|The Witches of Eastwick|
|Music||Dana P. Rowe|
|Basis||The Witches of Eastwick novel by John Updike|
The Witches of Eastwick is a 2000 musical based on the 1984 novel of the same name by John Updike. It was adapted by John Dempsey (lyrics and book) and Dana P. Rowe (music), directed by Eric Schaeffer, and produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
The story is based around three female protagonists, the 'Witches' Alexandra Spofford, Jane Smart, and Sukie Rougemont. Frustrated and bored by their mundane lives in the town of Eastwick, a shared longing and desire for "all manner of man in one man" comes to life in the form of a charismatic stranger, a devil-like character, Darryl Van Horne. Seducing each of the women in turn Darryl teaches them how to further expand the powers locked within, though their new unorthodox lifestyle scandalizes the town. As these powers become more sinister and events spiral out of control, the women come to realise that Darryl's influence is corrupting everyone he comes into contact with and resolve to use their new-found strength to exile him from their lives.
Starring Ian McShane in the lead role of Darryl Van Horne and Maria Friedman (Sukie), Lucie Arnaz (Alexandra) and Joanna Riding (Jane) as the three witches, the show began its preview period in London's West End on June 24, 2000 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Opening on July 18 to mixed-positive reviews, the decision was taken to transfer to the more intimate Prince of Wales Theatre from March 23, 2001. Ian McShane left and was replaced by his understudy, Earl Carpenter, whilst the physical production was revised to fit in the smaller theatre. A number of lyrics and scenes were revised and the song 'Who's the Man?' was replaced with a rousing gospel number entitled 'The Glory of Me'. A general cast change from July 1, 2001 saw Clarke Peters lead the company, with Josefina Gabrielle and Rebecca Thornhill as Alex and Sukie respectively, joining Joanna Riding who stayed with the show after receiving the Olivier Award nomination for the role.The show received generally favourable reviews with the second cast but, after a 17-month run, closed on December 27, 2001.
The first international production opened in Australia at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne. Starring Paul McDermott as Darryl van Horne, with Marina Prior, Angela Toohey and Pippa Grandison as Jane, Alexandra and Sukie respectively, with Sabrina Batshon, future finalist of Australian Idol season 7, as The Little Girl, and Matt Lee as Michael Spofford, the show began previews on 19 August 2002. Revisions were made, including new lyrics and the excision of one number, 'Loose Ends'. However, the show never found an audience and closed on 17 November 2002.
The Russian production opened in Moscow on 12 March 2003 using new sets as well as on-stage rain and fire effects. The role of Darryl van Horne was double-cast with Dmitriy Pevtsov and Aleksey Kortnev sharing the part. Other roles were similarly played by two or three actors. A brief revival was held in 2007, with scaled down sets and effects, but with Pevtsov reprising his role.
The premiere in the Czech Republic opened in February 2007 at the Brno City Theatre, directed by Stanislav Moša and choreographed by Igor Barberić. The show was translated into Czech by Jiří Josek and produced the first commercial recording since the Original London Cast album.
The American premiere opened at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in a limited engagement from June 5, 2007 through July 15, 2007. Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the original director and Signature Theatre's Artistic Director, the cast starred Marc Kudisch as Darryl Van Horne, Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as Sukie Rougemont, Emily Skinner as Alexandra Spofford, and Christiane Noll as Jane Smart.Kudisch received the Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical.
The authors made numerous changes to the show. Numbers were abbreviated ("Eastwick Knows"), cut ("I Love A Little Town") and added ("Your Wildest Dreams"). Scenes and songs were re-arranged,and the production received positive notices. The Washington Post reviewer wrote that "The musical adaptation has way more kick than the wispy 1987 film.... It's on the technical level that [Eric Schaeffer]'s production still has kinks to work out, for until the actresses are airborne... the mechanics look and feel clunky." BroadwayWorld.com stated that "director Eric Schaeffer certainly pulls The Witches of Eastwick all together... does it ever succeed." CultureVulture.net commented that the show is "full of body-shaking thunder, raunchy behavior, and surprises. Gut reaction based on the performance seen June 17 says this show will make it to Broadway and be reasonably successful there." Talkin' Broadway wrote that the "Broadway actors... give memorable and funny performances in the four lead roles.... Choreographer Karma Camp gets a chance to show off in this production."
