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Oh What a Lovely War – casting revealed

Caroline Quentin will join the ensemble cast of the 2014 Theatre Royal Stratford East 50th anniversary production of Oh What A Lovely War, Joan Littlewood’s satirical musical about the First World War being revived in 2014, 100 years after the start of the start of the conflict. Directed by Terry Johnson and designed by Lez Brotherston, the […]

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The S&S Award – gala celebrates new musical theatre

An evening of new British musical theatre will be unveiled at the inaugural The S&S Award, the prize presented to the best, yet to be produced musical of the year, with West End stars performing material from the winning and highly commended musicals at the St James Theatre, London on Sunday 24 November. The winner […]

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Merrily We Roll Along – UK movie premiere

The Merrily We Roll Along movie, premiered at Cineworld, Haymarket, London on 21 October. How does a show that was a total catastrophe when it opened on Broadway in 1981 – and closed after 16 performances – turn into a work of genius? Just watch the Merrily We Roll Along movie, a faithful record of the show which […]

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Hannah Waddingham – St James Theatre

Hannah Waddingham and Her Band performed at the St James Theatre, London. Only a few weeks ago, Hannah Waddingham performed at the St James Theatre Studio, where she headlined Sondheim Women but sang just two songs. However, those disappointed by the statuesque West End diva’s all-too-brief appearance, were able to get their fix sated by attending […]

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Honeymoon in Vegas – The Musical – Paper Mill Playhouse

Honeymoon in Vegas – The Musical continues at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey until 27 October. Honeymoon in Vegas – The Musical, like many musicals today, is based on a hit movie, but this world premiere is insanely funny for a change. A throwback to another time, it’s about a guy whose Las Vegas […]

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If It Only Even Runs a Minute – Matcham Room

If It Only Even Runs a Minute: London Edition 3 was performed at the Matcham Room, London Hippodrome. For every long-running musical that makes a success in the West End or on Broadway, there are tens, if not hundreds, that fall by the wayside. Most deserve their ignominious fate – but every so often, there are […]

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Sheffield Theatres top UK Theatre Awards

Sheffield Theatres triumphed at the UK Theatre Awards, presented by the Theatrical Management Association and held at the Guildhall, London. Four awards came from five nominations, two of which were musical theatre related. Tim Firth’s musical comedy This is My Family, staged by Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Daniel Evans, was named the Best Musical Theatre […]

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Big Fish – Neil Simon Theatre, New York

Big Fish has opened at the Neil Simon Theatre, New York for an open-ended run. Big Fish tries so hard to be a big, lovable, heartwarming Broadway musical that I wish it were better. The show is based on the 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace and the subsequent 2003 Tim Burton-directed film. John August, who […]

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The Jewish Legacy – Jewish Museum

The Jewish Legacy: A Night At the Musicals at the Jewish Museum, London. A show about the influence of Jews on Broadway and the Great American Songbook – how do you get so many great names and great songs into two hours? Two days would barely be long enough so enormous has the Jewish contribution […]

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Miracle On 34th Street musical – UK premiere

Based on one of the most popular and best-loved Christmas films of all time, Miracle On 34th Street will tour the UK for the first time in a new stage production, opening at the Beck Theatre, Hayes on 11 November 2013. Based on the 1947 motion picture, Miracle On 34th Street is the story of […]

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A Night with Janis Joplin – Lyceum Theatre, New York

A Night with Janis Joplin opened at the Lyceum Theatre, New York, for an open-ended run. “Settle in and have a rockin’ good time,” the off-stage voice advises the audience before the curtain goes up on A Night with Janis Joplin. And shortly after the show begins, the legendary Joplin, in the person of the […]

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Charlotte Bradford – Leicester Square Theatre

Songs My Dad Said I Should Sing: An Evening with the Stephen Sondheim Society and Charlotte Bradford was performed at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. The third in the Sondheim Society series of one-hour cabarets which give lesser-known talents the chance to showcase in the West End was a mixed bag. This was a version of […]

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The Gates – Summerhall, Edinburgh

