Archive | Onstage RSS feed for this section

Pajama Game bustles with energy

Playing at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester until June 8. For the first of its two summer musicals Chichester Festival Theatre has unearthed another neglected little gem. Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ 1954 musical The Pajama Game is given a rare outing. There was a London production in 1999, this time it is director Richard Eyre’s […]

Continue Reading ·

Klea Blackhurst is welcome back any time

An Evening With Klea Blackhurst, reviewed at The Crazy Coqs, London. Nobody ever accused the lady of being soothing or subtle, but you get what it says on the tin with Klea Blackhurst, a disciple of the Ethel Merman school of belters for whom, in a room holding just 66 at a warmly glowing and […]

Continue Reading ·

Spice Girls musical Viva Not Forever

Producer Judy Craymer has announced that Viva Forever!, the musical inspired by the songs of the Spice Girls, has posted closing notices at the Piccadilly Theatre for June 29, 2013. In a press statement Craymer said “It is with a heavy heart that we’ve had to make this very difficult decision to post closing notices […]

Continue Reading ·

The Universal Machine is a code hard to break

Playing at the New Diorama Theatre, London until May 11. The life of Alan Turing as explored in The Universal Machine is more full of incident than many other academics’. A philosopher and mathematician who predicted the rise of mechanical ‘thinking machines’, his work at Bletchley Park during the Second World War directly led to […]

Continue Reading ·

Rooms – A Rock Romance makes emotional impact

Playing at the Finborough Theatre, London until May 18. A boy-meets-girl-with-ambition love story set during the dying days of punk, Rooms – A Rock Romance may be billed as a rock romance but it also has some mighty power ballads at its heart. It’s fun to see Cassidy Janson’s Monica and Alexis Gerred’s Ian rocking […]

Continue Reading ·

The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes wins us over

Playing at the Hoxton Hall, London until May 10.   Since first appearing in 1887 we’ve seen a wealth of Sherlock Holmes’,
including a teenage incarnation and two bang up to date 21st century
sleuths. With their boisterous production of Leslie Bricusse’s The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes, Morphic Graffiti give us the music hall version. Bricusse’s musical […]

Continue Reading ·

Hot Stuff dazzles, sizzles and giggles

Playing at the Curve, Leicester until May 26. There is an insatiable appetite in Leicester for the rock musical Hot Stuff, an audacious, impudent, high-energy re-working of the Faust legend in which Joe Soap abandons his sweetheart, Julie, on the dance floor and sells his soul to Lucy Fur for fame and fortune as a rock singer. […]

Continue Reading ·

Olivier Awards, a taste of the glamour

Click on any image for a larger version. It was a glamorous night at the Royal Opera House for the 37th Olivier Awards. While all those associated with musical theatre winners Top Hat, Sweeney Todd and Billy Elliot had much to celebrate, plenty of other performers played their part too. Actress Heather Headley may not have […]

Continue Reading ·

Olivier Awards – winners revealed…

Top Hat, Sweeney Todd and Billy Elliot were the big musical theatre winners in the 37th Olivier Awards (hosted by the Society of London Theatre and sponsored by Mastercard), held at London’s Royal Opera House and compered by Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville. Top Hat, currently running at the Aldwych Theatre, was victorious in three categories – […]

Continue Reading ·

Sleeping Arrangements delivers humour and romance in spades

Running at the Landor, London until May 12. It was really only a matter of time before chick-lit, or to perhaps give it its official title of light romantic comedy, began to be considered for adaptation to the stage. Admittedly Helen Fielding’s hugely popular Bridget Jones’ Diary appears to be languishing in development hell at […]

Continue Reading ·

Geek! A New Musical, predictable but charming

Running at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until May 18. When a musical’s title fails to deliver once, it can be disappointing. Twice, and it starts to look deliberate. Geek! A New Musical is not really about geeks. And while it’s technically a new musical, it treads such familiar ground that it hardly feels original. […]

Continue Reading ·

The Three Little Pigs entertain young and old

Reviewed at the Greenwich Theatre, London. Written by the Olivier Award-winning team that bought young audiences Honk! Just So, Mary Poppins, Betty Blue Eyes and Soho Cinders, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe’s European premiere of the well-known children’s story The Three Little Pigs is a sweet and simple tale, complemented by a sophisticated and appealing score […]

Continue Reading ·

Liz Robertson Sings Her Favourite Songs

Reviewed at The Crazy Coqs, London. Forty years on from making her showbiz bow as a cabaret dancer at the nearby Savoy Hotel, the ageless Liz Robertson is back in cabaret mode for her one-woman show at The Crazy Coqs, the new go-to Piccadilly nightspot for lovers of the genre which becomes ever more polished […]

Continue Reading ·

Titanic sails in to Southwark Playhouse

The European premiere of a new chamber version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Titanic will be staged at London’s Southwark Playhouse by the same creative team behind the venue’s productions of Parade, Mack & Mabel and Victor/Victoria. Directed by Thom Southerland and produced by Danielle Tarento, Titanic (music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, book by […]

