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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – West End launch

Musical theatre fans, don your bow ties, shine your shoes and brace yourselves. In only a few weeks, with previews beginning at the Savoy Theatre on 10 March, one of the most highly anticipated theatrical events of the year arrives – the UK premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Librettist Jeffrey Lane and composer/lyricist David Yazbek’s […]

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Thriller Live – West End’s first Michael Jackson returns

Kieran Alleyne was a shy 13-year-old Leicester schoolboy with no formal acting training when he was chosen in an open audition from thousands of young hopefuls for a starring role in the West End, singing the songs of the young Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. Now he is heading back to the West End tonight (Wednesday […]

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From Here to Eternity closes at the end of March

It has been announced that From Here to Eternity, Tim Rice’s new musical, will close on 29 March 2014, after a run of six months in the West End. The date is a month earlier than previously expected. Composed by Stuart Brayson, with lyrics by Rice and a book by Bill Oakes, the musical – […]

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Happy Days – Brighton and Touring

Happy Days was reviewed at the Theatre Royal, Brighton and continues touring until 5 July. Do not be alarmed, dear reader. This is not a musical version of Samuel Beckett’s play of the same name. It is in fact a staged version of the US TV sitcom, which ran for ten ears, depicting small town life […]

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Dreamboats and Petticoats – Sheffield and Touring

Dreamboats and Petticoats was reviewed at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield and continues touring until 24 May, 2014. Nostalgia shows these days often plump for a back catalogue inspired by the 1970s and 80s, so it’s nice to find shows that bring a fond recall of the 1950s and 60s, when rock‘n’roll set the young frolicking. […]

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A Spoonful of Sherman – St James Studio Theatre

A Spoonful of Sherman – A Celebration of the Life, Times and Songs of Robert B Sherman was performed at the St James Studio Theatre, London. For two performances only we had the exquisite pleasure of witnessing the birth of a new musical revue based on the well-known catalogue of the late, great Hollywood songwriter Robert […]

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The World Goes ‘Round – Union Theatre

The World Goes ‘Round: The Songs of Kander & Ebb continues at the Union Theatre, London until 8 February. You’d have to be seriously allergic to musicals not to enjoy this tuneful retrospective of the work of those Broadway giants John Kander and Fred Ebb, famous, of course, for Cabaret and Chicago as well as […]

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Putting It Together – St James Theatre

Putting It Together continues at the St James Theatre, London until 1 February. This is a lesser-known Stephen Sondheim revue that was first performed in 1992 at the Old Fire Station Studio Theatre in Oxford. Subsequent productions took place, notably in New York, Los Angeles and Chichester, each slightly different in song content and ‘story’. […]

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Lost Boy – Charing Cross Theatre

Lost Boy continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 15 February. The story of Peter Pan, the boy who refuses to grow up, continues to be re-interpreted by a number of theatre writers and directors. In the past, productions such as Finding Neverland, Peter and the Starcatcher and Peter and Alice have adapted the […]

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Shakespeare 4 Kidz presents musical version of Macbeth

The company Shakespeare 4 Kidz has begun an international tour of a new musical version of Macbeth, aimed at young audiences and families. The adaptation by Julian Chenery (who also directs) and Matt Gimblett tells the story with many of Shakespeare’s original words woven into easy-to-understand modern language. The cast includes: Noel Andrew Harron (Macbeth), Michelle Cornelius […]

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Brent Barrett – Crazy Coqs

Brent Barrett performs his show Night Songs at the Crazy Coqs, London until 18 January. Having wowed audiences at the Victoria Palace in 2001 with his performance as Fred Graham in Kiss Me, Kate, for which he received an Olivier nomination, Brent Barrett returns to make his London cabaret debut with Night Songs. The theme […]

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Valley of Song – Finborough Theatre

Valley of Song continues at the Finborough Theatre, London until 25 January. Valley of Song, Ivor Novello’s last and unfinished musical, receives its professional world premiere at the Finborough Theatre more than 60 years after the composer’s death. Presented as part of the Finborough’s ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ and ‘The Great War 100’ series, this […]

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Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – New York

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical continues at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York, in an open-ended run. According to the programme for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, the songwriter has had more than 400 of her compositions recorded by more than 1,000 artists, generating 100 hit singles. And many of those tunes, which […]

