Best actress Oscar winner Halle Berry attended the stage musical
premiere of classic children's film "Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang" in London's West End. Joining her in the audience
at the London Palladium was James Bond star Pierce Brosnan --
who along with Berry is shooting the 20th secret agent epic
due for release in November. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang",
like the Bond films, originates from a book by Ian Fleming.
It tells the story
of eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts who makes a flying car
which takes him and his family to the faraway kingdom of Vulgaria
where children are outlawed.
Dick Van Dyke played
the original Potts in the 1968 film that gave a generation of
children sleepless nights at the thought of the childcatcher,
played on stage by Richard O'Brien, famous for writing and starring
in "The Rocky Horror Show".
The musical uses
stunning special effects to make the car appear as if it were
flying off the stage and soaring over the heads of the audience.
Costing 6.2 million pounds (8.9 million dollars, 10.1 million
euros) to stage, the show is set to be the West End's most expensive
It had taken more
than two million pounds in advance bookings by last December,
a boost for London's theatre industry after the closure of roller-skating
hit "Starlight Express" in January after an 18-year
Next month the curtain
falls on "Cats" -- among the world's longest running
musicals after 21 years on the London stage.
Author not available,
Oscar winner Berry sees British musical off with a bang. , Agence
France Presse English, 04-17-2002.