The UK and the US share a special bond of excellence in the theatre, with Broadway and the West End home to the highest quality of plays and musicals to be found anywhere in the world. In New York, as in London, there is an abundance of creative talent within the theatre industry which encompasses performers, directors, choreographers, designers, and of course, writers and composers. Our two shores may be separated by an ocean, but that bond reaches across it and allows these gifted individuals to bring their unique brands of creative genius to audiences on both sides. Shows transfer back and forth between the US and the UK, as do the wonderful actors/actresses who entertain on their stages, and when a delivery from New York arrives in London it is an event to be celebrated.
Such a delivery is expected on Monday 16th June, when the St. James Studio receives a musical treat in the form of the writing duo Kerrigan-Lowdermilk. After a successful concert at the same venue in February earlier this year, they’ve returned to perform a second concert – with a little help from some friends.
Kerrigan Lowdermilk: One (More) Night in London will showcase the work of this highly celebrated Off-Broadway writing team, which consists of lyricist Kait Kerrigan and composer Brian Lowdermilk. The songs of the award-winning pair ‘blur the line between musical theatre and pop’ and have seen them take both the stage and the music charts by storm. They made their Off-West End debut in 2006 with an adaption of Henry and Mudge and have since produced such musical works as The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, Tales from the Bad Years, The Woman Upstairs, Wrong Number, The Freshman Experiment, Republic and Flash of Time. The release of their debut album – Our First Mistake – in 2011, which featured such US vocalists as Natalie Weiss, Kelli O’Hara, Matt Doyle and Laura Osnes, was very well received and hit the #1 spot on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. Their follow-up album entitled Kerrigan-Lowdermilk LIVE was released in May and documented the 7-date concert tour which resulted from their $35K Kickstarter campaign, featuring live performances from the likes of Steven Booth, Andy Mientus, Alysha Umphress and Carrie Manolakos. The millions of views their songs have received on YouTube are proof of the fan following their work has earned, and the sell-out London concert in February demonstrated that a sample of those fans reside here in the UK.
They will surely be at the St. James Studio on 16th June for this exciting chance to see the work of the talented duo performed live by some very special guest artists. Joining Kerrigan-Lowdermilk on stage on the night will be American actor Michael Arden, along with West End stars Julie Atherton, Lucie Jones and Stuart Matthew Price.
Michael Arden lent his vocals to the first album from Kerrigan-Lowdermilk, singing one of their most well-known songs: ‘Run Away With Me’. He made his Broadway debut playing Tom Sawyer in the 2003 revival of Big River and also starred in the Off-Broadway show Bare – A Pop Opera in 2004. Other theatre credits include The Times They Are A-Changin’, being a Broadway Boy for Barbra Streisand on her 2007 concert tour and appearing on stage in London in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of Aspects of Love, in which he played the lead role. He has received wider recognition through his TV role in the US comedy sitcom Anger Management, which stars Charlie Sheen.
Julie Atherton is best known for originating the role of Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut in the West End production of Avenue Q. She made her West End debut playing the leading role of Sophie in hit ABBA musical Mamma Mia! and has also performed in such other shows as Fame, Just So, Ordinary Days and Sister Act The Musical. She has released two solo albums to date – A Girl of Few Words (2006) and No Space for Air (2010) and became an internet sensation through her involvement in the music video for British composer Michael Bruce’s song ‘Portrait of a Princess’, which was a hilarious send-up of the traditional Disney ‘Happy Ever After’.
Lucie Jones first rose to fame as a contestant on The X Factor in 2009. The Welsh singer moved into musical theatre after the show and made her West End debut as Cosette in Les Miserables. She also played the role of Meat in the international tour of Queen musical We Will Rock You and Kelly in The Prodigals at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Most recently, she was seen in the role of Victoria in new musical American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre.
Stuart Matthew Price made his London theatre debut in Parade at the Donmar Warehouse. He has also appeared in Mack and Mabel, The Sound of Music, Dear World, Sweet Smell of Success and was in the original cast of the West End production of Shrek The Musical. A highly regarded songwriter himself, he released his debut album All Things in Time in 2011 and is widely considered to be one of the most promising musical theatre writing talents in the UK.
Together, Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk have been recognised for their work through receipt of the 2006 Larson Award and the 2004-2005 Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Two of the most exciting writers on the US theatre scene right now, their London concert this June presents a rare opportunity for musical theatre lovers to experience their unique brand of musical entertainment in the live setting of the St. James Studio and with the added bonus of some great vocal talents. Kerrigan-Lowdermilk: One (More) Night in London takes place at the St. James Theatre on Monday 16th June 2014 and it’s a night that promises a truly memorable experience.
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Thursday 12th June 2014