Now in their 64th year, the annual awards celebrate outstanding achievement and performance in London theatre. Votes can be cast by heading to the Radio Two website bbc.co.uk/radio2 and voting will remain open until 11.59pm on Sunday 29 October.
The winner of the award will be announced live from the ceremony on December 3 (9pm-11pm) as part of a special programme being hosted by the doyenne of theatre, Elaine Paige, and fellow Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce. They will be presenting from backstage bringing listeners exclusive access all areas news as well as speaking to the award winners and some of the stars gathered to celebrate.
The seven musicals in the running are:
The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ at Menier Chocolate Factory
Set in 1980s Leicester, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, follows the daily dramas and misadventures of Adrian’s adolescent life. With dysfunctional parents, ungrateful elders, a growing debt to school bully Barry Kent and an unruly pimple on his chin, life is hard for a misunderstood intellectual who is only 13 ¾… To top it off, when new girl Pandora captures his heart, his best friend Nigel steals hers. Can Adrian win back her love and escape his chaotic family life?
An American In Paris at the Dominion Theatre
The acclaimed adaptation of the Oscar-winning film tells the impassioned story of Jerry Mulligan, an American GI pursuing his dream to make it as a painter in the aftermath of war. Following a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer named Lise Dassin, the ‘City of Light’ becomes the backdrop to a sensuous modern romance of art, friendship and love, as Paris is re-born. With a timeless variety of gorgeous Gershwin tunes (including I Got Rhythm and ‘S Wonderful), spectacular designs and show-stopping choreography, this joyous production also features a company of 50 world-class actors, dancers and musicians.
Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell at the London Coliseum
Featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, this musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.
Dreamgirls at The Savoy
Transporting you to a revolutionary time in American music history, Dreamgirls charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called The Dreams, as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous. Featuring the classic songs And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going; I Am Changing; Listen; and One Night Only, the UK premiere of Dreamgirls opened to critical acclaim at the Savoy Theatre, London in November 2016, 35 years after the original production on Broadway.
Follies at the National Theatre
New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weissman Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.
School Of Rock at the New London Theatre
Based on the movie of the same name, School Of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a failed rock star who poses as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school in order to enter a band made up of students into a battle of the bands.
She Loves Me at Menier Chocolate Factory
Meet Amalia and Georg, who work as clerks in Maraczek’s Parfumerie - and aren’t exactly the best of friends. However, they have something in common. They both rapturously write to romantic pen pals. Despite the anonymity of their secret admirers, they live for the love letters that they exchange and the day they will finally meet. This enduring love story has been the basis for the films The Shop Around The Corner and You’ve Got Mail.
The shortlist was compiled by this year’s Advisory Judging Panel, which comprises of Head of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie, London Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings, What’s On Stage’s Sarah Crompton, Matt Wolf of International New York Times, broadcaster and Guardian culture writer Mark Lawson and Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye.
Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2, says: “I’m delighted that Radio 2 are able to offer our audience the chance to choose their favourite musical of the year. The 2017 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards are an amazing way to celebrate the exceptional theatre that London always delivers.”
Images - Radio 2 website