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The World Goes ‘Round at the Union Theatre

Jonathan Vickers writes: London’s Union Theatre is to stage the award-winning Kander & Ebb revue The World Goes ‘Round in a limited run beginning 17 January (previews on the 15 and 16 January) and ending on 8 February. The piece, exclusively featuring the music of admired writing team John Kander and Fred Ebb, parades some of […]

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Maria Friedman and Jason Carr – The Pheasantry

Maria Friedman sings Lenny & Steve with Jason Carr (musical director) at The Pheasantry, London, until 19 January. British artists who truly understand the intimate art of cabaret are few and far between, but the wonderful Maria Friedman is one who stands alongside the very best Americans – and above most of them. Seventy minutes […]

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Happy Days – A New Musical – a sneak peak

A week ahead of their opening at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, the producers of the UK tour of Happy Days – A New Musical invited selected press in for an exclusive peak at rehearsals in progress. It is difficult not to feel the excitement emanating from the Churchill at the moment. The set designed by Tom […]

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Tell Me On a Sunday – St James Theatre

Tell Me On a Sunday continues at the St James Theatre, London until 12 January before transferring to the Duchess Theatre for two weeks from 18 February–1 March. It’s nostalgia time at the St James with Marti Webb bravely re-creating the one-woman Tell Me On a Sunday show of almost 32 years ago that took […]

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Carole J Bufford – Crazy Coqs

Carole J Bufford performs her show Body and Soul at the Crazy Coqs, London until Saturday 11 January. Now we know why the New York cabaret world is raving about the new kid on the block. Carole J Bufford is very, very special. A standing ovation for her very first gig outside the USA at […]

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Peter Pan – The Never Ending Story – Wembley Arena and Touring

Peter Pan – The Never Ending Story was performed at Wembley Arena, London and continues to tour to Glasgow and Newcastle. Written by JM Barrie in 1904, Peter Pan is a story that has provided the basis for many different productions. As well as the famous Disney animated movie, there have been several musicals, live […]

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Tell Me On a Sunday transfers to the Duchess

Tell Me On a Sunday has always commanded a loyal following as the 1979 collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Don Black produced a number of still-popular songs, not least the title number and the even bigger hit ‘Take That Look Off Your Face’. Even so, the news that, due to public demand, this […]

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Happy Days – A New Musical opens this week

This Tuesday (7 January), Musical Theatre Review has been invited to an exclusive cast performance of three tracks from Happy Days – A New Musical (‘Run’, ‘Message in the Music’, and the feel-good title song ‘Happy Days’) at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Happy Days – A New Musical, written by Garry Marshall with music by Paul […]

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Miss Saigon – Malmo Opera

Miss Saigon continues at Malmö Opera until 30 January 2014. The Malmö Opera is one of three Swedish opera houses that regularly has musical theatre in its repertoire. Malmö, like Gothenburg, has to deal with the challenge of a vast main stage and a big house. Finding the right musical of the right quality which […]

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Stephen Ward the Musical – Aldwych Theatre

Stephen Ward the Musical opened at the Aldwych Theatre, London on 19 December. Set in the swinging 1960s, Stephen Ward the Musical is a biographical piece describing the rise and fall of the society playboy who fell foul of the ruling classes. Known eternally as the lynchpin to the Profumo affair –a sexual scandal that precipitated […]

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Oliver! – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Oliver! continues at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield until 25 January, 2014. If I’m the one who’s reviewing the situation, the Crucible’s Oliver! could transfer to Broadway tomorrow. From top to bottom, it’s that good. It all starts – and ends – with director Daniel Evans and choreographer Alistair David. From ‘Food, Glorious Food’, a slick, […]

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Christmas With the Sondheim Society

A Christmas Evening With the Sondheim Society at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. Five of the brightest young names in the musical theatre world went into cabaret mode for the Christmas edition of the Stephen Sondheim Society evenings in Leicester Square, mixing the old with the new. The last two winners of the prestiguous SSS Student Performer of […]

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Meet Me in St Louis – Landor Theatre

