A string of hits, a cast of two, ‘Forever Plaid’ meets ‘I Do, I Do’. Off-Broadway musical PETE ‘N’ KEELY gets its European premiere at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre in May, with David Bardsley and Katie Kerr playing the Swingin’ Sixties TV sweethearts from the show’s title.
It’s 1968. America’s Swingin’ Sweethearts, Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, are performing live on national television! The only catch? They haven’t spoken to each other in five years.
Through a non-stop parade of song hits from the 50s and 60s – highlighted by elaborately staged flashbacks – Pete and Keely relive the roller coaster ride that got them where they are today… divorced! Pete and Keely have some unfinished business and the tension bubbling beneath the show’s glitzy surface threatens to boil over at any moment in a confrontation that will definitely not be ready for prime time.
As the inevitable blow-up gets closer, the songs become increasingly double-edged. History repeats itself, live and in full colour, as Pete and Keely head towards a conclusion that’s at once uproariously funny and surprisingly touching.
Katie Kerr (Little Shop of Horrors, Fat Pig, Sweeney Todd, Bumblescratch) and David Bardsley (Titanic, Guys and Dolls, The Fix) are the title stars who perform unforgettable renditions of the era’s popular favourites.
Director Matthew Gould – who was fantastic in a Q&A I chaired last summer at his production of I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road at Jermyn Street Theatre – said about his latest musical offering:
“From the moment I was introduced to PETE ‘N’ KEELY last year, all my childhood memories of illicitly watching American comedy sketch on my tiny black and white TV in my bedroom came flooding back. Memories that were in black and white but now will be realised in full bodied 60s colour as we embrace the joy, laughter and sheer bloody talent of Pete and Keely as they reunite for one final TV spectacular.”
For the Q&A following the 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 6 May 2017, I’ll be joined by the director and stars.