Tonight's The Night

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 15 October 2003, Opened 7 November 2003, Closed 9 October 2004 at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London.

From the sexy mean streets of Detroit to the glamorous clubs and the Rockstar mansions of LA and Beverly Hills, Tonight's The Night tracks the story of Stu Roderick, a quiet, shy guy, so hung up and tongue tied that he can not even find the courage to declare his love to Mary, the sweet, wholesome girl of his dreams. How different Stu is to his hero, that legendary rock'n'roll vagabond Rod Stewart - now there's a guy who never had any trouble hitting on a girl. Then one night, alone and desperate, Stu reflects that if he could only be more like Rod then Mary would surely be his and for that, Stu would sell his very soul. In less time than it takes to say hot legs Mephistopheles, agent of Satan, turns up ready to make a deal. If Stu commits his soul to reside in Hell for all eternity, the Devil will give Stu the soul of Rod Stewart and then it will be Bye Bye Mr. Dull Guy and hello ladies! Stu is about to learn the hard way that you can't find true love using another man's moves and that Devil or no Devil there's only one Rod Stewart.

Written by award-winning dramatist Ben Elton and featuring over twenty of the greatest hits of Rod Stewart, Tonight's The Night is musical comedy at its all-singing, all-dancing rip-roaring best. Packed with hilarious gags, spectacularly staged numbers and the unforgettable songs that five generations fell in love to and made love to.

The cast for Tonight's The Night in London features Tim Howar, Dianne Pilkington, Hannah Waddingham and Mike McKell. The production is directed by Ben Elton with choreography by Stephen Mear, designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Mark Hendersen and musical supervision by Gareth Valentine. Ben Elton's West End credits include the comedy Gasping at the Haymarket Theatre in 1990.

"Talented Tim Howar as Stu is a more appealing performer to my eyes than Rod himself and he is well supported by Dianne Pilkington as Mary and Michael McKell as a satirical cross between Keith Richards and Michael Caine. The only problem is the writing by Ben Elton, who is in danger of becoming overstretched with his dabbling in musicals. With songs lifted from Stewart and a plot borrowed from Faust, all Elton has to do is put the tunes in order and insert characters and dialogue. The first he does with predictability - if I tell you there is a character called Baby Jane whose real name is Maggie May, you will get the idea - while the second he barely attempts at all. But belting their way through much of Rod's classics, the cast bring his hits stunningly to life." The Daily Express

"Following We Will Rock You - a ludicrous, futuristic tale linking (or not) the hits of Queen - Ben Elton now brings us 'We Will Rod You', a shameless raid on Rod Stewart's back catalogue, the wardrobe from the decade taste forgot and the Top Of The Pops archive of Pan's People dance routines. The plot of Tonight's The Night concerns young Rod Stewart fan Stu Roderick, who works in a Detroit garage, Gasoline Alley (surprise, surprise), and is too shy to ask a girl on a date. No sooner does Stu say he'd sell his soul to be as cool as his idol, than Satan - in the guise of a Wonder-Woman sexpot in black rubber, with a pair of glittering red horns, acres of blonde mermaid hair and endless legs - arranges the Faustian pact. Geeky Stu is transformed into a pelvic-thrusting cod Rod sex-god with new jeans, a new vocabulary (geezer, mellow and chill) and a walk like a strutting rooster. In a flash, Mary, the girl of his dreams, is in his arms... But Stu now has a bigger, Rod Stewart-sized appetite which can't be satisfied in Gasoline Alley so he joins a band with vaguely familiar Faces, including one named Stoner, as they take their bus across America with a squealing entourage of beddable jailbait. Meanwhile, back in Rod Stewart's mansion his tough Texan agent is lamenting the slide of the monster of rock into sober middle age... The question is will Stu sacrifice his love, liver and brain cells to become a real rock 'n' roll star, the next Rod Stewart no less? Hardly the stuff to have you teetering on the edge of your seat but then this tired, trite, join-the-dots plot isn't really the point. Nor are the smutty end-of-the-pier jokes. As strutting Stu, pintsized Tim Howar wears it all pretty well. He hasn't got Rod's sandpaper rasp, nor his leopard-skin leggings, but he manages to inject some of the numbers with heart and even a bit of soul... It's not my idea of theatre but as a trifling tribute show, it rocks." The Mail on Sunday

The musical Tonight's The Night in London at the Victoria Palace Theatre previewed from 15 October 2003, opened on 7 November 2003 and closed on 9 October 2004.