When reference is made to Hollywood's 'Golden Era' and the great musicals of the thirties, one film stands head and shoulders (and hat) above the rest; 1935's Top Hat.
With an iconic score composed by Irving Berlin and starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at the very peak of their powers, Top Hat was studio RKO's biggest hit of the decade, collecting five times its production budget in takings and picking up four Academy Award nominations.
The so-called screwball comedy is about an American dancer, Jerry Travers, who comes to London to star in a new production and instead focuses much of his attention on trying to win the affection of a neighbour in his apartment block, Dale Tremont.
What follows is a classic tale of comic deception, misunderstanding, a love triangle and a lot of dancing, featuring Astaire's most celebrated tap solo, to 'Top Hat, White Tie and Tails', and perhaps the film's most famous number, 'Cheek to Cheek'.
The touring production of Top Hat, starring actor and Strictly Come Dancing star Tom Chambers as Travers and triple Olivier Award nominee Summer Strallen as Tremont, received its premiere in Milton Keynes on August and continues to tour until December before taking up a well-earned residency on The Strand until 2013, at least. And it has been confirmed that both Tom and Summer will head-up the cast for the West End run!
Irving Berlin's Top Hat settles in the West End at the Aldwych Theatre on Thursday 19th April 2012, now booking until Saturday 26th January 2013.
We will have tickets available when they go on sale at 10AM on Saturday 12th November 2011, priced from £15 for some weeknight Grand Circle seats to £65 for the best Saturday evening Dress Circle and stalls seats.
In the meantime, the tour continues throughout the autumn.