is a show quite unlike any other that's been seen on a London musical
a start, though it won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2000,
it's not really a musical at all - no new music was written for
it, nor is any of it played live, nor does it tell a single story.
it is essentially three separate dance and dialogue pieces, telling
of their characters' attempts to connect with one another.
is the creation of the most commercially successful contemporary
Broadway choreographer alive: Susan Stroman, whose current
credits stretch from the new dances she provided for the current
import of the National Theatre's production of Oklahoma!
to New York's ongoing biggest success with a stage version of Mel
Brooks's cult movie, The Producers.
in a field where collaboration is the name of the game, it is her
work on Contact that has come most directly from her own creative
longest section, a story set in a Manhattan pool hall turned dance
hall where a New York advertising exec finds himself in the small
hours of the morning, was inspired by a real-life event that the
choreographer saw one night, observing a yellow-dressed young woman
working the room of a club:
was clearly there to make contact," Stroman remembers. "As
I watched her, I thought to myself, by the end of the night this
girl is going to change some guy's life."
Zimmerman, a tall, striking American singer/dancer who has starred
in the London production of Chicago, plays The Girl in the
Yellow Dress, opposite Michael Praed as the advertising executive.
the two shorter sections that comprise the first half, an 18th-century
painting that hangs in London's Wallace Collection comes to life,
and an abused wife seeks to escape from her tormenting husband in
a restaurant, with the role of the wife being played by the former
Royal Ballet dancer Sarah Wildor.
Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue WC2, box office:
0870 890 1110