Based on the cult film of the same name, along with the famous John Updike novel, The Witches of Eastwick is a witty musical by John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe. The show opened in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2000 and was produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The show follows the plot of the film quiet closely, as three women from a conservative American town conjure up the devil to help them with their various problems. As Daryl Van Horne begins to woo the inhabitants of Eastwick, the women begin to let themselves go and attract negative attention. Despite the fantastic score and witty book the London production was short lived, although a 2011 UK tour proved to be successful. The musical is also available for amateur companies who wish to take on the task of making the three women fly.
Dana P. Rowe
the novel by John Updike and The Warner Bros. motion picture
Bob Avian & Stephen Mear
Original London Production
Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 24 Jun 2000, closed 27 Oct 2001
Cast: Ian McShane as Daryll Van Horne, Lucie Arnaz as Alexandra Spofford, Joanna Riding as Jane Smart, Maria Friedman as Sukie Rougemont, Rosemary Ashe as Felicia Gabriel, Stephen Tate as Clyde Gabriel, Caroline Sheen as Jennifer Gabriel, Peter Jöback as Michael Spofford
Signature Theatre Virginia - Opened 5 Jun 2007, closed 15 Jul 2007
Norwich Theatre Royal and others - Opened 23 Aug 2008, closed 9 May 2009
What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box
In the fictional suburban town of Eastwick, Rhode Island, everyone knows everyone else’s business, particularly Felicia Gabriel, the town’s resident busybody and know-it-all combined (“Eastwick Knows”). She is about to receive an award when a sudden thunderstorm forces the day’s events to come to a close.
Alex, Jane, and Sukie are three witches who live in the town unsuspected and on this particular occasion are meeting in Alex’s house. Though they have each other, they are lonely and lack real relationships with men. It is revealed that Sukie is having an affair with Felicia’s husband Clyde. Alex’s son Michael arrives with his girlfriend Jennifer, who is also Felicia and Clyde’s daughter. They are very much in love, and the three witches are a bit jealous that they cannot have the same thing with a man (“Make Him Mine”).
Felicia and Clyde’s marriage is clearly at breaking point, but she refuses to let the cracks show to the town, preferring to pretend she has the perfect life. She receives a call that a stranger from New York has moved into the Lennox mansion and is cutting down the trees. Always first to protest, she rallies up her Eastwick Preservation Society to confront the new owner, Darryl. When they arrive, all but Felicia find him strangely charming, until their signs spontaneously burst into flames.
Darryl appears suddenly to each of the witches, managing to seduce them all. They finally realise what is happening when they are all invited to play tennis at his house. He makes a ball burst into flames and explains he is the man they have been looking for. He then teaches them how to place a curse on Felicia by throwing items into a cookie jar, each of which Felicia then vomits out in her kitchen. Darryl begins having an impact on the whole town when he makes it his mission to teach the men how to please their women (“Dance With the Devil”).
Alex, Sukie, and Jane arrive at Darryl’s for an orgy, but when he receives word the Eastwick Preservation Society is suing him, they vow revenge. They throw everything they can into the cookie jar, and Felicia, unable to cope any longer asks Clyde to take her out of her misery. He hits her with a frying plan and shouts he’s glad to be rid of her, just as she takes his tie and shoves it down the garbage disposal, killing them both.
The witches confront Darryl, saying he has taken things too far, and he becomes enraged, causing them to flee the house. Darryl comes across Jennifer and decides to seduce her, convincing her to marry him. The witches decide they must rid the town of him for good. Just before the wedding, they arrive with a voodoo doll of Darryl and take their revenge, as Darryl is sent back to hell. Jennifer and Michael get back together, and the Alex, Jane, and Sukie decide to give up witchcraft for good (“Look at Me”).
- Eastwick Knows
- While The Sun’s Still In The Sky
- Make Him Mine
- I Love A Little Town
- Eye Of The Beholder
- Waiting For The Music To Begin
- What About The Egrets
- Words, Words, Words
- Dirty Laundry
- I Wish I May
- Another Night At Darryl’s
- Dance With The Devil
- Dirty Laundry (reprise)
- Loose Ends
- I Love A Little Town (reprise)
- Isn’t This What Every Woman Wants?
- Who’s The Man?
- The Wedding
- Look At Me
2001 Oliver Awards
- Best New Musical (nomination)
- Best Actress in a Musical – Joanna Riding (nomination)
- Best Supporting Actress in a Musical – Rosemary Ashe (nomination)
- Best Lighting Design (nomination)
UK: Josef Weinberger