If music be the food of love then we're all going to have to go on a diet during 2019 because it's set to be a bumper year - especially if you're a fan of musicals.
Triple threat performers are heading for the Liverpool Empire and its huge stage from the four corners of the country over the next year.
From heroic tales of battles agains oppression to uplifting love stories, outrageous characters to the animal kingdom, and not forgetting some iconic musicals numbers, there's a veritable feast of all-singing, all dancing entertainment coming our way.
Enjoy newcomers like Madagascar the Musical and Kinky Boots, or re-visit old friends including Annie and Hello, Dolly!
Here are just 10 musicals that guarantee to get your feet tapping during the next 12 months.
Madagascar the Musical – February 5-9
Join Alex (X-Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry), Marty, Melman and Gloria as they bound out of the zoo and on to the stage in this live musical spectacular.
This smash hit musical features all of your favourite crack-a-lackin' friends as they escape from their home in New York's Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien's Madagascar.
The show comes from Selladoor (the now international production company started in Liverpool a decade ago by two LIPA graduates) and Hartshorn-Hook Productions.
The Bodyguard – February 26-March 9
Alexandra Burke returns to Bodyguard duties when she reprises the role of superstar singer Rachel Marron in this stage version of the 1992 film favourite.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer is hired to protect Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don't expect is to fall in love.
The musical features a host of belting hits including Queen of the Night, One Moment in Time, I Have Nothing and, of course, I Will Always Love You.
Note: Alexandra Burke will not perform at matinees or on the evening of March 5.
Kinky Boots – March 26-April 6
Based on the hit film, Kinky Boots the stage musical has a book by Harvey Fierstein and music by Cyndi Lauper.
Inspired by a true story, it tells the gloriously improbable tale of how one Northampton shoe factory was saved from closure by a very unusual manufacturing partnership.
Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.
The Rocky Horror Show – April 29-May 4
Get your glad rags on for the science fiction double feature as the irreverent and irrepressible Rocky Horror Show returns to the Empire.
Join innocents Brad and Janet as they seek help when their car breaks down – only to be enveloped in a crazy world in which the mysterious Dr Frank ‘n’ Furter is king.
The touring production of Richard O’Brien’s cult classic stars Strictly’s Joanne Clifton as Janet, a1’s Ben Adams as Brad, Duncan James as Frank and Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff.
Dirty Dancing – May 6-11
Grab a watermelon and join the party as Dirty Dancing merengues back to the city for a week-long run at the Empire.
Johnny Castle is the snake-hipped dance instructor, Baby Housman the socially-conscious teenage holidaymaker in the stage version of the 1987 film classic that features no fewer than 35 musical numbers and promises its audience the time of their lives.
After all, nobody puts Baby in the corner.
Hello, Dolly! – May 16-18
Well hello Dolly!
Last season BOST (Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust) staged Sweeney Todd at the Royal Court. Now they’re back at the Empire with one of theatre’s most lavish musicals.
Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s 1964 award-winner tells the story of vivacious, meddling widow Dolly Levi, who, having fallen for a dour “well known, unmarried, half a millionaire” sets about secretly arranging a match for herself, while along the way ensuring the three relationships in which she is already meddling, also come to a happy conclusion.
Hair the Musical – May 20-25
It’s 1967 and Hair’s ‘tribe' youngsters in the East Village of New York are yearning to change the world, questioning authority and the American flag.
Wild, colourful, sexually liberated and free, they are united in protest and song, under the shadow of the Vietnam War.
The cast for this continuing 50th anniversary tour includes Dancing on Ice 2018 champion Jake Quickenden as Berger, Hollyoaks’ Daisy Wood-Davis as Sheila and X Factor 2011 finalist, Liverpool’s Marcus Collins, as Hud.
Annie – June 24-29
Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood promises to be a-maz-ing darling when he dons a wig and a frock to play dastardly matron Miss Hannigan in this touring production of Annie.
Will the sun come out tomorrow? Given the show is heading for Lime Street in June you can bet your bottom dollar that it will. Probably.
The Depression era story of little orphan Annie rescued from a hard knock life by kindly Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks comes direct from the West End in what has been billed a “glorious revival”.
Les Misérables – October 9-26
Can you hear the people sing? No? Then you’re not listening hard enough, because the singing heralds the arrival of none other than Les Mis to the Empire.
With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, and a score which includes I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Empty Chairs and Empty Tables, this new touring production is a must-see for the city’s musicals fans.
Seen by more than 120 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s greatest and most popular shows.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert – November 11-16
Priscilla returns to Lime Street in autumn 2019 and promises to be as glorious – and thought-provoking – as ever.
With more glitter than ever before, this smash-hit show features a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The Nightlife and Finally!
Based on the Oscar-winning film, Priscilla showcases the adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime.
Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.