Meet Me in St Louis continues at the Landor Theatre, London until 18 January. A perennial favourite 1944 MGM movie starring a young Judy Garland, Meet Me in St Louis is filled with memorable musical numbers, whimsical family comedy and features the artistic direction of Vincente Minnelli, then making his mark in Hollywood. It is […]

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A Christmas Carol – Charing Cross Theatre

A Christmas Carol continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 4 January 2014. Charles Dickens’ transformative Christmas favourite A Christmas Carol – a show that’s no stranger to musical adaptation – gets a heartwarming new airing at the Charing Cross Theatre courtesy of Talkwood Productions. A relatively new group, Talkwood formed in 2008 and specialises […]

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Carousel – Oper Graz, Austria

Carousel runs in rep at the Oper Graz, Austria until 5 June 2014. Matthias Davids, who in 2012 directed Gigi at the Oper Graz, has returned with the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Carousel. There are many reasons why this could have been problematic: firstly, because the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein are unfortunately hardly ever […]

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Kiss Me Kate – Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Kiss Me Kate continues at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London until 26 January 2014. Cole Porter’s lovely Kiss Me Kate (comma deleted in line with the recent Old Vic revival and all the better for it) is one of those special musicals, like West Side Story and My Fair Lady, in which virtually every song […]

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Chicago – Leicester Curve

Chicago continues at the Curve, Leicester until 18 January 2014. Back in 1991, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Chicago was Paul Kerryson’s choice for his first production as artistic director of the Leicester Haymarket. Now it’s the centrepiece of Curve’s fifth birthday celebrations, a work of genius, with brand new choreography by Drew McOnie, and a […]

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Hayley Gallivan in Oliver! at Sheffield Crucible

Actress Hayley Gallivan plays Nancy in Sheffield Crucible’s production of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! which opens this week. The musical is directed by the theatre’s award-winning artistic director Daniel Evans, who also staged the Crucible’s critically acclaimed productions of My Fair Lady and Tim Firth’s This is My Family (the latter won two UK Theatre Awards). […]

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Chichester Pajama Game hits West End in May 2014

Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of The Pajama Game, directed by Richard Eyre, transfers to the West End on 1 May (press night is 13 May), playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 13 September 2014. The musical will move in when the current show residing there – From Here to Eternity – closes. In 1950s America, […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Rent

Rent was performed by the Guildford School of Acting Third Year Musical Theatre graduates at the the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford. The list of Guildford School of Acting success stories is longer than your arm, from Bill Nighy to Brenda Blethyn, Michael Ball to Celia Imrie, Tom Chambers to Caroline Sheen and far beyond, and there’s […]

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Once Upon a Mattress – Theater der Jugend, Vienna

Winnifred oder die Prinzessin auf der Erbse (Once Upon a Mattress) continues at the Theater der Jugend, Vienna until 25 January, 2014. Even though the Theater der Jugend, Vienna’s number one when it comes to theatre for children and teenagers, is known for mostly presenting plays, the venue has surprised audiences this season with a […]

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My Fair Lady – Theatre du Chatelet, Paris

My Fair Lady continues at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, until 1 January, 2014. Here’s the ultimate Christmas treat for lovers of musicals – a trip on Eurostar and a couple of best seats at the Chatelet, surely one of the world’s most beautiful theatres, to see perhaps the most iconic of them all, Lerner and […]

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Love, Linda – York Theatre Company, New York

Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter continues at York Theatre Company, New York, until 5 January. Life wasn’t always wunderbar for Mr. and Mrs. Cole Porter. But most of the time it was pretty damn good, as related by Linda Porter in the sumptuous Off-Broadway musical Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole […]

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John Barrowman – one day musical theatre will call again

Paul F Cockburn recently caught up with the multi-talented John Barrowman in Glasgow. Having just been recording 25 episodes of Pressure Pad, his new entertainment quiz show for the BBC, Barrowman was – technically – promoting his pantomine, Dick McWhittington (opening at the SECC Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow on 14 December), but the conversation strangely enough […]

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The New Musical Project – finalists revealed

A new musical theatre initiative will take place next year, which sees six new musicals produced to a workshop performance, with the winner being taken on to a full production. The New Musical Project, based at the Leicester Square Theatre, has invited would-be writers and composers to submit new, unpublished or never previously performed one-act […]

