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Edinburgh Fringe – Musicals Update One

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 is up and running, here’s the first of a number of updates about musicals and cabarets being staged at the international event. The Road to Qatar! 1–26 August (not 13), C Too – Main House (Venue 4). Josh Rochford and James Robert-Moore lead a young cast in the European premiere of […]

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Titanic the Musical – Southwark Playhouse

Titanic the Musical continues at the Southwark Playhouse, London until 31 August. Director Thom Southerland has created a wonder again with this first-class European premiere of a new chamber version of the Tony Award-winning show Titanic the Musical. In an age of overblown musicals based on movies which are slavishly faithful to their Hollywood models, it is […]

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Kim Criswell

Kim Criswell – Cadogan Hall

Kim Criswell performed A Celebration of the Music of Cole Porter at the Cadogan Hall, London. With the temperature in my train reaching 34c, I was thinking it was ‘Too Darn Hot’ to spend the evening at the Cadogan Hall for the first of three From West End to Broadway’ diva concerts, even it was to hear […]

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Rauch is Phantom of the Opera in cast change

Major cast changes will take place in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End from 2 September this year. Fresh from his success as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, Geronimo Rauch will join the cast as the Phantom. At the same time, […]

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Siobhan Dillon joins Cabaret touring cast

Actress Siobhan Dillon will join the cast of the forthcoming UK tour of Cabaret as the iconic Sally Bowles, opposite singer/songwriter Will Young in his award-nominated performance as the Emcee. Siobhan Dillon was a popular finalist on the BBC’s hit show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Following Maria, she won a record deal with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and […]

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Sophie-Louise Dann – Crazy Coqs

Sophie-Louise Dann performed From Classic… to Coward… to Current at the Crazy Coqs, London. Sophie-Louise Dann was recently seen in Ivor Novello’s Gay’s the Word at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre and has just finished a run of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.  She is well known […]

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The Witches of Eastwick – Watermill, Bagnor

The Witches of Eastwick continues at the Watermill Theatre, Bagnor until 14 September. For those with expectations based on the acclaimed 1987 film of The Witches of Eastwick, there are strong parallels to be drawn with the three superb leading lady performances in this production at the Watermill. For those with mixed feelings who caught John Dempsey […]

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Stefan Bednarczyk – Crazy Coqs

Stefan Bednarczyk performed Bednarczyk Sings Noel Coward at the Crazy Coqs, London. Actor, musical director and cabaret performer Stefan Bednarczyk’s new show Bednarczyk Sings Noel Coward, wich premiered at the Crazy Coqs, included songs, verse and anecdotes from people who knew and worked with Coward, including Graham Payn and the late critic Sheridan Morley. Starting with the question ‘Why […]

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Barnum – Theatre in the Park, Chichester

Barnum is performed at Theatre in the Park, Oaklands Park, Chichester until 31 August. With the Chichester Festival Theatre out of action while redevelopment work is in progress, the need for a temporary auditorium has been solved by the erection of a huge tented structure in the park behind the theatre. And in what more appropriate structure […]

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Whistle Down the WInd – NYMT

Whistle Down the Wind, a National Youth Music Theatre production, is performed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, from 24–28 July. If the 80-plus National Youth Music Theatre cast of Whistle Down the Wind felt added pressure from the presence of their president, the Earl of Wessex, in the packed Rose Theatre audience, you would never have […]

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Lost Musicals – Noel Coward’s Words and Music

Lost Musicals – Noel Coward’s Words and Music was performed at the Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler’s Wells, with further dates on 28 July and 4 August. The reason why Coward’s revues such as London Calling!, On With the Dance, This Year of Grace, Sigh No More and Words and Music are never seen is […]

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Wag! The Musical – Charing Cross Theatre

Wag! The Musical continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until August 24. When you witness a show as repulsive as Wag! The Musical, you can’t primarily blame the actors, who are clearly doing their best – no matter how varied their attempts may be – with the material they have. The first culprit of creating […]

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Passport to Pimlico – South West Fest

Passport to Pimlico was performed as part of this year’s South West Fest, held in south west London. There’s a moment in the classic Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico when it looks as though the feisty Pimlico Burgundians might have to surrender their claim to interdependence. The reason? A freak heatwave, which leaves them powerless and […]

