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Aria Entertainment partners with US producer to develop musicals for UK and New York

Katy Lipson boss of Aria Entertainment. Photo: Alex Brenner Katy Lipson boss of Aria Entertainment. Photo: Alex Brenner
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Pippin and Hair producer Aria Entertainment has teamed up with Tony-award-winning New York company Kierstead Productions to stage musicals in both London and the US.

Katy Lipson, who runs Aria, has partnered with Kierstead Productions, whose credits include shows such as Waitress and Kinky Boots, both in London and New York.

In a statement, they said they would be “joining forces to develop and present new and groundbreaking productions on both sides of the Atlantic in Off-Broadway/Off-West End-sized venues.”

Their first co-production will be the the musical Unexpected Joy, written by Bill Russell and Janet Hood, that will receive its Off-Broadway premiere at the York Theatre Company in April, before a run at Southwark Playhouse in September.

Both productions will be directed by Amy Anders Corcoran but will have separate casts and design.

The two producers met when Kierstead worked with Lipson on the transfer of the musical Yank! from Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre to London’s Charing Cross Theatre. Kierstead was one of the original producers of the show in New York in 2010.

Lipson said: “This is a very exciting time in Aria’s journey. Not only are we delighted to be co-presenting this incredible new musical that celebrates female empowerment with four great roles for women in New York Off-Broadway and London’s Southwark Playhouse, but also to be collaborating with American producer Jim Kierstead on a new relationship that will see us working on similar co-productions of new chamber musicals both in the UK and across the pond.”

Kierstead said he was “looking forward to the first of many collaborations together”.

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