A new, touring production opened on 23 August 2008 at the Theatre Royal, Norwich. Directed by Nikolai Foster with design by Peter Mckintosh, choreography by Geoffrey Garratt and musical direction by Tom Deering, the production visited a further 26 cities before finishing at the King's Theatre, Glasgow on 9 May 2009. Marti Pellow starred as Darryl van Horne, Ria Jones as Alexandra, Poppy Tierney as Jane and, reprising her role from the London production, Rebecca Thornhill as Sukie. The creative team collaborated with the writers on further changes to the material, incorporating many of the rewrites from the American premiere, and making more, such as re-expanding "Eastwick Knows", adding a reprise of "Dance with the Devil" to close the exorcism scene, and reinstating "Loose Ends".
The show opened at Teatro Bradesco in São Paulo on August 13, 2011. The production starred comedy actresses Maria Clara Gueiros and Fafy Siqueira as Alexandra and Felicia, respectively, and minor television actor Eduardo Galvão as Darryl. [ citation needed ]The show was unsuccessful and closed within a few months.
2012 Slovenian production
The show opened at Ljubljana festival 2012, where was a part of main festival events. It is the first Slovenian production, made by Ljubljana City Theatre. The show was very successful and had a huge number of performances. It was directed by Stanislav Moša.
2012 Slovenian cast
The show opened at the newly erected Musiktheater Linz on April 13, 2013. It was the first production of the new Musical Theatre Department of Landestheater Linz. It was translated into German by Roman Hinze, directed by Matthias Davids and choreographed by Melissa King. It was played in repertoire for 27 performances until January 26, 2014.
The show opened at Sandvika Teater in Bærum just outside Oslo on March 27, 2014. This was the first time the show was performed in Scandinavia. The Production was performed by a local Musical Theatre Company named BærMuDa. Directed and choreographed by Christer Tornell and Nina Lill Svendsen. It was a limited run and closed April 5, 2014
The show started a new season in the Syrena Theatre in the Polish capital Warsaw on March 3, 2018. It was translated into Polish and directed by Jacek Mikolajczyk, the Syrena Theatre's new director, and choreographed by Jaroslaw Staniek. Having received positive reviews of the critics and the audience it is still in the repertoire of the theatre.
The Ogunquit Playhouse staged the American Northeast premiere of The Witches of Eastwick (musical) at the historic southern Maine theatre September 3–27, 2014. Cast included James Stacy Barbour as Darryl Van Horne, Nancy Anderson as Sukie, Sara Gettelfinger as Alexandra, Mamie Parris as Jane Smart, and Sally Struthers as Felicia.Members of the creative team including director Shaun Kerrison, musical director and supervisor Julian Bigg, and authors John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe revisited the material and made a number of changes. A new song for Darryl and Alexandra replaced "Your Wildest Dreams" and the number "I Love a Little Town" was re-instated.
In April 2014, the Musical Theatre Strand at The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon, UK staged a production of The Witches Of Eastwick as part of the Musical Theatre Final Major Project Season 2014. Cast included Tarrin Callendar as Daryl Van Horne, Sadie Shirley and Kiera Magurie as Alexandra Spofford, Katie Shalka and Erica Lebedeva as Jane Smart, Kirsty King and Eloise Rudkin as Sukie Rougemont, Jake Watkins and Daniel Maybury as Michael Spofford, Joseph Press as Clyde Gabriel and Eleanor Walsh as Felicia Gabriel. The production was staged in the BRIT Theatre. The Creative Team included Robert Holt (Director), Kerry Quinn (Musical Director) and Sam Spencer-Lane (Choegrapher). There were Student Creative Team Leaders including Dylan Lee (Assistant Director), Daniel Maybury (Vocal Leader), Joseph Press and Eleanor Walsh (Dance Captains).
Prior to opening in London, a reading was held in New York on 5 March 1999 starring lyricist John Dempsey as Darryl van Horne with Sandy Duncan, Ruthie Henshall and Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as the three witches.[ citation needed ] In 2003 a staged reading took place at the Manhattan Theater Club under the direction of Gabriel Barre, starring James Barbour, Emily Skinner, Carolee Carmello and Jennifer Laura Thompson.
The show received its amateur premiere in Australia in July 2005.[ citation needed ] Over a dozen licensed productions followed in the UK and Ireland.[ citation needed ] The license was withdrawn due to the 2008 UK tour,[ citation needed ] with a single amateur company being permitted to stage a concurrent production in October 2008.