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Christmas in New York – Palace Theatre

Christmas in New York at the Palace Theatre, London. Making its return to London after a three-year hiatus, Christmas in New York is a selection box of festive favourites – pop songs, show tunes, carols and hymns – presented by some of the leading lights of the West End. At the top of this year’s Christmas […]

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Singular Sensations – John Wilson – Charing Cross Theatre

Singular Sensations: John Wilson, with Edward Seckerson, at the Charing Cross Theatre, London. The John Wilson Orchestra is responsible for reviving the original orchestrations of famous Hollywood musicals from such studios as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and 20th Century-Fox and composers including Gershwin, Berlin, Kern, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Lerner & Loewe and Rodgers & Hammerstein. John Wilson […]

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Little Shop of Horrors – King’s Arms, Salford

Little Shop of Horrors continues at the King’s Arms, Salford until 22 December. Much like the insatiable, intergallactic flora at its centre, Little Shop of Horrors has grown from its humble beginnings as an Off-Broadway breakout hit in 1982 into a world-straddling stage behemoth. In those years, the endearing appeal of Alan Menken and Howard […]

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White Christmas the Musical – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas the Musical at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh continues until 4 January, 2014. The wonderful thing about the best musical theatre is how it can so completely transport audiences into another world, despite its obvious artifice. Closely following the plot of the film, albeit with a few additional Berlin songs added in to […]

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Ushers The Front of House Musical – Hope Theatre

Ushers: The Front of House Musical continues at the Hope Theatre, London until 31 December. The 50-seat, intimate performance space at the Hope Theatre is currently home to Yiannis Koutsakos, James Rottger and James Oban’s new musical, Ushers: The Front of House Musical. The satirical piece is a good-humoured look at life as a Front of […]

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Ruth Brauer-Kvam – Die Unschuld vom Lande

Ruth Brauer-Kvam in Die Unschuld vom Lande at the Kammerspiele der Josefstadt, Vienna. The renowned actress and singer Ruth Brauer-Kvam (Cabaret, Nunsense, Forever Young, Gut gegen Nordwind), premiered an evening dedicated to the late operetta star Fritzi Massary (1882–1969) and the genre operetta entitled Die Unschuld vom Lande (The Innocence of the Country), taken from ‘Spiel […]

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Open Mic nights at Crazy Coqs

Open Mic nights at the Crazy Coqs, London, every Thursday at 10.30pm. Night-owls grumble there is not much cabaret around in London once they have seen a show or a movie, so the success of the Crazy Coqs’ Open Mic Thursdays is to be welcomed. Starting at 10.30pm and hosted by cabaret singer and performer […]

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I Can’t Sing! – casting confirmed

Ahead of the broadcast of the Royal Variety Performance – in which cast members of I Can’t Sing! performed – full casting has been confirmed. The X Factor musical previews at the London Palladium from 27 February 2014 (press night is 26 March). As previously announced, Olivier Award-winner Nigel Harman will play X Factor judge Simon, and Cynthia Erivo […]

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Candide – Menier Chocolate Factory

Candide continues at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, until 22 February 2014. Menier Chocolate Factory’s last musical Merrily We Roll Along was a huge hit, even transferring for a successful run in the West End and being made into a movie, but it is hard to be as enthusiastic about the theatre’s revival of Candide. […]

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Dickens Abridged – Arts Theatre

Dickens Abridged continues at the Arts Theatre, London until 5 January 2014. You might think that the loose baggy monster novels of Charles Dickens could never by abbreviated in any form. Anybody having gone through an A Level or English degree who only had study notes to refer to will be forgiven for wondering where […]

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Seussical – Arts Theatre

Seussical continues at the the Arts Theatre, London until 5 January 2014. After Sell a Door’s success with its production of Seussical last year, the company has brought this theatre for young audiences version back to the West End (albeit with some different creative talent onboard) and the result is both fast and fun. The musical, which has a […]

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The S&S Award – St James Theatre

The S&S Award was presented at the St James Theatre, London. The inaugural S&S Award ceremony, created in memory of Sidney and Sylvia Brown, the parents of the lyricist and librettist Warner Brown, was all about discovering and promoting new writers in British musical theatre. The new prize follows in the wake of the Vivian […]

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