Archive | Feature RSS feed for this section

In Memoriam – Bruce Forsyth (22 February 1928 – 18 August 2017)

Bruce Forsyth, who has died at age 89 following a prolonged illness, was an all-round entertainer who could sing, dance, play various musical instruments and be a funny gameshow host. Over 70 years he entertained with utter professionalism and an abiding rapport with his audience. He toured in variety from the age of 11, until […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Josefina Gabrielle on the pleasure of playing her latest Sondheim role in A Little Night Music

JOSEFINA GABRIELLE is playing Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, currently playing at the Watermill Theatre in Bagnor, near Newbury. Josefina is no stranger to Sondheim’s musical style – she has played Gussie Carnagie in Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park With George (Leicester Haymarket). Her extensive musical theatre credits also […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Tyrone Huntley returns to his award-winning role as Judas in Jesus Chris Superstar

Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award-winning actor TYRONE HUNTLEY is reprising his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar in Timothy Sheader’s production at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this summer. Fresh from appearing in the original London cast of Dreamgirls, where he played C.C White, he has rejoined the cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber […]

Continue Reading ·

Remembering Barbara Cook (1927-2017) – ‘the world’s greatest and unbeatable voice’ 

The lights were dimmed on Broadway on 9 August, now that one of the greatest interpreters of the standard song repertoire has finally left us, just a few months after she announced her official retirement and a mere few weeks short of her 90th birthday.  This performer was indeed a legend in her own lifetime, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Adam Meggido on bringing Showstopper! The Improvised Musical home to the Edinburgh Fringe

The Olivier Award-winning Showstopper! The Improvised Musical is celebrating its 10th year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this month, after a sell-out UK and international tour that also runs on into autumn this year. The premise behind Showstopper! is relatively simple, but unique. The writer of the show is told by the theatre owners that his play […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – producer Katy Lipson makes her mark by taking musicals from page to stage

Hailing from Manchester and now living in London, young musical theatre producer KATY LIPSON is making waves with her production company Aria Entertainment.  Projects for 2017 include the From Page to Stage Summer Festival, Yank!, Hair, Toxic Avenger, Pippin, The Addams Family, and the year isn’t over yet. She also won producer of the year at the […]

Continue Reading ·

New York Musical Festival – shows aplenty on the horizon

In the wee small hours of the morning, did you ever awake with a cold shiver and wonder whether the supply of new musicals might suddenly dry up? Well, never fear, at least not as long as such events as the New York Musical Festival keep cropping up on the horizon. This annual event, now […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – actor and singer Harry Kit Lee opens up about his latest solo show

HARRY KIT LEE is an actor and singer who has created So This Is Who I Am, an autobiographical show based on aspects of his life and the songs he has chosen to illustrate it.  Michael Darvell wonders if this is a true picture of the performer… Did you start singing from an early age, […]

Continue Reading ·

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 – top ten musical theatre tips

Musical Theatre Review contributor Fiona Orr offers her Top Ten Musical Theatre Tips for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe… Tom and Bunny Save the World (Fat Rascal Theatre) A show promising ‘serious political content’ alongside zombies and how pints are cheaper in Yorkshire must be worthy of consideration. ‘Whilst at its heart a comedy, Tom and […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – woman of a thousand voices Christina Bianco on loving UK audiences and plans for Little Voice on Broadway

YouTube sensation [23 million views worldwide] and woman of a thousand voices, CHRISTINA BIANCO is heading to Viva Blackpool for the final date of her UK tour. Despite being a solo performance, her unique vocal impression show fills the room with icons across every musical genre during An Intimate Evening With Christina Bianco. Christina has […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Scott Hunter on telling the ‘beautifully human’ story of Yank! at the Charing Cross Theatre

Off-Broadway musical Yank! will transfer to London’s Charing Cross Theatre this summer for a seven-week season from 3 July to 19 August, just months after its acclaimed UK premiere run at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre. SCOTT HUNTER will reprise his role as Stu in this poignant love story based on the true, hidden history of gay […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Simon Lipkin gets Ratty in The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium

SIMON LIPKIN is playing the role of Ratty in the major new musical theatre adaptation of the family classic The Wind in the Willows which has its official opening at the London Palladium this week. Based on Kenneth Grahame’s timeless novel, The Wind in the Willows has been adapted for the stage by the team of Julian […]

Continue Reading ·

Exclusive interview and images – Michael Xavier is ready for his close-up on Broadway