Setting: the fictional Rhode Island town of Eastwick
A little girl sings the praises of her little town of Eastwick, Rhode Island, which she creates using her imagination, as well as its inhabitants who describe Eastwick as a town where everyone looks through their curtains at everyone else and where gossip is more powerful than the truth ("Eastwick Knows"). A forced parade led by and honouring self-appointed First Lady of Eastwick, Felicia Gabriel, overtakes proceedings but as she is about to receive her prize an unexpected thunderstorm forces everyone to run home.
Alexandra (Alex), Jane and Sukie, the three Witches, have retreated to Alex's living room for peanut butter brownies, martinis and begin to complain. They talk about their boredom with their current relationships which include casual sex, abstinence and Sukie's affair with Felicia's husband, Clyde. Alex's son, Michael, enters with his girlfriend, Jennifer, who also happens to be Felicia's daughter. The teenagers are disgustingly in love with each other and the Witches, seeing how happy they are, sing about the kind of man they would like in their lives ("Make Him Mine").
In Felicia's kitchen, Felicia and Clyde show how truly unhappy they are and how Felicia is determined to keep her public face on their relationship. The phone rings; a man from New York has arrived and bought the deserted Lenox Mansion and is tearing down the trees in his backyard. Felicia, being the considerate soul she is, thinks of the snowy egrets that will lose their homes and decides to rally the town to stop him. Arriving at Lenox Mansion, Darryl Van Horne emerges from a puff of smoke and begins to charm all the residents except Felicia ("I Love A Little Town"). The "Eastwick Preservation Society" banner explodes in a fireball and everyone flees.
Darryl meets Alexandra on the beach where she is sculpting in the sand. Embarrassed, she allows Darryl to take her back to his house. They discuss sculpture and Darryl begins his seduction ("Eye of the Beholder"). Gossip begins to work its way round the town and Darryl goes to Jane's studio where she is playing the cello. They discuss music and have a wild and sexual cello/violin duet which ends in the cello playing by itself and a massive musical and actual orgasm ("Waiting For The Music To Begin").
Clyde promises Sukie that he will leave Felicia but she enters with Jennifer and catches the two of them. Their excuse is that they're preparing research on Darryl and Lenox Mansion. When Sukie returns home Darryl is waiting for her. Darryl gets Sukie to break out of her introverted shell and talk to him ("Words, Words, Words"). Instead of sleeping with her, he invites her to a tennis game. It's only when Sukie arrives and sees Alex and Jane that all three realise that Darryl has been sleeping with all of them. He serves a ball which explodes in mid-air and says that he's the man they prayed for.
Michael and Jennifer meet and sing their puppy-love duet ("Something") while the rest of the town meet to do laundry and gossip about Darryl and his conquests ("Dirty Laundry"). During the number, Felicia, to her horror, discovers Jennifer kissing Michael and immediately sends her away from Eastwick.
Alex, Jane and Sukie enter, each wearing a stunning sexy dress singing about their childhood insecurities ("I Wish I May"). Darryl sweet talks the women and teaches them how to curse Felicia by throwing things into an enchanted cookie jar. They throw a tennis ball, a bracelet and some feathers into the jar and immediately, Felicia starts to throw up...a tennis ball, a bracelet and some feathers. Enchanted, the Witches turn to Darryl who tells them to close their eyes and suddenly they are flying high above the audience.
Darryl invites Alex to Mexican Night at his house and she reflects on her single-minded pursuit ("Another Night At Darryl’s"). At Nemo's Diner, Darryl bumps into Felicia and Clyde. He taunts her and she vomits a cherry pit. Seeing that Eastwick's men have no idea how to please their women Darryl teaches the town about how to have real sex ("Dance With The Devil").
The Witches go to Darryl's in coats and take them off to reveal matching lingerie. Just as they are about to have sex, Darryl's manservant, Fidel, delivers a letter from The Eastwick Preservation Society that says they are suing him for filling in the wetlands. In revenge, all four start throwing anything they can find into the cookie jar. In Felicia's kitchen, we see the result as she screams at the still bewitched Clyde ("Evil"). Eventually, she can no longer cope with the curse and tells Clyde to do something so he hits her with a frying pan. Suddenly free of Felicia he shouts that he's finally happy. However, with her dying breath, Felicia pulls Clyde's tie into the waste disposal unit and turns it on.
The Witches start to avoid Darryl. When they return to Lenox Mansion, they tell Darryl that he has taken it too far. Furious, he screams at them but they run away and Darryl swears revenge. On the beach, Sukie bumps into the now orphaned Jennifer. She tries to offer advice but can't find the words ("Loose Ends"). Darryl enters once Sukie leaves and begins to seduce Jennifer. He tricks her into marrying him and this news prompts the Witches to send Darryl back where he belongs.
