Arts and Entertainment Mel Smith (right) and Griff Rhys Jones as Jones says his comedy partnership with the late Smith was

Griff Rhys Jones says his comedy partnership with the late Mel Smith was "not exactly a marriage made in heaven".

MUSICAL Anyone Can Whistle Covent Garden Festival

If everyone who claims to have seen the original 1964 run of Anyone Can Whistle really did attend, the show would have been a smash. It wasn't. Having written the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy and gone solo with words and music for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Stephen Sondheim's famous floperoo, featuring Angela Lansbury's barnstorming Broadway debut, closed after nine performances. The recording didn't so much ensure its cult status as enshrine it and 33 years later, London's first glimpse of the show, in a concert performance, attracted a predictably packed house of worshippers.

Classical: Crossing frontiers

Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Henryk Gorecki - all are part of the Nonesuch stable. Edward Seckerson meets the man behind America's most idealistic record label

Television preview Recommended viewing this weekend

You've got to admire the demographic acumen of the space debris in the imported TV disaster movie Asteroid (Sat ITV). The rock in question could have landed anywhere on the globe - Siberia, say, or the Indian Ocean - but it chose to impact smack on top of the American Midwest, scoring a bullseye on a hydro-electric dam to boot.

Stars shine out in tribute to charming Tinker

Stars shine out

Rave reviews that can lead to death notice

Carmen may be not be quite a musical, and according to many critics the current production at the Royal Albert Hall is not quite an opera. The reviews last week described it as "cheapskate", "low-grade" and "third- rate - a disgrace".

A company man

Stephen Sondheim won't do interviews. Or present radio programmes. So what's this? Speaking on Radio 2 on Tuesday and talking to Edward Seckerson from his New York home? It'll never happen

Spry, crisp and dry

MUSICAL: Marry Me a Little Bridewell, London

THEATRE Sweeney Todd Leicester Haymarket

On the promotional video for his current musical extravaganza, Cliff Richard contends that since we've all, at some stage, been in love, we all have it in us to become Heathcliff. This is a bit like arguing that since we've all, at some stage, kept meat in the fridge, we all have it in us to become Jeffrey Dahmer.

Dance: An elegant waltz, straight into the casualty ward

If the entire company of Royal Ballet dancers had twisted their ankles last week, there would have been some comfort in knowing that the show could have gone on - as a very fine concert. Such is the appeal of the four-ballet Ravel Programme chosen to open the Royal's season, its last before Covent Garden closes for rebuilding. Yet the programme also gives clues as to why Ravel - despite being in the right place (Paris) at the right time (the 1910s to the 1930s) - never became ballet's muse in the way that Stravinsky did.

DANCE Javier de Frutos Purcell Room, London

Styne and Sondheim's Gypsy is a curiously paradoxical show. Although it tells the life story of a stripper, it does so without getting its kit off. It is, therefore, a pleasing conceit that Javier de Frutos should have staged his latest solo, Transatlantic, to songs from Gypsy and perform the entire thing in the raw. Of course Gypsy isn't about nudity at all, it's about motherhood and ambition, and De Frutos's show isn't about nudity either. It's an account of the time he spent in the US and charts his emotional and artistic experiences there. It's only partially successful. As always, he delivers this travelogue without clothes, but his nudity is for the most part incidental - there is always something matter of fact about de Frutos's bare body.

The shows must go on, and on...

Cameron Mackintosh can't sing, dance or play an instrument, but he sure knows how to put on a musical. Georgina Brown meets the great impresario the week 'Martin Guerre' opens in the West End

John Walsh meets... Michael White, sultan of swingers

Will the impresario outrage Nineties audiences as he once shocked their parents? Photograph by Michael Chambatti Woodhead

Theatre Sweeney Todd Holland Park Theatre, London

Greed, hypocrisy, rape, blood, gore and cannibalism are hardly the stuff of your average musical but then Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd is less a conventional story told in song than a musical masterpiece and a full-blooded revenge drama with enough dead bodies to give Quentin Tarantino pause.

Cabaret: Liliane Montevecchi Jermyn Street Theatre, London

In 1982, Liliane Montevecchi pitched up in Manhattan and called her New York agent - "he was not dead yet" - after a 30-year silence. He suggested she audition for Tommy Tune's new musical, Nine. "I've never been to an audition in my life," she replied. "I'm a star."

Putting the boo in Nabucco

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