Archive | Review RSS feed for this section

Performance Preparation Academy – Merrily We Roll Along

Merrily We Roll Along was performed by Performance Preparation Academy at the Bellerby Studio Theatre, Guildford. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It’s quite a coincidence that the two biggest flops of Stephen Sondheim’s career are being revisited at the same time with Anyone Can Whistle, which lasted nine performances on Broadway […]

Continue Reading ·

Funny Girl – Milton Keynes Theatre and Touring

Funny Girl continues at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 4 March, then tours until 19 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Following smash-hit runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and the Savoy, Funny Girl comes to the Milton Keynes Theatre as the second stop on its nationwide tour. The show stars […]

Continue Reading ·

Lizzie – Greenwich Theatre

Lizzie continues at the Greenwich Theatre, London until 12 March. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Nothing about this show particularly screams out ‘musical theatre.’ It’s more like a live punk rock concert with four lead singers with big voices and even bigger hair. Lizzie is making its UK premiere, following a […]

Continue Reading ·

Performance Preparation Academy – The Life

The Life was performed by the Performance Preparation Academy at the Bellerby Theatre, Guildford. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The quality of work produced by musical theatre students continues to amaze. In the same week as an outstanding Guys and Dolls by the long-established Guildford School of Acting was wowing audiences […]

Continue Reading ·

Madalena Alberto – Live At Zédel

Madalena Alberto at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Not even Storm Doris could keep them away from Madalena Alberto’s one-nighter at Piccadilly nightspot Live At Zédel, even if it did leave her percussionist stranded in Manchester. The strong-voiced Portuguese songbird has a growing reputation in musical theatre […]

Continue Reading ·

Sunday in the Park With George – Hudson Theatre, New York

Sunday in the Park With George continues at the Hudson Theatre, New York until 23 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Has any work of art ever been more imaginatively celebrated by another work of art than in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George? In Act I, […]

Continue Reading ·

The Girls – Phoenix Theatre

The Girls continues at the Phoenix Theatre, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Musical adaptations of films are nothing new. Nor are adaptations of plays. Adaptations of plays that were themselves based on plays are rarer – but having the film, play and now musical written by the same person is unique. […]

Continue Reading ·

The Sorrows of Satan – Tristan Bates Theatre

The Sorrows of Satan continues at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until 25 March. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The souls of Luke Bateman and Michael Conley were bared at the preview of their brand new musical, The Sorrows of Satan at the Tristan Bates Theatre. I am happy to report that […]

Continue Reading ·

Newsies – The Broadway Musical – UK cinema screening review

Newsies – The Broadway Musical was screened in the UK on 19 February. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ As far as live-action musicals go, Disney’s 1992 film Newsies was a commercial failure. The film, which was released in the UK as The News Boys, applied the song and dance treatment to a unique period […]

Continue Reading ·

Dreamboats and Petticoats – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury and Touring

Dreamboats and Petticoats continues at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury until 25 February and then tours until 2 September. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ played a rather influential role in the UK’s decision to tick the yes-to-Brexit box last year. The debate about whether those memories of post-war Britain […]

Continue Reading ·

Guildford School of Acting – Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls, performed by Guildford School of Acting final-year students at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, continues until 25 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It’s probably sacrilege to say so, but this remarkable student revival of one of the greatest musicals ever written leaves for dead the much-praised Chichester Festival […]

Continue Reading ·

The Wild Party – The Other Palace

The Wild Party continues at The Other Palace, London until 1 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ So farewell, St James Theatre. Hello, The Other Palace – Victoria’s third theatre being rebranded after its purchase by Andrew Lloyd Webber and repositioned as a home for the nurturing of new musicals. To […]

Continue Reading ·

Sunset Boulevard – Palace Theatre, New York

Sunset Boulevard continues at the Palace Theatre, New York until 25 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In her latest incarnation, Norma Desmond is totally heart-breaking. The narcissistic ferocity of the queen of silent movies has been softened. Her eccentricities are at times almost endearing rather than frightening. She can be haughty […]

