On the move
If you want to see great feats of design and engineering, you don’t have to look very far: they’re in every doubledecker bus, underground train and Tube station. Head to the London Transport Museum’s Designology (from 20 May; p. 40) and you can explore the processes behind this moving metropolis. Historic maps and posters from the golden age of travel are displayed alongside contemporary designs and ideas on how travel might evolve in the future.
National Portrait Gallery
British history told through portraiture.
To 22 May: Vogue 100: A Century of Style. Prints from the style magazine. To 26 Jun: Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky. Portraits of Russian writers, artists and composers. Sat-Wed 10am-6pm; Thur & Fri 10am-9pm (regular Late Shift special events). Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.npg.org.uk. St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. T: 020-7312 2463. Station: Leicester Square.
Make your West End wishes come true by watching the Disney musical Aladdin, which opens at the Prince Edward Theatre this month
(from 27 May). The show is by Disney Theatrical Productions – a division of The Walt Disney Studios – which also produced
a musical that has entertained audiences in London for more than 15 years.
The stellar cast and crew is led by director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw, who has previously worked on The Book of Mormon. Nicholaw says: ‘Fans of the Aladdin movie will get to experience all the spirit and songs they love, alongside a bunch of fun new ones. There are all the magic moments, including the magic carpet ride. I won’t tell anyone how we do it, though, as I want people to be surprised. When you see this show, you’re going to get bang for your buck.’
Expect old favourites such as AWhole NewWorld, FriendLikeMe and Arabian Nights – with lyrics by ( Jesus ChristSuperstar, TheLionKing, Evita),
TheLionKing, Sir Tim Rice Howard Ashman
( BeautyandtheBeast, The LittleMermaid), and ( Elf ).
You’ll be transported to the desert with a set decorated with palm trees, Arabic windtowers, mosques and markets, where a cast in harem pants browse for spices and lanterns. No expense has been spared on the costumes: the genie’s trousers contain 1,428 Swarovski crystals and, backstage, 108 costume changes take place in just one minute.
The show will be a riot of colour and noise. Expect fortune tellers, men twirling in skirts and dancers throwing colourful scarves in the air – while you are wowed by sword throwers, belly dancers, fireworks and, of course, a real flying carpet.
Just like the 1992 animated film, the show tells the story of Aladdin, a street boy who frees a genie from a lamp and is then
granted three wishes that the genie has the power to make come true. On the way he falls for Princess Jasmine, but he soon realises that evil forces have other plans for the lamp – and for Princess Jasmine – unless Aladdin can save her. Dean John-Wilson ( SisterAct:TheMusical UKTour) stars as Aladdin alongside Jade Ewen – from the pop group Sugababes – as Princess Jasmine. Filling the lamp after memorable turn as the genie is Trevor Dion Nicholas (inset; TheWizardofOz, TheLittle Mermaid, Joseph, Rent and Into theWoods). Nicholas, who was born in West Virginia in the United States, has garnered rave reviews for his role in the Broadway show and is reprising it here in his London stage debut. Get ready to enter a whole new world! For full listing, turn to p. 46
From 27 May: This Broadway hit is coming to the West End for the first time. Expect tunes such as A Whole New World with lyrics by Sir Tim Rice (p. 44). Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Thur & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £42.25-£89.75. www.aladdinthemusical. co.uk. Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton St, W1D 4HS. T: 0844- 482 5151. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Musical about the early life and career of the award-winning singer-songwriter. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Thur & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £15-£127.50. www.beautifulmusical.co.uk. Aldwych Theatre, 49 Aldwych, WC2B 4DF. T: 0845-200 7981. E8. Station: Covent Garden/Holborn/Charing Cross.
