Musicals about girls from London: Viva Forever and Matilda

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It's interesting to see two musicals about girls, created in London, catching buzz this year.

Viva Forever, a jukebox musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls.

From the award-winning writer and comedienne Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, French & Saunders), and Judy Craymer, producer of the worldwide smash-hit musical "Mamma Mia!" (the musical based on the music of Abba), comes "Viva Forever!," a wonderfully joyous contemporary musical about the value of friendship in the face of fame and fortune.

As one girl follows her dreams, "Viva Forever!" charts her journey into the world of overnight celebrity and its impact on her mother, and the friends she thought she'd have forever. From London to Spain and back again, as the world judges you, it's all about who you really are and who you want to be, whatever the cost.

Spice up your life with this exhilarating and irresistibly funny tale of love, loyalty and romance. An original story of our times, inspired by the songs of the Spice Girls, "Viva Forever!" hits all the high notes for a fabulous feel-good night out.

The musical is scheduled to open at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre in December 2012

The Spice Girls are a British pop girl group formed in 1994 that have sold over 75 million records worldwide.  In December 2000, the group unofficially announced that they were beginning an indefinite hiatus.  They reunited in 2007 for a reunion concert tour.

Matilda, the Musical, based on the book of the same title by Roald Dahl.

Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the production had its world premiere in 2010 and premiered in London's West End last year.  The show won seven 2012 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical--the most awards ever won by a single show.

The show uses three teams of child performers.  The four children who play the title role won the 2012 Olivier award for Best Actress in Musical. (The children who played Billy Elliot in the musical shared the 2006 Best Actor in a Musical.)

The RSC has announced the show will transfer to Broadway in Spring 2013.

Roald Dahl's much-loved story bursts into life on stage in this musical version by Dennis Kelly and award-winning musician and comedian Tim Minchin. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Earlier version of the poster during the
show's first run, using illustrations by
Quentin Blake, the illustrator of the book.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, designed by Rob Howell, choreography by Peter Darling, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, musical supervision and orchestration by Christopher Nightingale, sound by Simon Baker and special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

The book was made into a movie in 1996 directed by Danny DeVito and starring Mara Wilson as Matilda.

Roald Dahl wrote one play, "The Honeys," which ran on Broadway in 1955. It starred Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, and Dorothy Stickney. The play is based on some of the stories from "Someone Like You" and revolves around two sisters who decide to murder their husbands.

The last big musical that RSC produced was "Les Misérables" by Claude-Michel Schoenberg and Alain Boublil directed by Trevor Nunn in 1985.

It also produced "Carrie: The Musical" adapted from Stephen King's novel "Carrie" in 1988, which was cited in Ken Mandelbaum's 1992 book "Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops."  Though "Carrie" has developed somewhat of a cult-following among campus productions and had a reworked version staged on Broadway earlier this year.

What do you think of these productions? Share your comments.

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