Rumours are circulating that singing sensation Christina Aguilera is in discussions to make her West End debut later this year. The Burlesque star was at one point allegedly in the running as a judge on the US X Factor, but instead she now fronts new US hit show The Voice, which searches for the next new American singing sensation with a focus on vocal prowess. Aguilera is one of the show's judges and coaches alongside Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Cee-Lo Green and country artist Blake Shelton.
Christina Aguilera has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and is renowned for her slinky debut hit Genie In A Bottle, the provocative Dirrty with its underground dungeon-based chaps-wearing, girl-boxing video and her much-lauded empowerment anthem Beautiful. She made her name for herself in the States as a teen on The Mickey Mouse Club appearing alongside a young Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Her recent "comeback" album Bionic underperformed however, and although it debuted at number one in the UK it holds the dubious title of dropping the biggest number of places in it's second week for a number one album when it plunged to number 29. Creative differences with her record label over the album's direction and promotion were blamed by some of the writers and producers on the album as well as some of the featured artists, who rushed to it's defence.
Her comeback attempt was two-pronged, as she also made her feature film debut in the 2010 film musical Burlesque alongside veteran singer-come-moviestar Cher. The rags to riches story had overtones of both Coyote Ugly and cult classic Showgirls and was acknowledged even on release that it could likely develop a cult following of its own in future years. In it she played a girl wanting to better her life who took the burlesque revue world by storm when she revealed a powerful set of lungs to accompany her suggestive dancing. The musical and it's soundtrack was reasonably well reviewed with her self-penned track Bound To You received a Golden Globe nomination.
Aguilera's worldwide smash hit cover of Labelle's Lady Marmalade, in which she teamed up with singers Mya, Pink and rappers L'il Kim and Missy Elliott suggests that her love of the showgirl and the cabaret scene could well give a hint in which direction she is headed if she makes it to the West End. The track's colourful video pits the singers as showy cabaret performers at the Moulin Rouge and was taken from the soundtrack of the smash-hit Baz Luhrmann film of the same name starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. There have been rumblings of a stage adaptation of the film for years, which would likely do great business, so perhaps that is where Christina is heading…
The time could be right for a London theatrical splash for a music star like Christina Aguilera. The Garrick theatre is currently housing The Hurly Burly Show, the first time a burlesque review has been housed in a main West End Theatre. The show has been a critical and commercial success and celebrity audience members have included pocket-sized Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue. Minogue was there to support her friend William Baker, the show's director, and she also had a cameo in the Moulin Rouge film as The Absinthe Fairy. Hollywood legend Liza Minnelli has been back twice to the Gielgud theatre where the musical The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg is currently playing - once to see the show and the other to meet the cast and be taught how to dance Le Gue Ding Ding by cabaret star Meow Meow. Hmmm… Kylie, Liza and Xtina all together on the West End stage? Now that's something to get some producers thinking!
London Theatre Direct will, as always, keep you posted!