Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can't Smile Without You, New Barry Manilow Musical, to Premiere in August in U.K.

By Andrew Gans
April 30, 2008

A new musical featuring the hit songs of Grammy Award winner Barry Manilow will make its world premiere this summer at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley.

Entitled Can't Smile Without You, the musical will begin previews Aug. 28 at the Kent venue before embarking on a national tour that will kick off Sept. 15 at the Liverpool Empire. A West End run will follow.

Based on an original idea by Bill Kenwright, the musical features a book by Tim Prager and over 30 Manilow tunes, including "Could It Be Magic," "It's a Miracle," "I Write the Songs," "Mandy," "I Made It Through the Rain," "Trying to Get the Feeling" and the title song.

Can't Smile Without You, according to press notes, centers around "an aspiring young boy-band who, on a visit to New York, come across an opportunity not to be missed — auditions for the latest reality TV show to find the next pop music sensation. When the TV company offers lead singer Tony a chance to appear on the show, the other band members give him their unconditional blessing. But before Tony can realize his dream, he is caught up in a tragic sequence of events which leaves him fighting for his life. Left with no memory his dreams are all but shattered. His only hope lies in the power of the music he loves and his feelings for a girl he once knew called Mandy."

The creative team also includes Keith Strachan and Kenwright (co-directors), Andy Walmsley (set and costume design), Ben Cracknel (lighting design), Carole Todd (choreography) and John Maher (musical direction). Garry Kief is executive producer.

The Churchill Theatre is located on High Street in Bromley, Kent.