Archive | Review RSS feed for this section

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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, […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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. […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

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 […]

Continue Reading ·

Book Review – Breaking and Entering – A Manual for the Working Actor – Philip Carlson

BREAKING AND ENTERING: A Manual for the Working Actor – Philip Carlson (Opus Books – ISBN: 978-1-62316-078-4) Philip Carlson was the first agent to sign Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Kyra Sedgwick, Adrian Grenier and Paul Giamatti. He has represented Viola Davis, Kathy Bates, Brian Dennehy, and William H. […]

Continue Reading ·

Superhero – Southwark Playhouse

Superhero continues at the Southwark Playhouse, London until 22 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Not every superhero wears a cape, and not everyone who wears a cape is a superhero. In the Southwark Playhouse’s new one-man musical Superhero, directed by Adam Lenson, Michael Rouse plays a man who struggles to […]

Continue Reading ·

An Evening With Robert Meadmore, Elaine Delmar and Jamie Safir – The Pheasantry

  An Evening With Robert Meadmore, Elaine Delmar and Jamie Safir was performed at The Pheasantry, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ There’s no place quite like The Pheasantry in Chelsea. At once tiny, but able somehow to seat up to 90, plus their pizzas, plus a baby grand, it bustles […]

Continue Reading ·

Liza’s Back! (is Broken) – Trevor Ashley – Underbelly Festival

Liza’s Back! (is Broken) continues at the Underbelly Festival,  Southbank, London until 2 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Australian performer and female impersonator Trevor Ashley, returning to London once again in the persona of Liza Minnelli, delivers a brilliant tour de force performance that combines superb singing with wicked and […]

Continue Reading ·

The Wind in the Willows – London Palladium

The Wind in the Willows continues at the London Palladium (booking until Saturday 9 September 2017). Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Appearing at last weekend’s benefit concert for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, composers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe introduced themselves as: “the chaps with two musicals in the […]

Continue Reading ·

Lorna Dallas – Home Again – Live At Zédel

Lorna Dallas performed her show Home Again at Live At Zédel, London. She also brings the show to the venue on Tuesday 4 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ London fell in love with American singer and actress Lorna Dallas and she with the city in 1971 when she sang the […]

Continue Reading ·

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill – Wyndham’s Theatre

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill continues at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London until 9 September. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Finally, after a year’s delay while its star produced an unexpected baby, the legendary Audra McDonald’s hypnotic re-creation of jazz singer Billie Holiday’s decline just a few months before her […]

Continue Reading ·

Cream – Canal Cafe Theatre

Cream continues at the Canal Cafe Theatre, London every Sunday at 7pm until 23 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ So what makes a good musical? Whatever it is, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Matador and Lord of the Rings didn’t have it. This ingeniously engaging revue picks songs, some of them […]

Continue Reading ·

The Quentin Dentin Show – Tristan Bates Theatre

The Quentin Dentin Show continues at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until 29 July. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ This show’s tagline promises the show will be this generation’s Rocky Horror Show, but the premise of the show has more similarities with Richard O’Brien’s less successful sequel, Shock Treatment. Nat and […]

Continue Reading ·

Blondel – Union Theatre

Blondel continues at the Union Theatre, London until 15 July. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The knowledge that Blondel was Tim Rice’s first musical after his split with Andrew Lloyd Webber adds an extra piquancy to some of its knowing lines. Who needs lyrics, muses the show’s eponymous troubadour Blondel, when […]

Continue Reading ·

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice continues at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough until 19 August (in rep). Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Despite the disappointments of the all-star, 1998 film, the stage version of Jim Cartwright’s Little Voice continues to beguile the British public. The latest rendering, at the Stephen […]

Continue Reading ·

Bat out of Hell – London Coliseum

Bat Out of Hell continues at the London Coliseum until 22 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In what has to be one of the crazier pairings in the history of musical theatre, the London Coliseum, home of the English National Opera, plays host to Jim Steinman’s dystopian rock opera Bat […]

Continue Reading ·

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance – Urinetown

Urinetown was performed by Trinity Laban musical theatre students at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, London. This review refers to the cast at the Saturday evening performance. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ In many respects, Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ Urinetown constitutes the perfect choice for a conservatoire production, requiring its cast […]

Continue Reading ·

Holy Crap! – King’s Head Theatre

Holy Crap! continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 30 June. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ The Heather Brothers – past masters of pastiche – return to the London stage with Holy Crap! – a ‘satirical’ burlesque that takes a sideways look at two industries ripe for ridicule: televangelism and porn. Think Rocky Horror and […]

Continue Reading ·

Christine Andreas – Here’s to the Ladies – The Pheasantry

Christine Andreas performs her show Here’s to the Ladies at The Pheasantry, London until 17 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ If the divine Christine Andreas felt the pressure of being called “one of the greatest singers in the world, what she can’t do with a song isn’t worth doing” in Ruth Leon’s introduction, it didn’t […]

Continue Reading ·

Seth Sikes – Judy Garland’s 95th Birthday – Live At Zédel

Seth Sikes performed his show Judy Garland’s 95th Birthday at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Saturday 10 June this year would have been the 95th birthday of the legend that is Judy Garland. How fitting that a small gathering of fans should assemble at Live At Zédel to raise a glass in […]

Continue Reading ·

Richard Shelton – Sinatra and Me – Live At Zédel

Richard Shelton performed his show Sinatra and Me at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Live At Zédel’s summer programming brought class and nostalgia with Richard Shelton returning to the UK and the heart of London’s Piccadilly from his adopted home in LA, with his show Sinatra and Me. The show has run […]

Continue Reading ·

Bella: An American Tall Tale – Playwrights Horizon, New York

Bella: An American Tall Tale continues at Playwrights Horizon, New York until 2 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ In Bella: An American Tall Tale, the multi-talented Kristin Childs has concocted a gloriously overstuffed fantasia. Her work is an unabashed celebration of the full-figured African-American woman, more specifically her large posterior. Or as the play’s heroine, […]

Continue Reading ·

The Who’s Tommy – Theatre Royal Stratford East and Touring

The Who’s Tommy continues at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London until 17 June, then tours until 1 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This ambitious inclusive take on The Who’s 1969 rock musical is vibrant, energetic and showcases some exciting talent. In fact it’s theatrically so busy that you’d probably need to see it half a dozen […]

Continue Reading ·

Ordinary Days – London Theatre Workshop

Ordinary Days continues at London Theatre Workshop until 17 June. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Streetlights, People! Productions brings Adam Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days to London Theatre Workshop. One of the Streetlights, People! goals is to create work that is ‘entertaining, relatable and thought provoking’, and in a time in which […]

Continue Reading ·

Kiss Me, Kate – Kilworth House Theatre

Kiss Me, Kate continues at Kilworth House Theatre, Leicestershire until 16 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Once again, amongst the trees, under the canopy of the Kilworth House Theatre, another gem of a production delights in the form of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. You know the story – amongst the […]

Continue Reading ·

Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year – Stiles + Drewe Prize – Noel Coward Theatre

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year/Stiles + Drewe Prize at the Noel Coward Theatre, London. There’s no stopping those girls! Scots lass Izuka Hoyle made it four in a row for female contenders by winning the prestigious Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year competition by following Corrine Priest, Erin Doherty and […]

Continue Reading ·

Guildford School of Acting – The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz was performed by Guildford School of Acting musical theatre third years at the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Here is a real curio – the European premiere of a show originally written and rejected by the public more than 30 years ago, […]

Continue Reading ·

Cover My Tracks – The Old Vic

Cover My Tracks continues at The Old Vic, London until 17 June. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Cover My Tracks is the first studio album of former Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink. In something of a novel presentation, the album is being staged as a two-hander piece of ‘gig […]

Continue Reading ·

Working – Southwark Playhouse

Working continues at the Southwark Playhouse, London until 8 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ We automatically celebrate the powerful and wealthy and often ignore ordinary people – people who do the jobs that others couldn’t bear to do – men and women who could’ve been great but have ‘settled’. This […]

Continue Reading ·

Annie – Piccadilly Theatre

Annie continues at the Piccadilly Theatre, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This revival of Annie couldn’t have come at a better time. After all the bleak days we have faced recently, and the uncertain future ahead of us, Annie’s ability to stay optimistic and brave even in the darkest times […]

Continue Reading ·

Roller Diner – Soho Theatre

Roller Diner continues at the Soho Theatre, London until 24 June. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ The promise of a new, award-winning musical at the Soho Theatre featuring award-winning playwright and composer Stephen Jackson, Brexit, roller skates, and a critically acclaimed cast is enough to make any theatre lover excited. Regrettably, […]

Continue Reading ·

Blues in the Night – London Hippodrome

Blues in the Night was performed at the London Hippodrome. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It hard to believe it’s 30 years ago since Blues in the Night was first seen in London. Conceived and originally directed by Sheldon Epps, Blues in the Night premiered Off-Broadway in 1980 and two years […]

Continue Reading ·

Sweetee – Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York

Sweetee continues at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York until 18 June. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ An exuberant quintet of ragtag youthful music-makers makes a lot of Sweetee, a new musical testing the Off-Broadway waters with a very limited engagement, quite a satisfying […]

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