Cat Stars, Sister & Rat Pack Launch WOS Awards
Date: 3 November 2009
Just days after their London opening in the transatlantic transfer of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Broadway stars James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan will help launch one of the biggest events in the West End: the TENTH ANNUAL Whatsonstage.com Awards, the “theatregoers’ choice”. This year’s glitzy launch party, at which all of the artists and shows in the 2010 awards running will be revealed, is held at Cafe de Paris, at lunchtime on Friday 4 December 2009.
The three Broadway stars, who have a collection of Tony Awards and other US accolades between them, will be our special guest co-presenters, reading the shortlists for the shortlists of nominations across the 20+ awards categories. The 2010 Awards cover the 2009 theatregoing year, running from 1 December 2008 to 30 November 2009. (As Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens on 1 December 2009, the three actors and their production will be considered as part of the 2011 Awards.)
The Americans will be joined by British stage and screen legend Jeremy Irons, presenting on behalf of this year’s adopted charity, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass, which gives young people the chance to learn from and be inspired by leading artists (See News, 29 Sep 2009).
There will also be three live musical performances. Patina Miller, who won rave reviews earlier this year for stepping into Whoopi Goldberg’s shoes as Deloris von Cartier in blockbuster screen-to-stage hit Sister Act at the London Palladium, will prove why she’s “Fabulous, Baby” in the show. And the ever-smooth Frank, Sammy and Dean from Christmas with The Rat Pack at the Adelphi Theatre will get guests in the festive mood with some croon-worthy seasonal classics.
Last but not least, in honour of the tenth anniversary of the Awards, the stars of satirical musical comedy hit Jest End, which returns this month for a five-week season at Jermyn Street Theatre, will perform a special celebratory medley.
Top (l-r): Patina Miller in Sister Act; Jeremy Irons; Bottom (l-r): Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’s James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan with co-star Adrian Lester; Jest End; and Christmas with The Rat Pack.
Charity, voting & sponsors
The nominations phase of the 2010 Whatsonstage.com Awards has now opened – click here to nominate your favourite shows and artists! After the launch party, the race is on to decide the eventual Whatsonstage.com Award winners, with voting on the shortlists opening on Monday 7 December 2009 and continuing until the end of January. Results are announced and awards presented in front of a live audience of theatregoer voters at our Winners’ Concert on Sunday 14 February 2010 at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre.
Both Awards events are held in aid of this year’s adopted charity, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass, which gives young people the chance to learn from and be inspired by leading artists (See News, 29 Sep 2009). Set up by the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1998, the hugely successful Masterclass programme has now welcomed over 40,000 people aged 17-30. Events are given free of charge and occur at least one Friday a month throughout the year, focusing on all aspects of theatre from acting and directing to writing and producing.
Though Masterclass events are designed for those at the start of their careers, theatregoers and others, of whatever age, are also welcome. The Masterclass Benefactors scheme (priced £55 per annum) has been set up for this purpose. It includes: access to over 12 events a year, an annual friends’ party and special ticket offers for Theatre Royal Haymarket productions. Details can be found at www.masterclass.org.uk.
For more information on the charity and our corporate sponsors in relation to the Awards, please visit our awards microsite later this week. For the first time this year, we’re also making a limited number of sponsorship packages available to individuals. For information on theatregoers’ packages, click here.