Two-time Olivier Award nominee MICHAEL XAVIER has been enjoying his Broadway debut, playing the character of Joe Gillis opposite Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard at the Palace Theatre, New York for a limited season (the production closes this weekend). He previously took on the role at the London Coliseum in April 2016. Next he joins […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Liam Tamne chats about being challenged in Working at Southwark Playhouse

LIAM TAMNE is currently appearing in Stephen Schwartz’s genre-busting Broadway musical Working which is having its European premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse in June. Directed by Luke Sheppard, the new production of the show runs at the south London venue until 8 July. One of the first musicals from Schwartz, the composer of the multi award-winning […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Kerry Michael on bidding farewell to Theatre Royal Stratford East and pioneering new British musical theatre

Chris Grady writes… From early days working with the production of Ken Hill’s Invisible Man in the West End, and directing his first show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, KERRY MICHAEL went on to be the right hand creative of Philip Hedley at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, and for the last 12 years he has […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Audrey Brisson on La Strada, hedgehog costumes and being ‘slightly odd’

Actress, singer, and acrobat French-Canadian AUDREY BRISSON is currently playing the wide-eyed Gelsomina in the musical stage adaptation of Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada (‘The Road’). Having spent the early years of her career within the Cirque du Soleil’s embrace, she has carved out a career at the forefront of collaborative theatre, working with […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – composer Stephen Flaherty on bringing Anastasia to Broadway – and other adventures

American composer STEPHEN FLAHERTY’s latest Broadway musical, written in collaboration with Lynn Ahrens and Terrence McNally (the same team that gave us Ragtime) is the musical retelling of Anastasia. The Tony-nominated show follows the oft-told Anastasia story about the woman who may have been – but probably wasn’t – the surviving daughter of the massacred […]

Continue Reading ·

Sondheim concert at Cadogan Hall – Lucy Schaufer on making a personal connection to the music

On Sunday 4 June, Grammy Award winner, mezzo soprano LUCY SCHAUFER, will be bringing both her operatic and musical theatre talents to London’s Cadogan Hall, where she will perform in Sondheim: Smiles of a Summer Night. The concert, with direction from Alastair Knights, celebrates the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. The 33-piece Alex Parker […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – singer Richard Shelton brings his show Sinatra and Me to Live At Zédel

Following his sell-out LA and Edinburgh Festival Fringe performances, RICHARD SHELTON returns to the UK to perform Sinatra and Me at Crazy Coqs, Live At Zédel, early next month. Shelton, who won ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for portraying Frank Sinatra in West End’s Rat Pack Confidential, will take audiences on a trip through […]

Continue Reading ·

West End Daddy Warbucks Alex Bourne on appearing in ‘dream musical’ Annie

ALEX BOURNE is playing Daddy Warbucks in the West End production of Annie which opens at the Piccadilly Theatre this week, with opening night on 5 June. Bourne knows the role of Warbucks well after touring with the show across the UK during 2015/16. His other theatre credits include: Mamma Mia! and The Rocky Horror Show on tour in the UK, Midsummer Songs at the New […]

Continue Reading ·

Obituary – Bill Brohn, American orchestrator and musical arranger

By special arrangement – a tribute to the American orchestrator and musical arranger BILL BROHN (30 March 1933-11 May 2017). William David Brohn (Bill Brohn), the doyen of musical arrangers and orchestrators of musical and dance shows on Broadway and in London’s West End for a period of more than 50 years, has died at the age of […]

Continue Reading ·

The Braille Legacy at the Charing Cross Theatre – exclusive gallery of images

The world premiere production of new musical The Braille Legacy, based on the inspirational story of Louis Braille, stars Olivier Award nominee Jérôme Pradon (UK premiere of the musical Women On the Verge Of a Nervous Breakdown, Miss Saigon and Les Misérables). Here is a new gallery of production images from Musical Theatre Review photographer Roy Tan. The production, directed by Thom Southerland, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Dawn Sievewright reprises her role in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

DAWN SIEVEWRIGHT is excited to be reprising the role of Fionnula in the Olivier Award-winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour which begins its West End debut run at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 15 May (previews began on 9 May). The production started out at the National Theatre of Scotland, going on to the National Theatre in […]

Continue Reading ·

Paper Hearts at Upstairs at the Gatehouse – Liam O’Rafferty and Dan Jarvis chat about a new British musical

A new British musical, Paper Hearts, is receiving an extended London run at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate, following success at the Waterloo East Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, and then heads for Hamburg. Writer-composer LIAM O’RAFFERTY, who also runs a design company, and musical director DAN JARVIS, a pianist, vocal […]