The Gates continues at Summerhall, Edinburgh until 19 October and at the Classic Grand, Glasgow, 23–26 October. You require a certain chutzpah to suggest that your new musical is ‘West Side Story meets Chicago’ (with, for good measure, a dollop of Cabaret and a sprinkling of Sweet Charity). Alas, while there are certainly parallels to be drawn […]

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The Bodyguard – The Musical – Adelphi Theatre

The Bodyguard – The Musical continues at the Adelphi Theatre, London, booking until March 2014. Right from the opening number of The Bodyguard – The Musical, based of course on Lawrence Kasdan’s screenplay for the 1992 movie and showcasing the back catalogue of the late Whitney Houston, there is absolutely no doubt that Beverley Knight has […]

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Sweeney Todd – West Yorkshire Playhouse

Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street continues at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds until 26 October, then transfers to the Royal Exchange, Manchester, 1–30 November. The high camp Victorian spectres of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in Tim Burton’s film version of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd are firmly […]

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The Last Five Years – Marlborough, Brighton

The Last Five Years was performed at the Marlborough Theatre, Brighton. Jason Robert Brown’s cult song cycle that rakes over the coals of a failed five-year relationship received a successful three-night outing at Brighton’s Marlborough Theatre thanks to Fight or Flight Productions. For this youthful company – founded by Jess Barton (artistic director) and Kieran […]

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Ian ‘H’ Watkins lives the Joseph dream again

Cameron Smith catches up with Welsh singer, dancer and stage actor Ian ‘H’ Watkins, well-known for being a member of pop group Steps, but also now a musical theatre regular. He is currently playing the lead role in the touring production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. Ian ‘H’ Watkins, best-known as a member of the pop band […]

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Rachel Tucker – St James Theatre

Rachel Tucker performed in concert at the St James Theatre, London. When launching her new album The Reason in July this year, Rachel Tucker played St James Studio. This time she was promoted to the main house and sold out. The evening also marked the opening of the London Festival of Cabaret and Tucker, along […]

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A Love Affair From A 2 Z – St James Theatre

A Love Affair From A 2 Z with Leigh Zimmerman and Domenick Allen at the St James Theatre Studio, London. Leigh Zimmerman certainly knows how to make a guy feel small. At 5ft 11in this statuesque American has a start on most of them anyway, but in her high heels she towers over her long-haired […]

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Bare – The Rock Musical – Greenwich Theatre

Bare – The Rock Musical continues at the Greenwich Theatre, London until 27 October. Set in present day Massachusetts, Bare – The Rock Musical tells a story of a group of teenagers at St Cecilia’s Boarding School. Central to the plot is the relationship between Peter, a softly spoken young man attempting to come to terms […]

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Days of Hope – Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub

Days of Hope continues at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub, London until 18 October. The Spanish Civil War doesn’t leap out at you as the natural subject for a musical but Howard Goodall has never been a coward. His career shows a composer who is directed by personal artistic interest rather than purely […]

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The Secret Garden In Concert – Touring

The Secret Garden – In Concert was performed at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford and continues its UK tour until 2 November. Starting off at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington, Aria Entertainment and Knockhardy Productions’ take on composer Lucy Simon and librettist/lyricist’s Marsha Norman’s musical version of the classic French children’s novel The Secret Garden […]

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The Bakewell Bake Off – Landor Theatre

The Bakewell Bake-Off continues at the Landor Theatre, London, until 26 October. A fun night, good songs, fine team playing by stars of the future… what’s not to like in a frothy musical millefeuille of a pastry concocted by Guildford School of Acting graduates that started as an in-house project, moved up a gear to […]

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Urinetown – Russell and Fleeshman cast

Jenna Russell, Richard Fleeshman and Jonathan Slinger will lead the cast in the UK premiere of multi-Tony Award-winning Urinetown the Musical, directed by Jamie Lloyd, running at St James Theatre, London from 22 February–3 May 2014 (opening night is 11 March). The cast for the musical, which features music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and […]

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Billy Stritch and the art of cabaret

Fiona-Jane Weston talks to award-winning New York and international jazz cabaret artist Billy Stritch about the art of cabaret in general and his show at the Crazy Coqs, London: I’ve Got Your Number – The Jazz of Cy Coleman. Billy Stritch has been performing as a piano player since very young, when he was considered a […]

