Replicating the classic Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire ‘Cheek to Cheek’ dance on stage, alongside many other elegant numbers, Top Hat is the musical comedy based on the 1935 film of the same name and opens at London’s Aldwych Theatre.
Adapted from the original screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott, Top Hat retains Irving Berlin’s classically charming music and lyrics. Following the same story as the Hollywood film, Top Hat tells the tale of actress Dale Tremont and dancer Jerry Travers, Practising for a performance, Jerry tap dances in a hotel room, however it just so happens that his feet are keeping the young starlet in the room below him awake. Dale storms upstairs to scold the noisy Jerry, but gets more than she bargained for when the pair begin to fall for each other.
Top Hat is adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques, and is also directed by White, with costume design by Jon Morrell, lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Gareth Owen, choreography by Bill Deamer, new orchestrations by Chris Walker and set design by Hildegard Bechtler. Original casting for the musical included Summer Strallen as Dale and Tom Chambers as Jerry Travers, with Charlotte Gooch and then Kristen Beth Williams taking over the role of Dale and Gavin Lee taking over the role as Jerry.
Top Hat was nominated for seven Olivier Awards in 2013, winning awards for Best Costume, Best Choreography and the much coveted Best New Musical. Using aspects of the film’s original choreography, Deamer has worked to pair his movement with Berlin’s elegant score. Stand-out musical numbers include ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’, ‘I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket’, ‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’ and the iconic ‘Cheek to Cheek’.