42nd Street Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 20th March to 22nd July
This spectacular rendition of the 1933 Ruby Keeler movie (“Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star!”) was the first movie-into-musical mega-hit in the 1980s. Then, it had the look of a Warner Brothers black-and-white film. Now, the producers are aiming for the Technicolor version with additional songs from the rest of Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s back catalogue. “Lullaby of Broadway,” “We’re in the Money” and “Shuffle off to Buffalo” may well convince you that, in the words of the show, “musical comedy are the two greatest words in the English language.”
Don Juan in Soho Wyndham’s Theatre, London, 17th March to 10th June
David Tennant threatens to let rip as Molière’s vile seducer—one of the great, anti-heroic figures of the modern stage, re-imagined here by Patrick Marber as a contemporary Soho lounge lizard and sociopath in a corrupt landscape of media deals, hedonistic self-indulgence and lost causes. The play was a 90-minute roller-coaster at the Donmar 10 years ago, but never transferred to the West End.
Tartuffe Tobacco Factory, Bristol, 6th April to 6th May
The English Molière revival continues at the estimable Tobacco Factory, which has been a well-reviewed Shakespeare house under Andrew Hilton’s direction since 1999. Hilton’s production of this attack on religious and moral hypocrisy is updated as a play for today “in the new politics of demagoguery and theocracy.” The pious and lascivious fraud Tartuffe retains his name, but his duped hosts, Orgon and Elmire, are re-christened Charles Ogden and Emma.