Continue Reading ·

Prom Kween – The Vaults

Prom Kween continues at The Vaults Theatre, London until 19 February. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Every Fringe festival has its shambolic musicals – those shows where the zero budget aesthetic is fully embraced, which like to project an air of being put together at the very last minute and every […]

Continue Reading ·

La Strada – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Touring

La Strada continues at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until 18 February before embarking on a national tour (the show receives its London premiere in July as part of the newly announced season at The Other Palace). Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Possibly it would be apt treat La Strada, based on one […]

Continue Reading ·

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie continues at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield until 25 February. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Michael Ball makes a curious entry into the story of the development of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. In a telephone conversation with director Jonathan Butterell he suggested a meeting with composer Dan Gillespie […]

Continue Reading ·

Anyone Can Whistle – Union Theatre

Anyone Can Whistle continues at the Union Theatre, London until 11 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Like the asylum inmates that populate the show, Anyone Can Whistle – Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ experimental musical of 1964 – gets let out for a brief spell of fresh air. And just as […]

Continue Reading ·

My Land’s Shore – Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre

My Land’s Shore continues at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, London until 26 February. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ This new musical by Christopher J Orton (music and lyrics) and Robert Gould (book and lyrics), based on a true story, is well-worth a visit. From the powerful opening number, ‘Burning’, […]

Continue Reading ·

Thriller Live – Lyric Theatre

Thriller Live continues at the Lyric Theatre, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ After a whopping 3,358 performances in the West End, Thriller Live celebrated at the gorgeous Lyric Theatre as the show becomes the 15th longest-running musical in West End history. A party was certainly had at the venue. The cast […]

Continue Reading ·

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Ambassadors Theatre

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice at the Ambassadors Theatre, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, based on a poem by Goethe which also inspired Disney’s groundbreaking Fantasia, wielded its magic at the Ambassadors Theatre in a one-night-only concert presentation. In the story an old sorcerer goes out, leaving his apprentice behind […]

Continue Reading ·

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin – Theatre Royal Stratford East

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin continues at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, London until 11 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Hopefully one day, we will not have to meet a Viveca. A character, initially, without any sense of self or purpose; shaped by what others want her to […]

Continue Reading ·

You Win Again – The Story of The Bee Gees – Leicester Square Theatre and Touring

You Win Again – The Story of The Bee Gees at the Leicester Square Theatre, London before continuing a national tour until 20 April. Star rating: one star ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ You Win Again – The story of The Bees Gees was premiered at Leicester Square Theatre in front of a celebrity audience and Bee Gees fans, ahead […]

Continue Reading ·

Cautionary Tales For Daughters – Jermyn Street Theatre and Touring

Cautionary Tales For Daughters continues at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London until 11 February and tours until 24 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Tanya Holt has a delightful way of packing emotion and accents into song and her voice is like rich cream complete with fresh, sweet strawberries. She resonates in the […]

Continue Reading ·

Murder For Two – Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Murder For Two continues at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury until 25 February before transferring to The Other Palace Studio, from 2-18 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Musical parody is hardly a new initiative but in the hands of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair it provides a quirky new genre of comedy. […]

Continue Reading ·

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox – Lyric Hammersmith

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox continues at the Lyric Hammersmith, London until 19 February and then tours until 9 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Most adaptations of Roald Dahl’s spikey, often  subversively uplifting, children’s stories are plays with songs. This entertaining, energy-packed version (a co-production between Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre and Curve Leicester in […]

Continue Reading ·

Wonderland – Edinburgh Playhouse and Touring

Wonderland continues at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 28 January, before embarking on a UK tour until 19 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ In returning Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to the UK, this first touring production of 2011 American musical Wonderland has a lot going for it in terms […]

Continue Reading ·

Thoroughly Modern Millie – Milton Keynes Theatre and Touring

Thoroughly Modern Millie continues at Milton Keynes Theatre until 28 January before touring until 24 June. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ It’s ironic really that at the core of Thoroughly Modern Millie is a character who lives for being a ‘modern’ and keeping up with current trends, and yet the show is so […]