The Book of Mormon
Controversial satire, from the writers of TV’s South Park, following the exploits of missionaries from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Olivier Award winner. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Sat 2.30pm; 27 & 11 May 2.30pm. Tickets £39.75-£202.25. www.book ofmormonlondon.com. Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry St, W1D 6AS. T: 0844- 482 5110. E7. Station: Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A musical version of Roald Dahl’s children’s tale about an ordinary boy and an extraordinary confectioner. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £17.50-£94. www.charlieandthechocolate factory.com. Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St, WC2B 5JF. T: 0844-858 8877. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Disney’s The Lion King
Wonderful adaptation of the popular Disney film. Tue-Sat 7.30pm; Wed, Sat & Sun 2.30pm. Tickets £37.70-£139.50. www.thelionking.co.uk. Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, WC2E 7RQ. T: 0844-871 3000. E8. Station: Covent Garden.
Sheridan Smith, the Bafta and Olivier Award winner, plays the lead in this true story about Fanny, a music hall singer who finds fame on Broadway before falling in love with gambler Nicky. The show features the song Don’t Rain On My Parade. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £15-£99.50. www.funnygirlthemusical.co.uk. Savoy Theatre, Strand, WC2R 0ET. T: 0844-871 7687. E8. Station: Covent Garden.
From 27 May: Michael Crawford stars in this musical about an elderly man who unintentionally delves into his past. 7.30pm. Tickets £23.50-£96. www.nimaxtheatres.com. Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ES. T: 0330-333 4809. E7. Piccadilly Circus.
Immersive experience in abandoned railways. Inspired by RL Stine’s children’s book. Adult TueFri 7pm-9.30pm; Sat 1.30pm-9.30pm; Sun 1.30pm7.30pm. Child Sat-Sun 11am-12.30pm. Adult £25£47.50; child £15-£20. www.goosebumpsalive.com. Arch 233, 10 Leake St, South Bank, SE1 7NN. T: 0871-220 0260. F8. Station: Waterloo.
Guys and Dolls
Fifties musical about a gambler and his nightclubsinger fiancée. Tue, Thur, Sat-Sun 2.30pm; WedSat 7.30pm. Tickets £27-£101.50. www.phoenix theatrelondon.co.uk. Phoenix Theatre, 110 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JP. T: 0843-316 1082. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
Hand to God
Straight from Broadway, this is a dark comedy about a boy and his satanic hand puppet. If you loved Book of Mormon and Avenue Q, then you’ll enjoy this. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £25-£65. www.handtogod.co.uk. Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, WC2R 0NH. T: 0330-333 4814. E8. Station: Charing Cross/Covent Garden.
In the Heights
A Tony award-winning musical about young love in New York. Mon-Tue & Thur-Fri 8pm; Tue 3pm; Sat 8.30pm; Sun 6pm. Tickets £22.50£60.50. www.intheheightslondon.com. King’s Cross Theatre, Corner of King’s Boulevard and Goods Way, N1C 4UR. T: 0844-871 7604. Off map. Station: King’s Cross.
The hit Olivier Award-winning story of US pop sensations Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Tue-Sat 7.30pm; Tue & Sat 3pm; Sun 5pm. Tickets £24.50-£112. www.jerseyboyslondon.com. Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman St, W1D 7DY. T: 0844-871 7630. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Drag queen show with music by Cyndi Lauper. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £45£125. www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk. Adelphi Theatre, 409- 412 Strand, WC2R 0NS. T: 0844-579 0094. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
The world’s longest-running musical. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £37.25-£127.25. www.lesmis.com. Queen’s Theatre, 51 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6BA. T: 0844- 482 5160. D8. Station: Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus.
A tribute to the music of ABBA. Mon-Sat 7.45pm; Thur & Sat 3pm. Tickets £15-£97.50. www.mammamia.com. Novello, Aldwych, WC2B 4LD. T: 0844482 5115. E8. Station: Covent Garden/ Temple.
Matilda the Musical
Based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book. Tue 7pm; Wed-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm; Sun 3pm. Tickets £20-£122.50. www.matildathemusical.com. Cambridge Theatre, 32-34 Earlham St, WC2 9HU. T: 0844- 412 4652. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Motown the Musical
Wonderful musical based on the story of Motown Records. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Thur & Sat 3pm. Tickets £19.50-£145. www.shaftesburytheatre.com. Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8DP. T: 020-7379 5399. D8. Station: Tottenham Court Road.