American actor, singer and improvisational comedian, Mike McShane will be joining the cast of the new musical, The Tailor-Made Man, when it opens at the Arts Theatre in London tonight, 21 February, previewing from 14 February. He will be playing the role of Louis B Mayer. Also in the cast will be Faye Tozer as Marion Davies and Dylan Turner as William Haines, along with Bradley Clarkson as Jimmy Shields, Michael Cotton, Kay Murphy, Matt Wilman, Lauren Grant, Vivien Carter, Holly Easterbrook and Edward French.
Mike McShane's most recent West End role was as the voice of Audrey II in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Duke of York's Theatre in 2007. On Broadway, he appeared in La Cage aux Folles in 2011. On British TV, he is probably best known for his regular appearances between 1988-1997 on the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and he played Kramer's nemesis, Franklin Delano Romanowski (FDR) on Seinfeld.
THE TAILOR-MADE MAN is the true story of William Haines, the silent screen star who was fired by Louis B Mayer of MGM Studios because he was gay and refused to marry and give up his lifelong partner Jimmy Shields. The new musical will receive its world premiere at the Arts Theatre in London. The limited eight-week season will end on 6 April.
In 1930, William "Billy" Haines was one of MGM's most idolised male stars, second only to John Gilbert. On screen he was tailor-made to get the girl in the last reel. On the back lot he cruised every bit player and stagehand in sight. Billy lived openly with his lover and former stand-in Jimmy Shields. This was tolerated by the studio until rumours started to seep out into the wider world. Louis B Mayer ordered him to marry the sultry silent screen vamp Pola Negri. Billy refused and so Louis B Mayer fired him. Billy's defiance of the studio led to his second and even more successful career as an interior designer to the stars. The Tailor-Made Man is a powerful story about Hollywood and its system and hypocrisy, but above all it is the story of Billy and Jimmy's turbulent, passionate love affair that survived and lasted over 50 years.
THE TAILOR-MADE MAN has a book by Amy Rosenthal with Claudio Macor, music by Duncan Walsh Atkins and Adam Meggido, and lyrics by Adam Meggido. The original play is by Claudio Macor.
THE TAILOR-MADE MAN will be directed at the Arts Theatre by Claudio Macor, with Martin Constantine as the creative associate. Choreography will be by Nathan M Wright, with design by Sophia Simensky, lighting by Humphrey McDermott, sound by Tom Marshall and musical direction by Duncan Walsh Atkins.
THE TAILOR-MADE MAN will be produced in London by Stephen McGill.
For tickets or more information, visit: www.thetailormademanlondon.com.