Andrew Lloyd Webber has appointed Neil Meron, a renowned film, television, and theatre producer, as a consultant for his London-based Really Useful Group (RUG). Meron will collaborate closely with RUG’s Licensing and Production team in this role to identify and develop fresh opportunities for Lloyd Webber’s impressive intellectual property (IP) across North America. His responsibilities will include talent scouting, and fostering relationships with film companies, networks, streamers, dance companies, and new media platforms. Additionally, Meron will work closely with Lloyd Webber’s new joint venture alongside esteemed British theatre producer Michael Harrison to support their exploration of new experiences in North America.
Meron’s association with Lloyd Webber dates back to the late 1970s when he and his late partner, Craig Zadan, created a nightclub act for Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice during the release of the original concept album of Evita. Meron and Zadan executive produced the Emmy Award-winning “Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert” for NBC. Their collaboration extended to various feature projects such as Chicago (Best Picture Oscar winner), Hairspray, and The Bucket List. They also served as executive producers for television productions, including “Gypsy” starring Bette Midler, “Cinderella” starring Brandy and Whitney Houston, “Life with Judy Garland” starring Judy Davis, “A Raisin in the Sun” starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, and Audra McDonald, and “Steel Magnolias” starring Queen Latifah. They were involved in all of NBC’s live musicals, starting with “Sound of Music Live” featuring Carrie Underwood and continuing through “Superstar.” In 2021, Meron executive produced “Annie Live” for NBC in collaboration with Robert Greenblatt. On Broadway, Meron and Zadan produced the revival of Promises, Promises starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth, and How To Succeed in Business… starring Daniel Radcliffe. Meron and the Shubert Organization are producing Some Like it Hot on Broadway, which received 13 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Meron expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying, “It is a thrill to be collaborating with Andrew again as I look for new ways to expand his already considerable impact on the world. He is a born boundary-pusher, whether he’s generating new work or reinventing his remarkable library of classic titles. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this next chapter of this legendary artist.”
MJ goes across the pond
The highly anticipated Broadway musical “MJ,” which celebrates the life and artistry of the iconic Michael Jackson, is set to captivate audiences in London’s West End. Producers Lia Vollack, John Branca, and John McClain announced that Myles Frost, the Tony Award® winner for Best Actor in a Musical, will reprise his star-making role as Michael Jackson in the London production.
Under the guidance of the internationally renowned creative team, headed by Pulitzer Prize® winner Lynn Nottage and Tony Award® winner Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ” is slated to begin performances at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on March 6, 2024. The highly anticipated press night is March 27, 2024, at 7:00 pm. Tickets for “MJ” in London will be available starting this Wednesday, May 24, 2023. For more information and bookings, visit www.mjthemusical.com.
LeBron James is “King”
In the bustling city of New York, the Manhattan Theatre Club will premiere a captivating new play that delves into the unexpected friendship forged by two men whose destinies are linked to their idol, the legendary NBA player “King” LeBron James. Titled “King James,” this production is a collaboration between Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Center Theatre Group, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon. LeBron James, an iconic figure in the world of basketball, had a profound impact on the city of Cleveland during his twelve-year reign as their hero. In this wonderfully funny and profoundly moving play, Rajiv Joseph masterfully explores the intertwined fortunes of these two men and their unbreakable bond. With adrenaline-pumping intensity, “King James” takes audiences on a journey highlighting the power of connection and the unexpected ways it can transform lives.
Tickets for King James can be purchased online at www.nycitycenter.org, by calling 212-581-1212, or by visiting the New York City Center box office (131 West 55th Street).