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London-Paris-Roam! – Tristan Bates Theatre

London-Paris-Roam! was reviewed at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. The show is currently on a spring tour. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ After spending 20 years living in Paris, Sarah Tullamore, a self-confessed woman of a certain age, is packing her bags, clearing her clutter and moving on. With one hand clasping […]

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War Paint – Nederlander Theatre, New York

War Paint continues at the Nederlander Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It has a great title, a great concept and two great female stars of Broadway theatre heading a talented company. There’s also a bounty of handsome costumes and sets, but beyond all this, things about War Paint […]

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The Wicker Husband – The Other Palace

A showcase performance of The Wicker Husband took place at The Other Palace, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The Wicker Husband, with a book by Rhys Jennings and music and lyrics by Darren Clark, is based on a short story of the same name by Ursula Willis-Jones. It tells the […]

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Ghost The Musical – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury and Touring

Ghost The Musical continues at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury and then tours until 29 April. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Movie-to-stage adaptations work best when members of the creative team take the best qualities of the original and then have a very, very long think about how to bring the material […]

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Tommy – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Touring

Tommy was reviewed at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and now tours until 1 July. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I caught up with this rock musical delivered with immense skill by a company of 22 multi-abled artists in Ipswich prior to national tour. The New Wolsey Theatre audiences are used […]

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Whisper House – The Other Palace

Whisper House continues at The Other Palace, London until 27 May. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ For its second major staging in its new rebranded guise as the home for new musical writing, The Other Palace has chosen curiously. Whisper House is a 2009 piece with music and lyrics by Duncan […]

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Audra McDonald on Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill in the West End

Following a record-breaking, sold-out Broadway run, six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will make her West End debut at Wyndham’s Theatre this summer, portraying singer Billie Holiday in the one-woman show Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Musical Theatre Review was invited to a special launch event of the production, where McDonald – recently given five stars from […]

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After You – Live At Zédel

After You continues at Live At Zédel, London until 22 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The first musical commissioned by Piccadilly nightspot Zedel is a little gem of a two-hander, a love story with a sting in the tail, short and sweet at exactly an hour and site-specific too as […]

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At Last: The Etta James Story – Assembly Hall, Leamington Spa

At Last: The Etta James Story was reviewed at the Assembly Hall, Leamington Spa. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Leamington Spa shook the drizzle from its raincoat and stepped tentatively back into the 1950s, safe in the hands of Simon Myers and Moira Bennett’s latest musical revue, a tribute to the […]

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Miss Nightingale – The Vaults

Miss Nightingale continues at The Vaults, London until 20 May. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Written and directed by Matthew Bugg, Miss Nightingale is a showcase of enormous talent and a fantastic display of new writing. The show follows the story of witty nurse Maggie Brown (played by Tamar Broadbent) who […]

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2 Become 1 – King’s Head Theatre

2 Become 1 continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 29 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It’s the 1990s, when playing snake on your Nokia mobile phone was a form of entertainment and there was (wait for it) no Twitter. No wonder at the start of Swipe Right Theatre’s […]

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I Capture the Castle – Watford Palace Theatre

I Capture the Castle continues at Watford Palace Theatre until 22 April before touring. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ I had fond but distant memories of Dodie Smith’s 1948 novel I Capture the Castle and was very much looking forward to this new musical adaptation at Watford Palace Theatre by composer Steven […]

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Les Choristes – Folies Bergère, Paris

Les Choristes continues at the Folies Bergère, Paris until 18 June, before touring. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Julie Andrews herself wanted to buy the rights to the French movie 2004 Les Choristes (based itself on the 1945 movie La Cage aux rossignols) for a mere $10,000, but was denied.  So much the […]

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Audra McDonald – Leicester Square Theatre

Audra McDonald performed in concert at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald returns to London’s Leicester Square Theatre for a glorious but short, four show residency after two similar cabaret concerts here last summer. Wearing the same outfit she wore last summer […]

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Amélie – A New Musical – Walter Kerr Theatre, New York

Amélie – A New Musical continues at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Whimsy is an elusive quality to capture in the Broadway vernacular of today, with its abundance of ear-blasting power ballads, ironic gags and strenuous jaw-dropping dancing. Amélie, a New Musical is an adaptation of the […]

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Open Mic Night – 4th Birthday – Live At Zédel

Harold Sanditen’s Open Mic Night – 4th Birthday at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The Open Mic Night in the Crazy Coqs cabaret bar at Live At Zédel is now celebrating its fourth year. Originally a weekly event, this now monthly gig has become a Mecca for […]

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – Wilton’s Music Hall

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying continues at Wilton’s Music Hall, London until 22 April. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The self-help book may not seem like the likeliest of genres from which to birth a musical comedy. But Shepherd Mead’s 1952 book How to Succeed in Business Without […]

