Aberdeen Performing Arts has scored a bullseye with a blockbusting line-up of hit musicals for the upcoming season – including superstar Jason Donovan in Annie Get Your Gun.
Then there’s the legendary Rock of Ages, the first-ever UK tour of the award-winning Jersey Boys and an all-new production of Fame the Musical, all to be staged at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen.
And to match the blockbusters, there are big name personalities with globe-trotting raconteur and comedian Michael Palin in a two-part stage show at the Music Hall while Scotland’s own Elaine C Smith brings her one-woman show Still Standing . . . Just! to the city.
They are part of an extravaganza of new shows announced in APA’s latest season brochure, out this week.
And tickets for all the new shows go on sale to APA Friends on Thursday, April 17 and to the general public the following Tuesday online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.
Their music-filled autumn in the city kicks off with a new production of Fame the Musical (at His Majesty’s Theatre, September 1 to 6), based on the Oscar winning film and hugely-successful TV series.
Then there’s the TONY Award-winning version of Irving Berlin’s classic musical comedy Annie Get Your Gun (HMT, September 16 to 20) starring Jason Donovan and Norman Pace with Emma Williams in the title role, on a UK tour before the show opens in London’s West End.
Said Jason, who appeared in a televised Sports Relief sketch on Friday with Kylie Minogue and David Walliams, said: "I've been very lucky in having some great roles to get my teeth into in the past, but now having the chance to star in the UK premiere production of this award-winning version of such a classic musical is very exciting.
“I'm very much looking forward to performing such brilliant songs and appearing alongside a truly great cast as we bring the Wild West to theatres across the country."
After five years on Broadway and three years in London’s West End, Rock of Ages (HMT November 3 to 8) is set to storm Aberdeen with unforgettable rock hits of the 80s and starring Ben Richards (9 to 5 the Musical) and Noel Sullivan (We Will Rock You).
Another internationally-acclaimed stage sensation, Jersey Boys (HMT March 3 to 14, 2015) has won 55 major awards worldwide, including Olivier Award for Best New Musical, and tells the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Aberdeen’s own panto queen and one of Scotland’s finest entertainers Elaine C Smith combines her talents as a comedienne, actress, writer, singer and all-round raconteur in her one-woman show at HMT on Friday, August 15.
While comedian, actor, writer, television presenter, globe-trotter and unofficially Britain's Nicest Man Michael Palin looks back on 25 years exploring the world and nearly 50 years in radio, television, books and film in the Music Hall on Saturday, September 13.
On the drama front, the National Theatre’s In Time O’Strife (Beach Ballroom, September 23 to 25) revives Joe Corrie’s 1926 classic play about a Fife mining community during the 1984 miners’ strike; there’s the introduction of Hercule Poirot to Aberdeen in the Agatha Christie Theatre Company’s staging of Black Coffee (HMT Oct 20 to 25) and an amazing production of Harper Lee’s classic drama To Kill a Mockingbird (HMT, February 16 to 21 2015).
There’s a UK exclusive performance by the American contemporary dance tour de force Mark Morris Dance Group (HMT, October 28). Celebrated by critics for his inventive and imaginative choreography, Mark is making his first visit to Aberdeen with a programme which includes his stunning interpretation of JS Bach’s Italian Concerto..
“We have a hugely thrilling programme for the upcoming season, of exciting work never seen before in Aberdeen,” said APA chief executive Jane Spiers. “And the number of West End shows we are able to bring to Aberdeen clearly affirms HMT’s place as a leading theatre in Britain.
“We are looking forward to welcoming to Aberdeen the much-travelled Michael Palin and everyone’s favourite Australian Jason Donovan, as well as our own Elaine C Smith, much beloved by our panto audiences but this time in her other role as stand-up comedian.
“From the very best the West End has to offer, to world class dance, comedy, music, drama and children’s entertainment, APA continues to offer a diverse range of top culture for the city.”