Continue Reading ·

American Psycho set to thrill at the Almeida

Almeida Theatre’s artistic director designate Rupert Goold will stage the world premiere of the musical thriller American Psycho, based on the the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, as part of the the north London’s 2013 festival. The co-production with Headlong Theatre (with which Goold has been associated for eight years) has a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa […]

Continue Reading ·

Gary Williams presents a Sinatra Jukebox

Reviewed at The Crazy Coqs, London. This programme from singer Gary Williams and accompanist Harry the Piano was an unusual evening for The Crazy Coqs. Williams gave us a tribute to Frank Sinatra, but instead of an hour of songs and anecdote, halfway through members of the audience were invited fill in request forms, which […]

Continue Reading ·

Carnaby Street the Musical is labour of love

Hackney Empire, London, then touring until June 29. Since the back catalogue of The Beatles is already being hurtled through nightly over at the Savoy Theatre for Let it Be, there are no climactic ‘na-na-nah-nahs’ – indeed the Fab Four hardly get a look in here – in Carnaby Street the Musical, a jukebox musical which […]

Continue Reading ·

Ghost the Musical begins tour

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, then touring until January 2014. Ghost the Musical is a theatrical masterclass in translating emotion, so be prepared to shed a few tears but still have a few laughs. Set in New York, the musical naturally sticks to the same story as the original film – for which the show’s lyricist/librettist […]

Continue Reading ·

Once

Opened 9 April at the Phoenix Theatre, London. “Hello,” Girl tentatively whispers to the piano before she starts playing it, as Guy gazes at her sheepishly before picking up his guitar to join in. “You must always say hello to the piano,” she instructs him sternly before they unite to create a wealth of raw, […]

Continue Reading ·

The Billie Holiday Story

Playing at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 25 May. More than 50 years after Billie Holiday’s tragic death, her life story continues to be a subject of film and theatrical performance. Holiday’s painful life of child prostitution, sexual abuse and violent partners is interpreted by Nina Kristofferson who takes a unique approach to the […]

Continue Reading ·

The Book of Mormon

Currently running at The Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Thank God for The Book of Mormon. Not only is it performing miracles at the box office – recently breaking records by taking £2.1 million in a single day – this original musical also offers a shining beacon in a market saturated with film remakes. No […]

Continue Reading ·

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton. 11-16 March, then touring the UK until 5 January, 2014. Bringing to the stage a musical version of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was always going to be something of a risk. Priscilla is, after all, the nickname given to a second-hand bus and Stephan Elliot’s masterpiece of cinematography […]

Continue Reading ·

The Hired Man

Reviewed at Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Transfers to Curve, Leicester, 12-27 April. The Hired Man, devised by Melvyn Bragg from his 1969 book of the same name, is based on the few facts he knew about his grandfather who was born about 1890. Bragg got to know him well during the Second World War when his […]

Continue Reading ·

Quasimodo

King’s Head Theatre, London. 20 March to 13 April. Since the 19th century, the bells of the best-known cathedral in Paris have been ringing out with deafening clangs. So bad were they, that they were mocked as having deafened Quasimodo, the lead of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But on Palm […]

Continue Reading ·

A Chorus Line

Currently running at the London Palladium. A major London revival of the iconic Broadway musical that is A Chorus Line has been a long time coming for those of us who weren’t around to catch the original West End production in 1976. Sadly, as the programme credits so poignantly point out, most of the original […]

Continue Reading ·

The Tailor-Made Man

Musical Theatre Review catches up with the world premiere of The Tailor-Made Man, a new musical at London’s Arts Theatre. As the title suggests silent film actor William (Billy) Haines was a product of the Hollywood system, he was also its first openly gay star. This exuberant and entertaining musical tells of his career as […]

Continue Reading ·

Spring Comes to New York

Ron Cohen has all the latest On and Off-Broadway. Spring has finally come to New York and the earliest blooms on the musical theatre scene make for a mixed but welcome bouquet. On Broadway, the initial arrival has been the lavish redo of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (pictured left), a sometimes irritating but still highly […]

Continue Reading ·

Merrily We Roll Along transfers

Reviewed at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London. Merrily We Roll Along transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre on 23 April. This has very much been a season of for first-rate revivals of second-rate Broadway musicals, and Maria Friedman’s production of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth Merrily We Roll Along is an admirable addition to the list.  A […]

Continue Reading ·

9–5 The Musical

Touring until 27 July. Seen at Theatre Royal, Brighton. The trend for successful films to find new lives on stage continues with this hilarious transition which has music and lyrics written by Dolly Parton, one of the film’s original stars. Miss Parton also appears in the show, albeit on film, when she talks to the […]

Continue Reading ·

The Bodyguard

Currently running at the Adelphi Theatre, London. A good, solid, honest musical, The Bodyguard delivers what it says on the label, and gives its audience exactly what they come for – a live version of the popular 1992 movie. If it doesn’t do much more than that, if there’s nothing especially special about it – well, […]

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