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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Touring

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers was performed at the New Wimbledon, London and continues on tour until 10 May, 2014. The biggest surprise about the musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is that it was not originally a stage production. It was a movie musical starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell that became one of the […]

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The Light Princess – National Theatre

The Light Princess continues at the Lyttelton in rep at the National Theatre, London until 9 January. The best children’s fairytale stories of classic literature are allegories wrapped up in engaging fantasy storytelling. The National’s new musical, The Light Princess, is a beautifully told example in this tradition, showing how living in denial may produce short-term […]

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The Commitments – Palace Theatre

The Commitments opened at the Palace Theatre, London on 8 October. Roddy Doyle’s socially engaged novel The Commitments focuses on young, working-class Dubliners in 1986 who view soul music as a form a release:  the music of the people. Doyle’s book was made into a successful film in 1999 and now the piece has made its way to […]

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Frances Ruffelle – Crazy Coqs

Frances Ruffelle performed Paris Original at the Crazy Coqs, London. Almost 30 years on from creating Eponine in Les Miserables, Frances Ruffelle is back in Gallic mode for her Paris Original show in a sold-out week at the Crazy Coqs and a first-night audience not short of celebrities – Tim Rice, Trevor Nunn and fashion designer […]

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Introducing Glass Half Full Productions

Launched this week, Glass Half Full Productions is a new production company aiming to produce musicals, plays and comedy both in the UK and US in partnership with Just For Laughs Theatricals. CEO of Just For Laughs, Adam Blanshay (who won a Tony Award as co-producer on the Broadway musical Kinky Boots) has teamed up […]

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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – Touring

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was reviewed at the Harlow Playhouse  and continues its tour until 16 November. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss) was workshopped and developed at the Barrington Stage […]

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Matt Smith is lead in America Psycho at Almeida

Matt Smith will take on the role of Patrick Bateman in the world premiere production of American Psycho at London’s Almeida Theatre, directed by the venue’s artistic director Rupert Goold. The new musical thriller, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, has a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik. The production […]

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Jesus Christ Superstar – NIA Birmingham

Jesus Christ Superstar was performed at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham as part of a tour which continues until 15 October. There are those, I among them, who opined that Godspell was a more sophisticated 1970s musical about Jesus than Jesus Christ Superstar. So what a pleasure to encounter the much-heralded tour of Tim Rice and Lloyd […]

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The Boys From Syracuse – Union Theatre

The Boys From Syracuse continues at the Union Theatre, London until 26 October. The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest, and most farcical, of plays. So it’s maybe no surprise that, in 1938, it became the first of the Bard’s works to be subsumed by the behemoth of the Broadway musical theatre machine. However, despite […]

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Tick,Tick… Boom! – Theater Drachengasse, Vienna

Tick, Tick… Boom! continues at the Theater Drachengasse, Vienna until 12 October. Following the success of The Last Five Years (2011) and Ordinary Days (2013), Vienna Theatre Project, Vienna’s only English-speaking theatrical company showcasing musical theatre, is back with another smash hit musical. After Jason Robert Brown and Adam Gwon, 2013 is dedicated to Jonathan Larson. While Larson […]

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Lady Day – Little Shubert Theatre, New York

Lady Day opened at the Little Shubert Theatre, New York, for an open-ended run. Dee Dee Bridgewater, a major talent herself when it comes to interpreting the great jazz standards, is simply spectacular in channelling Billie Holiday in Lady Day. Bridgewater is, of course, no novice when it comes to celebrating the jazz legend. In […]

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Chicago – Oldham Coliseum

Chicago continues at the Coliseum Theatre, Oldham until 12 October. “Give ’em the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle ’em. Give ’em an act with lots of flash in it, and the reaction will be passionate.” And that is exactly what Kevin Shaw’s new actor/musician production of Chicago does at the Oldham Coliseum. This is the […]

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Steven Brinberg – Simply Barbra – Crazy Coqs

Steven Brinberg – Simply Barbra was performed at Crazy Coqs, London. On the face of it, it’s the Barbra Streisand concert any fan could want. In the intimate surroundings of the Crazy Coqs with only a pianist to accompany her, Streisand sings a selection of all her greatest hits. Only of course, it isn’t Streisand it’s […]