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Carousel – London Coliseum

Carousel continues at the London Coliseum until 13 May. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ When the Michaels Linnit and Grade collaborated with the ENO and brought Sweeney Todd (starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel) to the London Coliseum in 2015, they appeared to have come up with a pretty successful formula: pick […]

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Olivier Awards 2017 – Groundhog Day wins Best New Musical, double acting prizes for Dreamgirls

While the biggest story of the Olivier Awards 2017 was the success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which collected a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards (overtaking Matilda and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as the most decorated production in the ceremony’s history), there was still plenty to celebrate in the musical […]

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This Joint is Jumpin’ – The Other Palace

This Joint is Jumpin’ continues at The Other Palace, London until 15 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Tap is definitely back on the London stage, with the glittering revival of 42nd Street opening at Drury Lane, and the world premiere of This Joint is Jumpin’ at The Other Palace – a […]

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Interview – Sharon D Clarke on a dream role in The Life and colour-blind casting

Revived at the Southwark Playhouse, The Life at is a revival of a Cy Coleman musical which has not been seen since its original Broadway production 20 years ago. Musical theatre star SHARON D. CLARKE, who was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list, plays Sonja, a prostitute in 1980s New York. Musical […]

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Cilla The Musical – dates confirmed for open auditions

The producers of Cilla The Musical have confirmed the dates and locations for their search for Cilla Black, with open auditions taking place around the country. The search is on for a charismatic and talented actress with a great voice to portray the title role, starting in Cilla’s hometown of Liverpool. The dates and locations […]

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42nd Street – Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

42nd Street continues at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It has been 33 years since 42nd Street had its first original London production at the Theatre Royal in 1984, when, in parallel to the production’s book, Catherine Zeta-Jones was plucked from the chorus and placed into the […]

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Opening night for 42nd Street at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – exclusive gallery of images

Tonight 42nd Street (with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and music by Harry Warren) has its official opening at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Here is an exclusive gallery of images from Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan. The production is directed by Mark Bramble (whose other hit shows include Barnum, Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, The Grand Tour) and […]

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Bounder & Cad – Live At Zédel

Bounder & Cad performed at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Their names recall the era of Rider Haggard, picturesque piano pieces by Billy Mayerl and bakelite lamps, but in reality this savvy pair of Cambridge-educated gentlemen [Guy Hayward and Adam Drew] are very much of our own time, poking […]

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Breaking Up is Hard to Do continues at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The real joy of 1960s music – and the secret of its lasting popularity – is that the melody almost always sits at the top of the texture, unlike so much of the […]

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The Life – Southwark Playhouse – gallery of exclusive images

Broadway musical The Life is making its long-awaited London debut at the Southwark Playhouse, directed by original director Michael Blakemore (the run continues until 29 April 2017). See here, Musical Theatre Review official photographer Roy Tan’s gallery of exclusive images. The cast includes: Sharon D. Clarke (Sonja), Cornell S. John (Memphis), John Addison (Jojo), David Albury (Fleetwood), Jalisa Andrews (Chichi), Matthew Caputo (Oddjob), Lawrence Carmichael (Snickers), Omari Douglas (Slick), Aisha Jawando (Carmen), Thomas-Lee Kidd (Bobby), Charlotte Reavey (April), Jo Servi (Lacy), Lucinda Shaw (Tracy), Johnathan Tweedie (Theodore), T’Shan […]

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Honk! – Union Theatre

Honk! continues at the Union Theatre, London until 22 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Having just left the Union Theatre and its revival of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe’s family-friendly Honk!, I’m not surprised that the show won the Olivier for Best Musical back in 2000, beating Spend Spend Spend […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Forbidden Broadway

Forbidden Broadway, performed by students from the Guildford School of Acting, continues at the Performing Arts Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford until 1 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Guildford School of Acting’s third-year graduates have themselves a ball with these hilarious spoofs on pillars of musical theatre society in a […]

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Sunny Afternoon – New Wimbledon Theatre and Touring

Sunny Afternoon continues at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London until 1 April, then continues on tour until 13 May. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ If you admire the quirky genius of Ray Davies, you can’t help but love Sunny Afternoon, but even if the music of the Kinks – one of […]

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The Life – Southwark Playhouse

The Life continues at the Southwark Playhouse, London until 29 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ There are many musicals that deal with society’s underclass, and its criminal element. The Life is one such piece: with music by Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels) and lyrics by Ira Gasman (who […]

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Adam & Eve and Steve – King’s Head Theatre

Adam & Eve and Steve continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 29 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This frisky, oddly old-fashioned show (music by Wayne Moore; book and lyrics by Chandler Warren), did very well at Edinburgh last year and it’s easy to see why. A five-hander with jolly songs […]

