, Ayman Safia as Mute and Katy Treharne as Nina.
Based on Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot, the musical, according to press notes, centers "around the Countess, living in the basement of a Parisian bistrot in 1945, driven mad by a lost lover and bemoaning her past. When oil is discovered under the streets of the city, she and her motley crew of acquaintances must band together to stop rapacious businessmen from destroying her home, and indeed all of Paris. This surreal musical fable of Good versus Evil (ahead of its time in 1969), with its themes of environmental degradation, corporate greed, evil and human folly, is a resonant and cautionary tale in a post-Enron world."
The production is designed by Matt Kinley with costumes by Tony Award winner Ann Hould-Ward and lighting by Olivier Award winner Mike Robertson. Orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Sarah Travis with Ian Townsend as the musical director.
Dear World opened on Broadway in 1969 with Angela Lansbury in the lead role of Aurelia, the Madwoman of Chaillot. Although the show played only 132 performances, Lansbury went on to win a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical.
Show times are Monday-Saturday at 7:30 PM with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 PM.
Charing Cross Theatre is located at The Arches on Villiers Street. For tickets call 08444 930 650 or visit charingcrosstheatre.co.uk.
Betty Buckley offered acclaimed performances in Broadway's Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776, Triumph of Love and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Her screen credits are numerous.
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