Michael Ball is set to perform at Shanghai Grand Theater's February 14 Gala, the theatre has announced. He will be joined by Mary Poppins star Laura Michelle Kelly for his first performance in China.
Since making his West End debut 25 years ago as Marius in the original production of Les Miserables, Ball has created a string of leading characters in the West End and on Broadway in shows such as Aspects of Love, Passion, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Phantom of the Opera, Woman In White and Hairspray.
He made his debut with the New York City Opera in 2005 in their production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience and with the English National Opera in 2007 in their production of 'Kismet'. His showstopping performance as Edna Turnblad in the West End production of Hairspray earned him the whatsonstage.com award and Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2008. As associate producer and lead actor in the 2010/2011 touring production of Hairspray, Michael reprised his role as Edna across the UK and Ireland. He was most recently seen on the West End stage in Sweeney Todd with Imelda Staunton.
Aside from playing Mary Poppins on Broadway, Kelly has also appeared in Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof, as well as the West End productions of Lord of the Rings, Beauty and the Beast, Whistle Down The Wind and Into the Woods. She participated in a concert production of Carousel at London Fringe, appeared in Les Mis at The Palace Theatre, Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and more. Her film credits include Sweeney Todd and the recent movie Goddess.