Continue Reading ·

Claybourne Elder on covering Jake Gyllenhaal and his London cabaret, You and Me and Sondheim

CLAYBOURNE ELDER has just finished portraying the character of the soldier Napoleon in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George at the Hudson Theatre on Broadway – the first Sondheim production to ever gross more than $1 million in a single week. The fact that its leading man is Jake Gyllenhaal […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Chris Peluso on touring in Funny Girl and loving the UK

After making his West End debut as Chris in Miss Saigon and sailing through his role in Show Boat, New Yorker CHRIS PELUSO is bringing his talents to the UK stage once more, this time alongside Sheridan Smith in the national tour of Funny Girl. The next stop for Funny Girl is Bristol Hippodrome (21-25 March) and […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – singer and satirist Melinda Hughes makes her mark on London cabaret

MELINDA HUGHES, daughter of film director Ken Hughes, is a classically trained singer who has appeared in many operas and concerts both in the UK and across Europe. Her album, Smoke and Noise, features tracks by Mischa Spoliansky and she also writes her own cabaret songs with Jeremy Limb on such topical subjects as opera divas, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Frances Ruffelle invites you to a Wild Party at The Other Palace

FRANCES RUFFELLE has one of the most idiosyncratic voices of any singer in the West End or Broadway. Hers is a husky, sultry sound, with an unmistakeable rawness and vulnerability that is sure to make her the perfect fit for the role of Queenie in composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa’s version of The Wild Party, which opens […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Karis Jack on her role in The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

A nominee for the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance as Little Sally in Urinetown (Apollo Theatre), actress KARIS JACK has taken on another challenging role in the UK premiere of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at Theatre Royal Stratford East. The actress, whose recent theatre credits include […]

Continue Reading ·

Spotlight on musical theatre in Sweden – winter and spring seasons

Renate Stridh throws the spotlight on musical theatre productions featured in the current and upcoming seasons in Sweden. The winter season in Sweden is well under way. The autumn saw some exciting productions and there are some equally exciting opening nights ahead. The Book of Mormon The Book of Mormon opened at the end of January at China […]

Continue Reading ·

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Five Questions with actor Charles Dale

Many readers will be familiar with actor CHARLES DALE following his long tenure as Big Mac in BBC1’s Casualty and before that as Dennis Stringer in ITV1’s Coronation Street. Less well known may be his theatre work such as Blue Remembered Hills at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre , or even (for lovers of trivia) that he once fronted an R&B […]

Continue Reading ·

Singer-songwriter Anton Stephans on being Brave in new solo show

Coming to Live At Zédel on 8 February actor, singer-songwriter, poet and former X Factor contestant ANTON STEPHANS will present Brave, his own one-man show, drawing on his experience in musical theatre and his working with some of the best musicians in the business. Here is his story so far… You have been involved in musical theatre since […]

Continue Reading ·

Bounding around – comedy duo Bounder & Cad play The Pheasantry

BOUNDER & CAD, the comedy duo who write their own songs on topical matters as well as re-writing the lyrics of standard numbers, are appearing at The Pheasantry in London’s Chelsea on Wednesday 18 January. The funny pair, otherwise known as Guy Hayward and Adam Drew, explain what they get up to in their show called Warning: Implicit Content. You met […]

Continue Reading ·

Broadway Musical Theatre Preview – a starry first half to 2017

Don’t forget sunglasses if you’re headed for New York. Broadway musical marquees will be freshly and blindingly ablaze with a constellation of star names during the first half of the New Year. New productions headed for the Main Stem boast such legendary luminaries as Bette Midler, Glenn Close, Patti LuPone and – yes, even a […]

Continue Reading ·

Remembering Debbie Reynolds – RIP

As if the death of actress Carrie Fisher at the age of 60 were not bad enough, to then learn that her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died a day later was even more of a shock. Michael Darvell looks back at the career of one of Hollywood’s unforgettable legends… It was probably the effect that the death […]

Continue Reading ·

Musical Theatre 2017 Preview – all you need to know

You can’t get more comprehensive than this, here’s a preview of all the 2017 musical theatre openings we know about so far in the West End, on the London Fringe and across the UK.   JANUARY The Girls – Phoenix Theatre, London Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, The Girls, based on the true story, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Scott Alan tells his story in The Journey at Live at Zédel

Award-winning singer-songwriter SCOTT ALAN presents his one-man musical, The Journey, at London’s Live at Zédel from 27 December to 8 January. Told through more than a dozen new and established songs, The Journey charts the writer’s story through sexual awakening and battles with physical and mental health. The show also features music that has been a magnate for some of […]

Continue Reading ·

Musical Theatre 2016 – a reflection – what was your favourite?

Musical Theatre Review reflects on an incredibly busy year of theatre – in the West End, on the London Fringe, across the UK – and picks a selection of shows from each month that topped the FOUR and FIVE star ratings with our contributors. JANUARY Guys and Dolls – Savoy Theatre, London Star rating: five stars ★ […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – director Derek Bond brings Sweet Charity to the Royal Exchange Manchester

For its Christmas show the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is staging the Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields musical Sweet Charity, with a book by Neil Simon based on the Fellini film, Nights of Cabiria. DEREK BOND has returned to the venue to direct the show. Musical Theatre Review’s Chris Bartlett wrote in his review: “And for a joyous 160 […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Sophie Evans on her role in The Night Before Christmas at Salisbury Playhouse

SOPHIE EVANS, the Welsh singer who first captivated national TV audiences as a 17-year-old in the star search show Over the Rainbow, has rapidly established herself as a stage and screen rising star. Although she just narrowly missed out on the top spot in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC TV talent search in 2010, the girl […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – songwriters Daniel and Laura Curtis on latest album Overture

Award-winning composers and lyricists Daniel and Laura Curtis have assembled 25 leading artists from both the US and UK to record the largest-ever Broadway and West End collaboration album, Overture. Best-known for their debut album Love On 42nd Street, the duo’s work has been performed by leading musical theatre performers including Lea Salonga, Sierra Boggess and Ramin […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Bruce Guthrie directs anniversary staging of Rent

After a limited season at Theatr Clywd in Mold, the 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s innovative American musical Rent has embarked on a three-week tour prior to a Christmas season at London’s St James Theatre where it has already broken box office records. Below, Musical Theatre Review contributor Rebecca Gordon chats to director BRUCE GUTHRIE about his new production of the […]

Continue Reading ·

Catch Me – a new musical – premieres at Above the Arts Theatre

Rob Hartmann interviews writer/composers ARNOUD BREITBARTH and CHRISTIAN CZORNYJ who he met on the Mountview MA course in writing musicals. Now, just weeks after they’ve graduated, the writers’ new musical Catch Me will premiere at the Above the Arts Theatre. Catch Me tells the story of five friends coping with a young man’s suicide. How did the idea for the show come to you? […]

Continue Reading ·

Remembering Stephen Clark – playwright, librettist and lyricist

Remembering Stephen Clark (2 February 1961 to 15 October 2016). Stephen Clark, the award-winning playwright, librettist and lyricist, has died at the all too early age of 55. Michael Darvell looks back at a career tragically cut short, but one that remained full of promise… Like his hero Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Clark seems to have had a […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Ann Hampton Callaway and Amanda McBroom on being Divalicious at The Pheasantry

Two of the most inspirational songwriters and performers of the international cabaret scene, ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY and AMANDA McBROOM, will be appearing at The Pheasantry from 9-13 November. They will be accompanied by another wonderful songwriter and performer in her own right, Michele Brourman. Fiona-Jane Weston caught up with Ann and Amanda to discuss their work ahead of […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Fiona-Jane Weston on her latest one-woman show Heroines

Actress and singer FIONA-JANE WESTON’s one-woman tribute to remarkable women began in 2009 with the show 20th Century Woman – The Compact Cabaret. Since then she has produced a tribute to the heroic women of the First and Second World Wars, Wartime Women – The Khaki Cabaret; Looking For Lansbury, an homage to stage and screen veteran star Angela Lansbury; […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – original Chris, Simon Bowman on Miss Saigon 25th anniversary film

The role of Chris in Miss Saigon made SIMON BOWMAN a West End star when the show debuted to rave reviews at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1989. After playing the American soldier whose doomed romance with Vietnamese bargirl Kim is the subject of the smash hit musical for around 1,000 performances, Bowman went […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Salena Jones – jazz doyenne who bridges gap with pop

SALENA JONES is one of the finest jazz singers around. Singing from childhood all over the world, she has performed with all the greats from Louis Armstrong and Sarah Vaughan to Dudley Moore and Tom Jones, among many others. Salena has recorded more than 40 albums and more than 20 singles. She is appearing at The Pheasantry in the […]

Continue Reading ·
Copyright: Musical Theatre Review Ltd 2013. All rights reserved.