Theatre News: Elaine Paige, War of The Worlds, The York’s New Online Cabaret, Rebecca Luker and Matthew Scott

Theatre News: Elaine Paige, War of The Worlds, The York’s New Online Cabaret, Rebecca Luker and Matthew Scott

Elaine Paige will return to the role of Queen Rat for the upcoming socially distanced pantomime at The London Palladium.

Paige joins a plethora of stars who have appeared in previous Palladium shows, such as Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot, Ashley Banjo and Diversity and Charlie Stemp for the experience. Beverley Knight and Jac Yarrow will join the piece, after previously starring in the Birmingham Hippodrome panto.

The show is set to be two hours and 15 minutes long, with tickets from £25. The piece will run from 12 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.

Pantoland has a creative team composed of director Michael Harrison, choreographer Karen Bruce, set designer Ian Westbrook, costume designer Hugh Durrant, lighting designer Ben Cracknell, sound designer Gareth Owen and composer and orchestrator Gary Hind.

The production is aided by the National Lottery, which will be helping to support pantos through ticket buying schemes. More details and venues participating in the scheme are to be announced.

Keen Company’s 2020-’21 Season will feature a series of all-star benefit broadcasts, beginning with Howard Koch’s legendary adaptation of War of the Worlds made popular by Orson Welles followed by Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher, which was once called “the greatest single radio script ever written.” 

Each one-night only event will feature a starry cast performing the audio piece live, and include a talkback after the show with artists. Tickets to these fundraiser events will support Keen Company’s Hear/Now audio theater season, as well as our Keen Playwrights Lab for mid-career writers and Keen Teens which serves students in all five boroughs of NYC. Tickets are only $25 and are available on at

Jason Tam

Today Keen Company Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein announced some of the cast for War of the Worlds, led by Jason Tam, who will be joined by Arnie Burton, Morgan Siobhan Green, and Khiry Walker, with more to be announced shortly. War of the Worlds will have original music by Paul Brill.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, I became increasingly obsessed with old time radio and the ways these early pioneers provoked their audience to use their imagination in new ways. One of the greatest of these programs is Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds, which skillfully used ‘fake news’ to create real life panic on October 30, 1938. 82 years later, I am thrilled to be collaborating with a wonderful group of talented and generous Keen friends to create an all new audio version of this famous broadcast. I look forward to sharing this one of a kind revival, which will not only entertain, but also bring to light some eerily similar themes between its original broadcast and today,” said Mr. Silverstein.

This one-night only benefit performance of Howard Koch’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel was made infamous during its original broadcast, sounding so realistic it incited mass hysteria across America and elevated “fake news” to an art form. Listen as a news station reports sinister machines and mysterious creatures making their way towards New York City, during Keen’s starry live performance of one of the most famous radio plays in history on the night before Halloween.  Orson Welles’s legendary production originally aired on October 30, 1938 as part of The Mercury Theater on the Air and was similarly the product of NYC theater company learning to diversify.

The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director) and Riki Kane Larimer are pleased to announce the new online cabaret series Broadway’s Great American Songbook. Hosted by 5-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein and directed by MAC Award winner Barry Kleinbort, the series will feature performers including Tony Award winners Ben Vereen and Lillias White and Broadway veterans George Abud, Klea Blackhurst, Robert Creighton, Karen Mason, Lee Roy Reams, and Alton Fitzgerald White, with special guest appearances by Jeremy Benton, Richard Kind, Kylie Kuioka, and more! All proceeds will go to benefit ongoing programs at The York.

Online performances are set to begin each week with a premiere showing on Wednesday evenings beginning November 4, 2020 and continuing weekly through Wednesday evening, December 16, 2020, with encore performances scheduled for Thursday afternoons at 2:30PM, Fridays at 7:00PM & 10:00PM, and Saturdays at 2:30PM & 7:00PM.

The series culminates with a York Holiday Cabaret Gala on Monday evening, December 21, 2020 at 7:00PM. Details and ticket pricing will be announced shortly. Proceeds from this event will benefit the programs of The York Theatre Company. Reservations can be made as soon as details are announced.

PS CLASSICS, the label dedicated to the heritage of Broadway and American Popular Song, has released a new single today, Friday, October 16: a duet of Rebecca Luker and Matthew Scott singing Jerome Kern and PG Wodehouse’s delightful “The Enchanted Train.” The chart was orchestrated and music directed by Joseph Thalken, produced by Tommy Krasker, and mixed by Bart Migal. It is currently available from all digital and streaming platforms. 

Rebecca Luker says, “In 2013, I recorded a duet for my Jerome Kern CD, I Got Love: Songs of Jerome Kern, with my brilliantly talented friend, Matthew Scott. I was heartbroken that the song never made it onto the final recording. But now PS Classics has gorgeously orchestrated ‘The Enchanted Train,’ and I’m so grateful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”

PS Classics founder Tommy Krasker notes, “The song wasn’t in Rebecca’s original stage show. Ironically, it was my idea to add it for the album, because I’ve always loved the song so much. But as I mixed it down, I realized that the rest of the CD was so personal and introspective that this joyous song just didn’t fit. It got left on the cutting room floor. But this past summer, I found myself thinking about it a lot, as did Becca and Matt. I realized it needed more of a chart than the piano and bass that had accompanied the original album, and music director Joe Thalken brilliantly orchestrated it for eight players — Rick Heckman, Sean McDaniel, Robin Zeh, Paul Woodiel, Deborah Sepe, and Dick Sarpola — who recorded it in their private studios. Our genius engineer Bart mixed it all down, Becca and Matt chimed in with notes and comments — and happily, hearty approval — and we’re all so thrilled to unveil the results. As the song title implies, it’s three-and-a-half minutes of pure enchantment.”

Matt Scott added, “I was so excited when Becca asked me to duet with her on ‘The Enchanted Train.’ I’m a huge Jerome Kern fan and an even bigger Rebecca Luker fan. To me, Becca IS Broadway. Her signature soprano voice has always sent chills up my spine, and duetting with her on this track was no different.”


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

More in Cabaret

Get Your Tix To The GMHC Cabaret & Howard Ashman Award Before It Sells Out!

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 4, 2023

Candace Bushnell and Tony Award-Winning Actress and Singer Sutton Foster Returns to Cafe Carlyle

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 2, 2023

My View: “America’s Got Talent”…A Lot Of It Is In Palm Beach

Stephen SorokoffJanuary 31, 2023

John Pizzarelli Returns To Café Carlyle March 14 – 25

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 29, 2023

Piaf! The Show Gets Multiple Standing Ovations

Magda KatzJanuary 28, 2023

She Angels Raises Money For a Good Cause While Showcasing Talent Galore

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 23, 2023

Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For February

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 21, 2023

T2C Talks to Tony and Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Holliday About Becoming a Diamond at 54 Below and Her Mental Health Advocacy

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 19, 2023

Daisy Jopling and Her Band Wow At The Iridium

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 17, 2023