Here's some ideas for the must-see theatre shows this summer as chosen by theatre boffin and Smooth Radio presenter, Paul Phear.
1. Guys & Dolls
Australian comedienne and film star Rebel Wilson is joining the London cast of 'Guys and Dolls' for the summer season. She’ll be the well-known fiancé Miss Adelaide for eight weeks from June 28th. It’s already one of the best versions of the Broadway classic, recently extending its run at the Phoenix into next year. There’s also a touring version of the same production playing all over the UK until the end of July with Richard Fleeshman and West End star Louise Dearman.
Disney theatricals are pulling out all the stops and a large cheque book to stage hit musical 'Aladdin' at London’s Prince Edward Theatre.
With songs from the original animated film, including 'A Whole New World' and guaranteed show stopper 'Friend Like Me', this one looks set to be another family favourite just like its long running stable mate 'The Lion King'.
3. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
There’s more magical flying in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' the new stage adaption of Ian Fleming’s book.
Musical favourite Lee Mead is inventor Caractacus Potts with Eastenders stars Michelle Collins and Shaun Williamson also on the cast schedule.
It’s a totally reinvented production from the Palladium hit of the last decade with an ingenious set, choreography by multi-award winning Stephen Mear, and of course a flying car. Touring until early next year.
4. In The Heights
Three of the recent Olivier Awards went to 'In The Heights', the hip-hop musical playing now at King’s Cross Theatre – they scooped up Best Choreography, Outstanding Achievement in Music and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for the always amazing David Bedella.
It’s an ensemble piece set in the Dominican/American area of Washington Heights on the hottest three days of the year. Scorchio!
5. Breakfast At Tiffany's
Three actresses are sharing the iconic role of Holly Golightly in a stylish new production of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.
Emily Atack is currently touring, Pixie Lott takes over in June, including a run at London's sumptuous Haymarket through the summer months. Then Georgia May Foote takes the show back on the road in the autumn. This "play with music" is adapted from Capote's novel and Downton's Matt Barber is Holly's suitor Fred, played by George Peppard in the much loved film.