Three-time Olivier winner Maria Friedman and West End favorite Joanna Ampil (South Pacific) have joined the starry line-up of West End and Broadway stars celebrating the 80th anniversary of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's landmark collaboration at a pair of concerts at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane December 12. My Favorite Things: The Rodgers and Hammerstein 80th Anniversary Concert will celebrate the iconic writing team behind such musicals as Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
Friedman and Ampil join a previously announced cast of theatrical luminaries including Audra McDonald, Marisha Wallace, Daniel Dae Kim, Patrick Wilson, Aaron Tveit, Julian Ovenden, Michael Ball, and Lucy St. Louis. Ashley Park, previously announced to perform, has withdrawn due to scheduling conflicts. Also newly joining the lineup are Anna-Jane Casey, Lily Kerhoas, and Jordan Shaw. Press notes hint that attendees can also expect some "surprise guest appearances."
Christopher Gattelli is directing and staging the concerts, which will feature a 40-piece orchestra conducted by Simon Lee, along with a chamber choir and dance ensemble.
Friedman, currently represented on Broadway as the director of Merrily We Roll Along, won Oliviers for her performances in By Special Arrangement, Passion, and Ragtime. Her career has not often seen her in Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, with the notable exception of a 2009 revival of The King and I at Royal Albert Hall, which starred Friedman as Anna Leonowens opposite Daniel Dae Kim's King of Siam. Ampil began her career in the original West End production of Miss Saigon, going on to play Kim around the world. Most recently, Ampil played Bloody Mary in Chichester Festival Theatre's 2021 revival of South Pacific, reprising her performance for the production's 2022 London run and U.K. tour.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization is presenting, with Concord Originals, Concord Theatricals, Killimanjaro Live/JAS Theatricals, and Trafalgar Entertainment producing.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II began collaborating with 1943's Oklahoma!, a landmark musical that is considered the genre's first to fully integrate the book, lyrics, and choreography as agents of forwarding the plot. They would go on to dominate Broadway over the next two decades as both a writing and producing team, writing a string of classic musicals including Carousel, South Pacific, Allegro, The King and I, and The Sound of Music; and producing I Remember Mama and Annie Get Your Gun.
Tickets are available at RH80Concert.com.