Earlier this week a well-known composer/ theatre impresario/ knight of the realm asked Gay Spy to cast a discerning eye over his latest hit-packed stage projects. Because we want you to be ahead of the theatre-going pack, we've decided to reveal all: these are the musicals that will be dazzling West End audiences in 2008.
Oh Andy, will you ever forgive us?
The premise: A flamboyant, whippet-thin Lebanese dandy is handed an ultimatum by his overbearing father: if he doesn't find a bride within a week, he'll lose his six-figure inheritance. Our hero embarks on a series of disastrous dates with stylish, gym-honed glamour-pusses, but Cupid's bow keeps on missing his yearning heart. Just as he's about to resign himself to a penniless future, he happens upon a strange, colourful new world: the local branch of KFC.
The stars: Leo Sayer as Mika, Beth Ditto as the love interest
The tunes: 'Grace Kelly', 'Love Today', a generous smattering of Queen covers
The show-stopping moment: Mika Gets Married features the feel-good finale of the year, in which our hero marries his dream woman to the jubilant tones of ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’. In a stroke of musical genius, Mika's modern pop classic segues into a Hi-NRG version of Queen's 'Fat Bottomed Girls'.
The premise: Cathii's dream is to be a seamstress, but she's always been overshadowed by Carly, her more confident younger sister. Carly's fingers are nimbler than Cathii's; her choice of fabric is flashier, and for some reason people seem to prefer her hemming skills. Just as Cathii's about to surrender her dreams, she's handed the opportunity of a lifetime: a judging role on a reality TV show called The Stitch Factor. Cathii's touching story unfolds to the discotastic tones of Dannii Minogue's greatest hits.
The stars: Emma Thompson as Carly, EastEnders star Sophie Thompson as Cathii
The tunes: 'All I Wanna Do (Is Be A Seamstress)', 'I Begin To Wonder (About Hemming)', 'Love and Stitches'
The show-stopping moment: Sew Fabulous!' uplifting finale, in which Cathii encourages wannabe seamstresses to fulfill their ambitions with a rousing rendition of 'Put The Needle On It’.
The premise: This postmodern extravaganza satirises the 21st century obsession with instant celebrity. It's 2020 and Earth has become a dystopian nightmare where a God-like dictator, Simon Cowell, controls every aspect of our fame-driven lives.
The stars: Whitney Houston as Leona Lewis, Justin Timberlake as Shayne Ward, Diana Ross as Rowetta, Sinitta as herself
The tunes: 'A Moment Like This', 'That's My Goal' and several other songs you once owned but can't quite remember. Insipid karaoke versions of 'Unchained Melody', 'Respect' and 'Lady Marmalade' will be used to pad out the score.
The show-stopping moment: You'll leap right out of your seat when Cowell's brought down by an unassuming, twinkly-eyed Irishman and his army of handsome-but-dead-eyed Dubliners.
The premise: This innovative, genre-mashing stage extravaganza sets parkour - an extreme sport in which participants leap from building to building in a Jason Bourne-like fashion - to the greatest hits of Bette Midler.
The stars: Sundry taut, toned youngsters
The tunes: 'The Rose', 'From A Distance', Bette's brand new version of 'Jump (For My Love)'
The show-stopping moment: Our gymnastic heroes realise that love – of their comrades, of their families, of themselves – is the greatest leap they'll ever be asked to make. At this heartwarming juncture a 20-foot hologram of Bette Midler singing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ is beamed into the audience. Incredible.
The premise: A wee Scottish lassie embarks on a five-decade showbiz career featuring more ups and downs than Liza Minnelli's BMI. She enjoys sizzling romances with a bushy-haired balladeer, a celebrity hairdresser and a pop hunk who's - gasp! - not even half her age. Sound familiar? That's because all of it really happened to Lulu!
The stars: Janette Krankie as Lulu, Jason Orange as himself
The tunes: Three different versions of 'Shout', 'Relight My Fire’, That One With Ronan Keating. There must be more but, at this precise moment, we can't for the life of us remember them.
The show-stopping moment: Our heroine finally realises she's made it when she sneaks a peek at the seating plan for Sir Elton's birthday party. Hurrah! She's been placed next to Posh Spice.