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Momentous Musicals – New Wimbledon Theatre

Momentous Musicals was performed at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London and continues to tour until 25 July. This being a sweltering night at the New Wimbledon Theatre, minimalist attire was definitely the order of the evening. If it was very hot in the auditorium, goodness knows what the temperature was on stage. At one point, […]

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They’re Playing Our Song – Broadway Catford

They’re Playing Our Song runs at the Broadway Studio Theatre, Catford, London until 21 July. Platform Theatre Company, founded by Robert Rawles, creates a production of Marvin Hamlisch, Caroline Bayer Sager and Neil Simon’s musical They’re Playing our Song which shows great promise in Act I but suffers from a lack of momentum and purpose towards the end. […]

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The Color Purple – Menier Chocolate Factory

Playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, until September 14. “Wives is like children,” we are told at the start of The Color Purple, the Menier’s latest musical offering. “Ain’t nothing for them but a big sound beating.” Alice Walker’s classic novel, adapted first into an acclaimed film and then a musical, makes its London […]

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Dirty Dancing – Piccadilly Theatre

Dirty Dancing is booking at the Piccadilly Theatre, London until 22 February, 2014. There have been plenty of opportunities already to see the musical Dirty Dancing, which first opened in the West End in 2006 and has since been on a UK tour. But it must be proving so popular, its producers are optimistic it […]

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Ivor Novello and the Great British Musical – St James Studio

Ivor Novello and the Great British Musical was performed at the St James Theatre Studio, London. Initially planned as a one-off performance, this second performance of Ivor Novello and the Great British Musical at the swish, perfect-for-the-occasion studio space at the St James Theatre, was a worthy case of ‘back by popular demand.’ That the show […]

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Blues in the Night – Hackney Empire

Blues in the Night was performed at the Hackney Empire, London. This splendid revue first appeared off-Broadway in 1980 but only for around 50 performances. Two years later it moved to Broadway and ran for less than 70 shows. It fared better in London in 1987 with Maria Friedman, Carol Woods, Debby Bishop and Clarke […]

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Carnival of the Animals – Riverside Studios

Carnival of the Animals was performed at the Riverside Studios, London. Thom Southerland, director of A Carnival of the Animals, told me that this production was still very much a work in progress. He wanted to get it in front of an audience to gauge their reaction and see how to further develop the piece. So […]

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Forever Tango – Walter Kerr Theatre, New York

Forever Tango opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York and continues until 15 September. The steamy index on Broadway these summer nights is being hiked a notch or two by the return of Forever Tango. The show, created and directed by the Argentine-born Luis Bravo, first unleashed all its sensuous contortions on the Great […]

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Barbershopera – The Three Musketeers

Barbershopera! The Three Musketeers was performed at the St James Theatre Studio, London, and tours until 26 October. For those who have never seen a Barbershopera! production before, the name accurately suggests close harmony a cappella singing, within a conventional narrative structure. And while that’s perfectly true, the name doesn’t quite capture the anarchic nature of […]

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Barb Jungr – St James Studio

The Men I Love: The New American Songbook – Barb Jungr at the St James Theatre Studio, London. The second of four Fridays with that real singer’s singer Barb Jungr at the plush St James Studio was always going to be a treat, provided you were prepared to cast aside preconceived ideas about how hugely popular […]

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The Cradle Will Rock – Encores New York

The Cradle Will Rock was presented by Encores! at Off-Center at New York City Centers. The new Encores! Off-Center series at New York City Center has gotten off to a rousing start with its fledgling production, Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 opus The Cradle Will Rock. You might even say, a rabble-rousing start. The piece is unabashed […]

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Tim Flavin – Crazy Coqs

Cravin’ Flavin: Memoirs of a Broadway Gypsy was performed at the Crazy Coqs, London. Broadway’s loss was very much London’s gain with Tim Flavin, a song-and-dance man from Texas whose luck turned big-time when his love life brought him across the pond in the mid-1980s and he enjoyed huge success almost immediately. Flavin took to […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Pippin

Performed at the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford. Stephen Schwartz and Roger O Hirson’s Pippin is a show in which a band of strolling players re-enact the story of Prince Pippin, the son of King Charlemagne, and his journey in search of life’s meaning – war, religion, regicide, hedonism and rural domesticity are all tried. When […]

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The Matchgirls – Wilton’s Music Hall

The Matchgirls was performed at Wilton’s Music Hall, London. The Red Ladder Theatre Company, in collaboration with Dumbwise, produced a cohesive interpretation of Bill Owen and Tony Russell’s 1966 musical The Matchgirls which fulfilled the aims of both theatre companies in terms of creating socially engaged pieces of work. The production was a community theatre piece […]

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Daryl Sherman – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Daryl Sherman performed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London. American jazz singer and pianist Daryl Sherman has been a longtime favourite at New York’s most famous cabaret haunts – the Algonquin, the Waldorf-Astoria, Feinstein’s at the Regency etc – and she has previously been in London at the now-defunct Pizza On the Park. Now, after […]

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Daryl Sherman – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Daryl Sherman performed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London. American jazz singer and pianist Daryl Sherman has been a longtime favourite at New York’s most famous cabaret haunts – the Algonquin, the Waldorf-Astoria, Feinstein’s at the Regency etc – and she has previously been in London at the now-defunct Pizza On the Park. Now, after […]

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Sondheim Society archive, Kingston University

The story of Stephen Sondheim’s life and works in all its forms – books, photographs, theatre programmes, DVDs, CDs, memorabilia, reviews and posters – is now on tap to present to future generations thanks to the Sondheim Society archive being available to researchers at Kingston University in Surrey. The archive represents a gift of more […]

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama – Rags

Performed at the Barbican, London. The end of Fiddler On the Roof sees Tevye, his family and neighbours forced out of their homeland, leaving for new lands and new lives. Rags can be seen as a continuation of their story, albeit with different characters, for it tells of other Jewish displaced immigrants arriving in New York. […]

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Nunsense A-Men! – Landor Theatre

Nunsense A-Men! continues at the Landor Theatre, London until 28 July. Dan Goggin’s original Off-Broadway hit, Nunsense, is possibly the only musical ever to have started life as a series of comedy greeting cards. After it grew from a cabaret night into a full-blooded musical, the long-running Off-Broadway show spawned several sequels, before the original […]

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Bullets and Daffodils – Tristan Bates Theatre

Bullets and Daffodils continues at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until July 6. The poetry of Wilfred Owen, born as it was from anger at the cruelty of war, is full of powerful imagery and intense emotion. Sadly, neither are on display in Dean Johnson’s tribute to Owen, Bullets and Daffodils. Rather than treating Owen as an onstage […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Footloose

Performed at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford. Set in the quiet town of ‘Bomont’ in Bible-belt America, Footloose the musical was a very ambitious choice of show for a cast of third-year drama school students. However, the musical theatre graduates of the Guildford School of Acting pulled it off with all the style and professionalism […]

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Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano – Crazy Coqs

Helluva Town: A New York Soundtrack – Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano at the Crazy Coqs, London. It was most inconsiderate of Andy Murray to drag out his quarter-final until 7.20pm on Wednesday as nobody was going to leave their sofa or Wimbledon seat until the final point had been won, and that was surely […]

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Criswell, Henshall, Friedman at Cadogan Hall

Jeremy Chapman previews From West End to Broadway, a trio of concerts at London’s Cadogan Hall. The glorious voice of Kim Criswell launches an August series of Thursday treats for musical theatre aficionados at the Cadogan Hall, London, on 1 August. An honorary Brit after marrying one and settling here shortly after playing the title role […]

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Darius joins From Here to Eternity cast

Casting has been announced for the world premiere of Tim Rice and Stuart Brayson’s new stage musical From Here to Eternity which begins previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 30 September. Darius Campbell (Chicago, West End) will play Warden, Siubhan Harrison (Grease, West End) will play Lorene, Robert Lonsdale (Anna Christie, Donmar Warehouse) takes on […]

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This is My Family – Crucible Studio Sheffield

This is My Family continues at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield until 20 July. This is a homely show, which I guess is appropriate. The music, by Tim Firth, who also wrote the script and lyrics, is gentle and slightly old-fashioned. Some songs are moving, nearly memorable, and all are touchingly delivered. As local entertainment, it […]

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New musical Stealing Mona Lisa has showcase

Stealing Mona Lisa, a new musical, has a showcase reading at the Concert Artistes’ Association in Covent Garden, London. In August 1911 an Italian patriot stole Leonardo Da Vinci’s celebrated painting of the Mona Lisa (aka La Gioconda or La Joconde) from the Louvre Museum in Paris, believing that one of the greatest works of Italian […]

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An Evening With John Bucchino – St James

An Evening With John Bucchino and Friends was performed at the St James Studio, London. Award-winning American composer and lyricist John Bucchino is not as well-known here as some songwriters who have journeyed across the pond, but his work is well worth listening out for. Although he has written for Broadway and film, and his […]

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The Supreme Fabulettes – Viva La Drag

Leicester Square Theatre, London. London and in fact most of the UK has had a long love affair with the drag queen. From the remotest of working-men’s clubs to the streets and bars of Soho; from the boy actors of Shakespeare’s Globe to Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank, the drag queen is unquestionably a part of […]

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Feinstein headlines London Festival of Cabaret

London will celebrate all things cabaret in the inaugural London Festival of Cabaret which will see the genre playing in venues across the capital from Tuesday, 22nd October-Friday, 15th November. The festival will give audiences the opportunity to see world-class cabaret acts, newcomers and artists who have never ventured into the world of cabaret before. The London Festival […]

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Eyre stages Lloyd Webber Stephen Ward musical

Richard Eyre will direct the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christopher Hampton and Don Black’s new musical Stephen Ward, previewing at London’s Aldwych Theatre from 3rd December 2013, with opening night on 19th December. Stephen Ward has music by Lloyd Webber, with book and lyrics by playwright Hampton and lyricist Black (with whom Lloyd Webber previously […]

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Happy Days – A New Musical goes on tour

The UK premiere and national tour of Happy Days – A New Musical, starring Heidi Range of the Sugababes as ‘Pinky Tuscadero’, opens at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley in January 2014, before beginning a national tour. Directed and choreographed by Olivier Award nominee Andrew Wright, Happy Days – A New Musical is written by Garry Marshall, the creator […]

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Gregg Edelman – Crazy Coqs

Gregg Edelman’s Broadway State of Mind at the Crazy Coqs, London. After one big Broadway star in Patti LuPone last week, now London embraces another in Gregg Edelman, four-time Tony Award nominee – “or, as my brother puts it, four-time Tony Award loser!” and star of 15 Broadway shows, starting with Evita in 1979 right […]

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From Page to Stage 2014 – Landor

Following the success of this year’s inaugural season of new musical theatre, Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment and Robert McWhir of the Landor Theatre have announced that applications are now open for the second From Page To Stage season from 11th February-8th March 2014 at the Landor in south London. From Page To Stage is a season of new musical theatre dedicated to the showcasing of work in development to an audience, […]

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Drury Lane

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London. Booking until 31st May, 2014. On many different levels much is expected of Sam Mendes’ production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. On one level, Roald Dahl’s story of the mysterious confectioner and his quest for a successor is a much loved piece of British culture, not […]

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West End Heroes – Dominion Theatre

Performed at the Dominion Theatre, London. An idea two years in the making, West End Heroes combined a variety of West End performers with singers and musicians from the Armed Forces for a unique evening in aid of the charity Help for Heroes, hosted by Brian Conley. The military services contain a number of regular musical troupes. […]

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London’s A Chorus Line closes in August

Producers have today announced that the revival of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium will close on Saturday, 31st August. Plans are currently being finalised for a European tour which will give audiences in Germany, Holland, France and beyond the chance to see the London production, prior to a UK tour beginning in autumn […]

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Seth Rudetsky – Deconstructing Broadway

Performed at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. “I am obsessed with the small moments,” Seth Rudetsky admits during his one-man show Deconstructing Broadway. And how: his show is all about the small moments in various Broadway and other musical theatre shows. The moments that turn a great performance into one that is, as Rudetsky puts it, “Ah-MAH-zing”– or turn […]

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