Before the wedding Darryl leads the town in singing the praises of himself ("The Glory of Me"). The wedding begins but the Witches appear and, using a voodoo doll of Darryl they begin attacking him ("The Wedding"). Vowing revenge, Darryl is thrown back to Hell in a fireball and the church collapses. Michael and Jennifer are reunited ("Something" Reprise) and the Witches realise the error of their ways ("Look At Me").
2001 Olivier Awards:
The Witches of Eastwick is a 1984 novel by American writer John Updike. A sequel, The Widows of Eastwick, was published in 2008.
Marc Kudisch is an American stage actor, who is best known for his musical theatre roles on Broadway.
Dempsey and Rowe refers to the duo of John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe (composer). They have written six musicals: The Reluctant Dragon, Zombie Prom (1996), The Fix (1997), The Witches of Eastwick (2000), Brother Russia (2012) and Blackbeard (2019).
Maria Friedman is an English actress and director of stage and screen, best known for her work in musical theatre. She is an Eight-time Olivier Award nominee, winning three. Her first win was for her 1994 one-woman show, By Special Arrangement. She has also twice won Best Actress in a Musical for the original London productions of Passion and Ragtime. She is more recently known for her role as Elaine Peacock in EastEnders. She also made an appearance as the narrator in the 1999 straight to video version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Dana P. Rowe is an American musical theater composer whose works have been performed internationally with productions in London’s West End, Russia, Czech Republic, Japan, Germany, Australia, New York City, São Paulo, Brazil and Slovenia.
Marina Prior is an Australian soprano and actress with a career mainly in musical theatre. From 1990 to 1993, she starred as the original Christine Daaé in the Australian premiere of The Phantom of the Opera, opposite Anthony Warlow and later Rob Guest.
Sara Gettelfinger is an American actress, singer, and dancer.
The Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 American dark fantasy-comedy film directed by George Miller and starring Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne, alongside Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon as the eponymous witches. The film is based on John Updike's 1984 novel The Witches of Eastwick.
Ilkley Upstagers' Theatre Group, or simply Upstagers, is a well-known amateur theatre group based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a musical with a book by Joseph Fields and Anita Loos, lyrics by Leo Robin, and music by Jule Styne, based on the best-selling 1925 novel of the same name by Loos. The story involves an American woman's voyage to Paris to perform in a nightclub.
Rosemary Ashe is an English stage actress and classically trained opera singer.
The Widows of Eastwick is the final novel by John Updike, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning "Rabbit" series. First published in 2008, it is a sequel to his novel The Witches of Eastwick.
Josefina Gabrielle is a British stage and television actress, and a former ballet dancer, best known for her performances in West End musicals and plays.
Sarah Lark is a Welsh singer and actress who rose to fame when she competed as one of the finalists in the BBC talent show-themed television series I'd Do Anything in 2008.
Joanna Riding is an English actress. For her work in West End musicals, she has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, and has been nominated for three others.
Caroline Sheen is a Welsh actress who has played leading roles on stage in the West End alongside TV and film appearances. She won a Helen Hayes award for playing the role of Mary Poppins on the National Tour of America.
Eastwick is an American fantasy comedy-drama television series based on John Updike's 1984 novel The Witches of Eastwick which aired on ABC from September 23 until December 30, 2009. The series was developed by Maggie Friedman, and starred Paul Gross as the infamous Darryl Van Horne, alongside Jaime Ray Newman, Lindsay Price, and Rebecca Romijn as the eponymous witches.
Earl Carpenter is an English musical theatre actor, recognised chiefly for his work in London's West End. He is known for his performances as Javert in the stage musical Les Misérables and as the Phantom in the London production of The Phantom of the Opera. He played the Phantom in the 25th Anniversary UK Tour, replacing John Owen-Jones, who left the tour in September. He made his return to Broadway in May 2015, reprising his role of Inspector Javert and recently a new show in Singapore Forbidden City
Matt Lee is an Australian dancer and actor. He has starred in Bootmen, We Will Rock You, Rent, Grease, and Mary Poppins for which he won a Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He was a motion capture principal for the Oscar winning film Happy Feet where he brought to life the loveable tap dancing penguin Mumble. He has choreographed for, and worked alongside Paula Abdul, Ricky Martin, Human Nature, Samantha Jade, Hilary Duff and Christine Anu. He was also a judge and choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance.