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Hershey Felder to bring Berlin and Bernstein shows to The Other Palace

Award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder will bring the magic of two of the most iconic names in musical theatre, Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein, to The Other Palace this autumn. Recently named by the prestigious Time magazine as one of its top ten theatre artists of 2016, Felder has created two musical plays that take […]

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Candide – Cadogan Hall

Candide was performed by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra and Chorus at Cadogan Hall, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Leonard Bernstein’s bonkers operetta inspired by Voltaire’s Candide received the one-night-only LMTO treatment at Cadogan Hall and it proved to be a glittering affair, reaffirming the London Musical Theatre Orchestra as […]

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Briefs – Close Encounters – Underbelly Festival

Briefs – Close Encounters – continues at the Underbelly Festival,  Southbank, London until 30 September. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ You don’t have to be in Edinburgh this summer to enjoy some of the best Fringe entertainment the theatre world has to offer. Just pop on over to the Southbank for […]

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The Hired Man – Union Theatre

The Hired Man continues at the Union Theatre, London until 12 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Melvyn Bragg’s 1969 novel The Hired Man was the first of three novels to chart the lives of the Cumbrian Tallentire family. Starting at the turn of the 20th century, the name derives from […]

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Boys in the Buff – Stockwell Playhouse

Boys in the Buff continues at the Stockwell Playhouse, London until 29 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ In our selfie culture, the notion of ‘self-image’ has never been so oppressive and absurd. Boys in the Buff illuminates the issue with entertaining songs and dance about weight-loss, the hell of gym culture, playground taunts, […]

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Assassins – Encores! Off-Center – New York City Center

Assassins, an Encores! Off-Center production, was performed at New York City Center. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Given today’s fraught political climate, it’s hard to imagine that that the powers at Encores! Off-Center didn’t have some sleepless nights about their decision to include John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins as part […]

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New production of Parade to launch Hertfordshire Paper Mill as arts venue

A revival of the award-winning 1998 musical Parade will be the first professional production at the world’s oldest working paper factory in Hertfordshire this September. With a book by Driving Miss Daisy writer Alfred Uhry and a score by Jason Robert Brown (Songs For a New World; The Last Five Years; Bridges of Madison County), […]

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West End Bares reveals Ruby Strippers theme

Olivier Award winner Rebecca Trehearn will open this year’s Wizard of Oz-inspired edition of West End Bares, the burlesque-flavoured fundraiser which will play London’s Novello Theatre on Sunday 29 October. Performing a track specially written for the occasion by The Book of Mormon’s Mark Anderson and That Bloody Woman composer Luke di Somma, the Show […]

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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 […]

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Theatre Royal Stratford East’s 2017 Musical Theatre Workshop under way

Six new musical projects are currently under development at this year’s Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Musical Theatre Workshop. A total of 12 artists are currently at work until 28 July under the guidance of members of the East London venue’s artistic team including MT New Writing manager Sevan Tavoukdjian and specialist tutors from NYU’s Tisch […]

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Full West End rep company for From Page to Stage

A cast of 56, more than 50 composers and writers, and an 18-strong creative team will form a musical rep company in the West End for this year’s From Page to Stage Summer Festival at The Other Palace. Aria Entertainment’s annual event will bring a packed programme of new musicals to its new home at […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Fabulous 50

Fabulous 50 is performed by Guildford School of Acting musical theatre students at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre until 22 July. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This brilliantly put-together celebration of the 50th anniversary of the University of Surrey by its current musical theatre students, both undergraduate and post-graduate, is a delight […]

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Union Theatre to stage Salad Days 63 years after its West End debut

Classic British musical Salad Days will return to London next month over six decades since it made its West End debut. Reimagined for the Union Theatre later this month, director Bryan Hodgson’s new production of the show which debuted in the capital in 1954 will play a strictly limited season at the Off-West End venue […]

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Highlights of next Live At Zédel season revealed

The European premiere of Ryan Scott Oliver’s Southern gothic thriller We Foxes Come and an appearance by US musical theatre rising star Joey Contreras are among the genre highlights at London’s Live At Zédel this September. Award-winning New York-based Oliver’s latest musical We Foxes Come will be performed as a one night only concert reading […]

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Grab ’Em By the Pussy – The Space

Grab ’Em By the Pussy was reviewed at The Space, London (the show also runs at The Monkey House in Camden from 9 to 12 August). Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Writer Caroline Buckley has penned a comic-surreal response to President Donald Trump’s ghastly boast to Billy Bush, cousin of former […]

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London Theatres – Michael Coveney and Peter Dazeley take readers on a tour with new book

Renowned theatre critic Michael Coveney has joined forces with leading photographer Peter Dazeley to take theatre lovers on a tour of London’s most iconic theatres. Published in September, London Theatres will offer a unique front of house and behind the scenes view of London’s world famous playhouses. With a forward by Mark Rylance, words by […]

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Committee… (A New Musical) – Donmar Warehouse

Committee… (A New Musical) or The Public Administration and Constitution Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall’s Relationship with Kids Company continues at the Donmar Warehouse, London until 12 August. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ This evidence gathering session at the House of Commons select committee cries out for verbatim theatre. […]

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Fatherland – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Fatherland continues at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester until 22 July (and also plays the Lyric, Hammersmith from 25 May to 23 June 2018 as part of LIFT). Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The creative trio behind this innovative Manchester International Festival production set out their stall very early on. Frantic […]

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The Woman in White – revival to be staged at Charing Cross Theatre

Acclaimed director Thom Southerland (Titanic, Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel) is to direct the first ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony and Olivier Award-nominated musical The Woman in White. A tempestuous tale of love, betrayal and greed, adapted from Wilkie Collins’ haunting Victorian thriller, this is the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel’s […]

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Broadway musical Fun Home to open at Young Vic in June 2018

The Young Vic will host the UK premiere of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Fun Home, by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, from 18 June to 1 September 2018 (press night is 27 June). Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s celebrated 2006 graphic novel, made its debut at The Public Theater, New York in October […]

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Hair at The Vaults extends until January 2018

The eagerly-anticipated London run of the new 50th anniversary production of the classic rock musical Hair has been extended into January 2018. Opening at The Vaults in October, Hair will now play the distinctive subterranean arts venue in London’s Waterloo until Sunday 14 January. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, the new production of the cult show […]

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Ruffelle, Huntley and Kemp to play new Pizza Express live venue

Frances Ruffelle, Tyrone Huntley and Martin Kemp are among the latest additions to the star-studded launch season line-up at restaurant chain Pizza Express’ latest London entertainment venue. Tickets are already on sale for An Audience With Martin Kemp on 31 August, West End favourite Ruffelle’s solo show I Say Yeh-Yeh on 3 September and Evening […]

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Yank! at the Charing Cross Theatre – exclusive new images

Off-Broadway musical Yank! has transferred to London’s Charing Cross Theatre this summer just months after its acclaimed UK premiere run at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre. Here’s a look at Musical Theatre Review official photographer Roy Tan’s exclusive production images. Second World War gay love story Yank! continues at the Charing Cross Theatre until Saturday 19 August. The musical has a book […]

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My Land’s Shore to debut in Wales

Historical Welsh musical My Land’s Shore is heading home for its Welsh premiere at Theatr Soar in Merthyr Tydfil early next year. Following on from the well-received world premiere run at London’s Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre in February, the show’s Welsh premiere run will begin on 20 February 2018. Based on the true […]

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Me the People: The Trump America Musical – The Triad Theatre, New York

Me the People: The Trump America Musical continues at The Triad Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Political comedy has reached new levels of brazenness with the ascension of real estate mogul Donald Trump to President of the United States. The new satirical revue, Me the People: The Trump […]

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Yank! – Charing Cross Theatre

Yank! continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 19 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ A half century before the US military service policy ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’, relationships between gay men in the US Armed Forces were, if not exactly tolerated, tacitly acknowledged. In the mix of adrenaline and […]

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Toxic Avenger – full cast revealed for transfer

Mark Anderson [pictured] will return to the central role in the hit Off-Broadway rock musical The Toxic Avenger which will follow its sold-out London debut at the Southwark Playhouse with a transfer to the Arts Theatre this autumn. Directed by Benji Sperring, the European premiere production of the show – based on a 1980s cult […]

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Titanic The Musical to sail into Belfast as part of debut national tour

The eagerly anticipated UK and Ireland tour of Titanic The Musical will make an early stop at Belfast, the city where the doomed ship was built. As previously announced, Thom Southerland’s critically-acclaimed production of the multi award-winning Broadway will begin its first tour in Southampton, the city where the RMS Titanic began its fateful maiden […]

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He Shoots! He Scores! – A Musical With Balls – Above The Stag

He Shoots! He Scores! – A Musical With Balls continues at Above The Stag, London until 20 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Whatever you may think of the sport, football is probably the game that’s most often been tackled in musical theatre. There’s Lloyd Webber’s Beautiful Game of course and […]

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Drawing the line – why Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt has got his priorities right

Musical Theatre Review editor Lisa Martland writes… I am not a stranger to fandom, I vividly recall having posters of 1980s pop stars on my bedroom walls. And as my passion for theatre, and musicals in particular, grew, I wasn’t a complete stranger to the Stage Door after a performance – shyly standing in a […]

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Natalie Anderson signs up for Fat Friends The Musical

Former Emmerdale star Natalie Anderson is the latest addition to the cast for the UK tour of Fat Friends The Musical. The actress, whose stage roles since leaving the ITV soap have included Nessarose in the West End production of Wicked, will play Lauren the role originated on screen by her Emmerdale co-star Gaynor Faye. […]

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James Dreyfus joins LMTO’s Candide in concert

Screen and stage actor James Dreyfus has stepped up to take on the role of Pangloss in the London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s upcoming concert presentation of Leonard Bernstein and Hugh Wheeler’s Candide. The star of hit TV shows Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and The Thin Blue Line will return to the role of outrageously optimistic Pangloss […]

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Arlene Phillips unites dance world to raise money for Grenfell fire victims

Award-winning choreographer and TV personality Arlene Phillips will gather together some of the biggest names in dance for a gala performance to raise funds for the survivors of the Grenfell House fire. The Gala For Grenfell at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 30 July will unite dancers from across the world in a fundraiser for […]

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What the Ladybird Heard – Lyric Theatre

What the Ladybird Heard continues at the Lyric Theatre, London until 10 September. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ If you go a-burgling in your stripy top with your swag bag you will get caught and sent to prison. That’s the lightly presented moral message of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ immensely […]

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The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium – exclusive new images

Adapted for the stage by the team of Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the major new musical theatre adaptation of the family classic The Wind in the Willows has sped into the London Palladium. Here is a selection of brand new exclusive images from Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan. Rufus Hound […]

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama – Crazy For You

Crazy For You, performed by Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s final-year graduates, continues at Silk Street Theatre, London until 12 July. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Every year the same verdict on a Guildhall School musical: lift this show lock, stock and barrel a couple of miles across London to […]

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Royal Academy of Music – Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost was performed by the Royal Academy of Music’s Musical Theatre Company at Hackney Empire, London. This review refers to the cast at the Saturday evening performance (Cast A). Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The lofty heights of Shakespearian adaptation have famously permeated the Broadway canon to its very […]

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Windsor Castle to host unique version of A Christmas Carol

Windsor Castle will be the majestic setting for nine performances of Charles Dickens’ timeless A Christmas Carol this festive period. Presented by theatre company Watch Your Head, the family-friendly, immersive performances of the much-loved story tale of Scrooge and his ghostly visitors will be staged in the rooms where the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret […]

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Cilla The Musical – Kara Lily Hayworth is cast in the leading role

The search for a leading lady for Cilla The Musical is over following the announcement that Kara Lily Hayworth will play the Liverpool lass who became one of the UK’s best-loved stars. Following weeks of open auditions at venues across the country, attracting thousands of would-be Cillas, the Watford-born actress will take on her first […]

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First look at Louise Redknapp and Will Young in Cabaret tour

Here is the first look at ex-pop star and Strictly favourite Louise Redknapp (making her stage debut as Sally Bowles) and former Pop Idol Will Young (once again playing the Emcee) in this autumn’s nationwide tour of Rufus Norris’ acclaimed revival of Cabaret. Opening at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Thursday 21 September, Norris’ multi […]

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Small Faces musical All Or Nothing – details of autumn tour

Mod-themed musical All Or Nothing is heading back on the road this September for its third UK tour since its successful London launch last March. After completing its current national tour in Cheltenham on 29 July, the musical which tells the story of the classic British rock band the Small Faces will begin its autumn […]

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Strictly stars team up for new touring song and dance show

Strictly Dancing champions Louis Smith and Jay McGuiness are joining one of the series’ most popular professional dancers Natalie Lowe in a major new show. The trio will take to the floor in the 1950s flavoured song and dance show Rip It Up which will begin a 42-date tour in Aberdeen in September. The latest […]

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Sunset Boulevard UK and Ireland tour – full casting details

Full casting has been revealed for the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical Sunset Boulevard. Directed by Nikolai Foster, the tour will open at Curve on Saturday 16 September 2017 (press night is Thursday 28 September). Joining the previously announced Ria Jones as Norma Desmond and Danny Mac as Joe […]

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Shit-faced Showtime – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Leicester Square Theatre

Shit-faced Showtime continues at the Leicester Square Theatre for three more Sundays in July (9, 16 , 23).. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ It was back in August 2015 when Musical Theatre Review last reviewed Shit-faced Showtime at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, branding the production as “one of the wildest, most […]

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Pageant musical to play Camden Fringe

Musical writer and director Bill Russell’s comic vision of the world of beauty contests, Pageant, will return to the UK this summer with one run in London and another in Poole. The brand new production of the show, which will also be directed by Russell (Side Show, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens), will […]

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Rat Pack show heads back to the West End for Christmas

Hit swinging sixties show The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas is returning to the Theatre Royal Haymarket over a decade since it made its West End debut at the venue. The celebration of the music and camaraderie of the legendary team of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, will return with […]

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Book Review – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 – Steven Suskin and Dave Malloy

NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 – Steven Suskin and Dave Malloy (Sterling Books – ISBN: 9781454923282) The musical of this same name is currently playing to capacity audiences on Broadway, starring Josh Groban and Denée Benton. So, what better tie-in than a gorgeously produced tome which takes you through the whole process […]

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CD Review – Comrade Rockstar – Studio Cast

COMRADE ROCKSTAR – Studio Cast (SimG Records – SimGR-CD033) Comrade Rockstar is the latest offering from SimG Records. Written by Julian Woolford and Richard John, this is a musical based on the life of Dean Reed – known in the 1980s as the Soviet Elvis. I was a little wary at first because I am […]

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CD Review – Hello, Dolly! – 2017 Broadway Cast

HELLO, DOLLY! – 2017 Broadway Cast (Masterworks Broadway – 88985405922) At times like this I wish more than anything that I lived in New York. I would love to actually see this production onstage. Perhaps by now you may have gathered that I am in love with this recording of the 2017 Broadway cast of […]

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CD Review – Cockeyed Optimist – Jenn Gambatese

COCKEYED OPTIMIST (Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein) – JENN GAMBATESE (Jay Records – CdJAY1447) To my shame I had never heard of Jenn Gambatese before being sent this CD to review. I now know she played Jane in Disney’s stage musical version of Tarzan on the Great White Way, Glinda on a national tour of […]

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