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Interview – director Michael Blakemore revisits The Life at Southwark Playhouse

Opening this week, The Life at Southwark Playhouse is a revival of a musical which has not been seen since its original Broadway production 20 years ago. For this anniversary revival, the show’s original director Michael Blakemore has returned to the show. With music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman and a book by […]

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The New Yorkers – Encores! – New York City Center

The New Yorkers, an Encores! production, was performed at New York City Center. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “What kind of a show is this, I ask you?” Thus inquires a character in the midst of Act II of the Encores! re-creation of Cole Porter’s 1930 musical The New Yorkers. And […]

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Men Who March Away – St Anne’s Limehouse

Men Who March Away played for one night only at St Anne’s Limehouse, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ While he might be better known for his musical contribution to TV’s The Wombles – and his management of various pop acts since the 1970s – Mike Batt has a long if […]

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Up Front and Centre! – Lee Mead – The Pheasantry

Up Front and Centre! – Lee Mead appeared at The Pheasantry, London. The show continues to be performed on the last Sunday of every month until November. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The very likeable Lee Mead now has his first residency at The Pheasantry. He’s sung at the Chelsea cabaret room off and […]

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Disney in Concert – The Jungle Book – Royal Festival Hall

Disney in Concert – The Jungle Book was performed at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The UK premiere of Disney in Concert – The Jungle Book, produced by Senbla Live, played on the big screen at the Royal Festival Hall for two special symphonic cinema concerts yesterday, […]

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One Love – The Bob Marley Musical – Birmingham Rep

One Love – The Bob Marley Musical continues at the Birmingham Rep until 15 April. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ It’s 72 years since the birth of an icon. Bob Marley has become synonymous with philosophies of peace, brotherhood, and unity. But what of the man? One Love is writer and […]

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The S&S Award and new musical Here – latest news

After having a week’s development at Curve Leicester in September 2016, the 2015 S&S Award-winning musical Here was presented at an industry showcase this week. Here is a folk-classical musical, inspired by writers Kate Marlais and Alex Young’s fascination with the German Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitters. The piece is set in a remote town in […]

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Miss Saigon – Broadway Theatre, New York

Miss Saigon continues at the Broadway Theatre, New York until 13 January 2018. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Miss Saigon is back on Broadway in all its breathtaking pop opera glory – and then some. Cameron Mackintosh has transported this revival, which closed in London in February 2016, to the New […]

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An American in Paris – Dominion Theatre

An American in Paris continues at the Dominion Theatre, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It was back in December 2014 that our contributor Jeremy Chapman reviewed this reinvention of the wonderful 1951 Oscar-winning Vincente Minnelli/Gene Kelly movie when it opened – rather appropriately – at the Theatre du Chatelet in […]

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Rachel Tucker in Concert – Live At Zédel

Rachel Tucker in Concert continues at Live At Zédel, London until 25 March, then on tour in May and June. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Bubbly Belfast songbird Rachel Tucker’s main claim to fame is that she played the role of Elphaba in Wicked longer than any other actress in the […]

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Joan of Arc – Into the Fire – The Public Theater, New York

Joan of Arc – Into the Fire continues at The Public Theater, New York until 16 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Composer/writer David Byrne (along with collaborator Fatboy Slim) and director Alex Timbers scored a massive hit for Off-Broadway’s The Public Theater in 2013 with Here Lies Love, depicting the […]

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The Frogs at Jermyn Street Theatre – exclusive gallery of images

The 2004 Broadway re-working of Stephen Sondheim’s quirky musical comedy The Frogs, presented by House on the Hill Productions, continues at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre until 8 April. Here’s an exclusive gallery of production images from Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan. With a book revised and expanded by Nathan Lane, based on Sondheim and Burt Shevelove’s original […]

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Come from Away – Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York

Come from Away continues at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The folks of Gander, a small town on the rocky island of Newfoundland perched on the north eastern tip of Canada, deserve a lot more than five stars for hospitality, geniality and an all-around human […]

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Yank! – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Yank! continues at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester until 8 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ When Joseph and David Zellnik penned Yank! it was something of a labour of love, combining their passion for the musical theatre of the 1940s and 50s with their interest in Second World War history, […]

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The Frogs – Jermyn Street Theatre

The Frogs continues at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London until 8 April. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Stephen Sondheim was on a roll when he wrote the music and lyrics for The Frogs in 1974; his three previous shows, Company, Follies and A Little Night Music, coming during his most fertile […]

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Grease – Palace Theatre, Manchester and Touring

Grease continues at the Palace Theatre, Manchester until 25 March and then tours until 31 December. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ There are, of course, two versions of Grease. Firstly there’s Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s down and dirty original stage production, a paean to the oily quiffed, leather jacketed rock’n’roll […]

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