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Liza (on an E) – Brighton and on tour

Liza (on an E) was performed at the Theatre Royal, Brighton. There was theatrical magic on stage from the moment Australian performer and drag artist Trevor Ashley strode on as his alter ego Liza Minnelli. At times she was presented as a grotesque caricature, and at others she appeared a fragile and pathetic soul. Ashley came to […]

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Shrek the Musical – Harman directs the tour

Shrek the Musical will be heading out on its first ever tour of UK and Ireland from July 2014. The Drury Lane production will be directed by Nigel Harman who starred as Lord Farquaad in the West End production, a role which won him the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in […]

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The Bakewell Bake Off arrives at the Landor

Following a sell-out run at London’s Waterloo East Theatre in August, new British musical The Bakewell Bake Off will transfer to the Landor Theatre on 8 October 2013 (officially opening on 10 October). The action throws the spotlight on seven eager contestants, three feuding judges and one bewildered hostess all taking part in a high-pressure […]

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Putting It Together – G Live, Guildford

Putting It Together was performed at the G Live Studio, Guildford. The rarely-seen Sondheim revue Putting It Together, a veritable orgy of familiar and less familiar songs from the great man’s rich repertoire worked into an admittedly pretty flimsy storyline, made a welcome return with a classy cast of five at Guildford. First performed at […]

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Frances Ruffelle – French Connection

Frances Ruffelle’s new cabaret, Paris Original, will be a celebration of French singers and songs. The show premieres at the Crazy Coqs from 8–12 October and represents something of a golden Gallic thread that has run through her career. This began when, at the age of 19, she originated the role of Eponine in Les […]

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Miss Hope Springs – Crazy Coqs

Miss Hope Springs performs Out of this World at the Crazy Coqs, London. Whilst the lion’s share of events for the London Festival of Cabaret will be taking place through October and November, here is a chance to sample early one of the delights on offer. Miss Hope Springs is the brain-child of accomplished singer/songwriter Ty […]

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Our House – New Wolsey, Ipswich and touring

Our House continues at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, and then tours until 23 November. The Smiths were tarred as the great doom-merchants of the 1980s, but you don’t have to scratch too deeply beneath the braces and bomber jackets to find that Madness could give anyone – Morrissey and Marr included – a run for their […]

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John Barr – Self Portrait – Crazy Coqs

John Barr performed Self Portrait at the Crazy Coqs, London. Monday nights at the Crazy Coqs are rapidly becoming something of a treat as they afford fledgling artists and seasoned performers a chance to try out new material or hone their cabaret style in a one-off show. Among those seasoned performers is John Barr, a […]

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The Lightning Child – Shakespeare’s Globe

The Lightning Child continues in rep at Shakespeare’s Globe, London until 12 October. Che Walker’s 2008 play The Frontline – the first contemporary set play to be staged at Shakespeare’s Globe – remains one of the best modern pieces to be performed there. Its sprawling urban tangle of midnight Camden lives made sense in the space, a […]

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Liza is back, courtesy of Trevor Ashley

Following his week at London’s Vaudeville Theatre in May this year, Trevor Ashley is back in the West End for one night only, after a brief UK tour. Michael Darvell spoke to the man behind Liza (on an E), his show about the great Minnelli. In fact Trevor Ashley is Liza, or at least he […]

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Donna McKechnie records her new album in London

Same Place, Another Time is Tony Award-winning actress Donna McKechnie’s latest cabaret act. Michael Darvell reports from the CD recording of the show for Jay Records (while, below, Patrick Honore catches up with the actress post-performance). Any musical cabaret fan who saw Donna McKechnie performing her new show in New York or at the Crazy Coqs […]

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Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory cancelled

The London premiere of the musical comedy Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory by Paul Boyd, due to run at Hackney Empire from 20 September to 5 October, has been cancelled following ‘unforeseen financial difficulties’. A statement from the show’s press representatives said: “Hackney Empire regrets that the producers of Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory, Big Wobbly Productions […]

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Copyright: Musical Theatre Review Ltd 2013. All rights reserved.