LYRIC HAMMERSMITH THEATRE ANNOUNCES SAMMY AS SUMMER 2020 MUSICAL
The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, in association with Anthology Theatre and Aria Entertainment, announces Sammy as their major summer 2020 musical. Based on the life and career of legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr., the production will run in the Main House from Tuesday 28 July – Saturday 19 September, with a press night on Wednesday 05 August.
Olivier Award-Winner, Giles Terera (Hamilton, West End) will play the title character, Sammy Davis Jr, in a production written by Academy and Grammy Award winner Leslie Bricusse, whose credits include Sammy’s What Kind of Fool Am I? and The Candy Man. The musical, which will be directed by Clarke Peters (Five Guys Named Moe, West End and The Wire, HBO), will feature a live band performing many of his iconic songs, including Feeling Good and Who Can I Turn To?
Grammy Hall of Fame inductee Sammy Davis Jr. was born in 1925, setting his sights on stardom from a young age. From humble beginnings he shot to fame as a member of The Rat Pack and navigated the racial politics of 60s America to eventually become one of the greatest performers of the 20th century. The untold story of talent, prejudice, love and legacy will mark what would have been his 95th birthday.
Speaking about the production, director, Clarke Peters said:
“Sammy was so important to me growing up, we all aspired to be him. But his influence on us as African American men was questionable. I’m delighted that we will be taking audiences on this journey with us, exploring the life and enduring legacy of this complicated but phenomenal entertainer through Leslie’s great love letter to his friend and collaborator Sammy Davis Jr.”
Writer, Leslie Bricusse said:
“To have the creator of Five Guys Named Moe (Clarke Peters) direct the Olivier Award winning star of Hamilton (Giles Terera) by joining me in bringing you the musical life story of Sammy Davis Jr in this beautiful theatre is a rare and great privilege.
“Sammy was a phenomenal human being, and a blazing talent, beyond anything we had ever seen. My wife Evie and I saw Sammy perform over 300 times during the 30 years of our great friendship with him, and after every performance we would look at one another and say ‘that’s the best he’s ever been!’ Because it always was!”
Giles Terera said:
“I am excited and very honoured to finally be bringing Sammy Davis Jr’s incredible story to fresh new audiences. His triumphs and struggles speak to me and inspire me today more than ever.”
The musical, which was workshopped in October 2019, will close the 2019/2020 Season at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. About the show, Artistic Director, Rachel O’Riordan said:
“I’m delighted that, to conclude my first season as Artistic Director, we will be producing Sammy – an epic musical, written by the legendary playwright and lyricist Leslie Bricusse. To have Giles Terera play the title character – in a musical directed by the brilliant Clarke Peters – in the Lyric’s beautiful Main House is an exciting and momentous prospect. I can’t wait for us to work with this incredible team and to take our audiences on this journey with us; nor can I imagine a better way to close our 2019/2020 season”.
For press enquiries please contact the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s Press Office:
Armani Ur-Rub | Armani.Ur-Rub@lyric.co.uk | Tel: 020 8741 6822 (ext 429)
Leslie Bricusse – Music, Book, and Lyrics
Leslie Bricusse is a prolific and celebrated British composer, lyricist and playwright. A double Oscar and Grammy Award winner, he has written the book, music and/or lyrics for more than 40 musical films and plays.
Stage musicals include: Stop The World – I Want To Get Off; The Roar Of The Greasepaint – The Smell Of The Crowd; Harvey; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Scrooge; Sherlock Holmes; Jekyll And Hyde; Cyrano De Bergerac; and Victor/Victoria.
He has written songs for such films as: Doctor Dolittle; Scrooge; Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Superman; Victor/Victoria; Home Alone 1 & 2; Hook; Goldfinger; You Only Live Twice; and The Last Emperor.
Leslie has been nominated for ten Oscars, nine Grammys and four Tonys, and has won two Oscars, a Grammy and eight Ivor Novello Awards – the premiere British Music Award. His legendary songbook includes such well- known songs as Feeling Good, Pure Imagination, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Talk To The Animals, What Kind Of Fool Am I?, and If I Ruled The World.
Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded 60 songs written by Leslie, including The Candy Man – Sammy’s only Number 1 hit.
In 1989 Leslie Bricusse received the Kennedy Award for consistent excellence in British song writing, bestowed by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. That same year he was inducted into the American Songwriters’ Hall of Fame – only the fourth Englishman to be so honoured — after Noel Coward, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Clarke Peters has a long- established and wide-ranging career in theatre, television, radio and film. Some of his work includes:
Theatre includes: King Lear (Shakespeare in the Park); Race (Hampstead Theatre); Chicago (Broadway); Porgy and Bess (West End); The American Clock (Old Vic); Othello (Sheffield Crucible).
Theatre directing credits includes: Five Guys Named Moe (writer/director); Blues for Mr Charlie (Sheffield Crucible) and King (West End)
Television includes: The Wire, Tremé, The Corner, Show Me a Hero, True Detective (HBO); Jericho (CBS); The Divide (AMC); Chance (Hulu/Fox21); Jessica Jones (Netflix); His Dark Materials, Bumps, Jonathan Creek, London Spy (BBC); Love Is (Warner Horizon); Bulletproof, The Tunnel (Sky); Underground (Sony); Memphis Beat (TNT) Damages (FX); Life on Mars (ABC); Law and Order – Trial by Jury and Person of Interest (NBC)
Films include: Da 5 Bloods, Red Hook Summer (40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks); Come Away (Endurance Media); Harriet (Martin Chase Productions); Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Film 4); The Bad Education Movie (Cave Bear Productions); Nativity! (Mirrorball Films/BBC Films); Mandela – The Prison Years (Shiver Productions); Marley & Me (Fox), Freedomland (Revolution Studios); Notting Hill (Polygram Filmed Entertainment); Mona Lisa (HandMade Films); The Benefactor (Audax Films)
Giles Terera is an award-winning actor, musician, writer and film-maker. In 2018 he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the role of Arron Burr in Hamilton. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to Theatre.
Theatre includes: Rosmersholm (Duke of Yorks Theatre); Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre); The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Donmar Warehouse); The Merchant of Venice (Globe Theatre & World Tour); The Book of Mormon, RENT (Prince of Wales Theatre); The Tempest (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Hamlet, Death and the King’s Horseman, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, The Darker Face of the Earth (National Theatre); Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre); Ratpack (Strand Theatre & International Tour); Jailhouse Rock (Theatre Royal Plymouth & Piccadilly Theatre); 125th Street (Shaftsbury Theatre);
Television includes: Horrible Histories, Series 1-5 (CBBC)
Filmmaking includes: MUSE OF FIRE (Illuminations)