Continue Reading ·

Alain Boublil Masterclass – Montreuil, Paris

To paraphrase the Bible, ‘No one is a prophet in his own land’. Surely this no more true than in France, where Alain Boublil, the man who wrote the book and lyrics for two of the most successful musicals in the world, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, is hardly a well-known name. Boublil held a […]

Continue Reading ·

Ben Stock – The Land of Make Believe – Live at Zédel

Ben Stock – The Land of Make Believe at Live at Zédel, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ With the cosy, but lavish surrounds of Live at Zédel being perfect for Ben Stock’s style of intimate performance, he wasted little time in making sure his small, but appreciative audience knew exactly […]

Continue Reading ·

January – Live at Zédel

January continues at Live at Zédel, London until 26 January. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ TS Eliot was three months too late. The cruellest month is not April, but January – when the post-Christmas comedown collides with hard-to-maintain resolutions, topped off by grotty weather. Such is the premise of this nascent […]

Continue Reading ·

Death Takes a Holiday – Charing Cross Theatre

Death Takes a Holiday continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 4 March. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Thom Southerland and Danielle Tarento once again give Maury Yeston the five-star treatment, with the European premiere of the composer/lyricist’s 2011 musical Death Takes a Holiday. Based on Alberto Casella’s play La […]

Continue Reading ·

The Song is You – Steve Ross – The Pheasantry

The Song is You – Steve Ross at The Pheasantry, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ What a brave Sunday evening this was after the first two nights of Steve Ross’ Pheasantry residency had to be cancelled after bronchitis rendered him virtually speechless. Although still clearly underpowered, the Prince of New […]

Continue Reading ·

The Wild Party – The Hope Theatre, London

The Wild Party continues at The Hope Theatre, London until 28 January. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ‘The classic Jazz Age tale of sex, sweat and sin’: Mingled Yarn’s revival of The Wild Party bursts into the intimate Hope Theatre with enough punch to shake you out of your January blues […]

Continue Reading ·

Promises, Promises – Southwark Playhouse

Promises, Promises continues at Southwark Playhouse, London until 18 February. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Is Promises, Promises really only three hours long? It feels longer, and not in a good way. Based on Billy Wilder’s film The Apartment, this musical has some serious creative welly behind it, with a book […]

Continue Reading ·

My Fair Ladies – Live at Zédel

My Fair Ladies continues at Live at Zédel, London until 18 January. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Live at Zédel can only be described as a time machine. The art deco-style, intimate venue transports the audience to 1920s Paris, when femininity took on a brand new look. Women redefined their social […]

Continue Reading ·

Review – When Broadway Went to Hollywood – Show & Tell – D’Oyly Carte – and more

Nick Wakeham casts an eye over some of the latest books with a theatrical theme. WHEN BROADWAY WENT TO HOLLYWOOD – ETHAN MORDDEN (Oxford University Press – ISBN: 978-0199395408) Ethan Mordden is no stranger to anyone interested in the musical theatre, having written quite a number of books on the subject. His latest publication, When Broadway Went to […]

Continue Reading ·

A Little of What You Fancy – The Salberg, Salisbury Playhouse

A Little of What You Fancy continues at The Salberg, Salisbury Playhouse until 21 January. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Glyn Kerslake has become a regular fixture at Salisbury Playhouse over the Christmas period in recent years.This year he features prominently in both festive shows in The Salberg, the theatre’s intimate […]

Continue Reading ·

Musical Theatre 2016 – a reflection – what was your favourite?

Musical Theatre Review reflects on an incredibly busy year of theatre – in the West End, on the London Fringe, across the UK – and picks a selection of shows from each month that topped the FOUR and FIVE star ratings with our contributors. JANUARY Guys and Dolls – Savoy Theatre, London Star rating: five stars ★ […]

Continue Reading ·

Million Dollar Quartet – Royal Festival Hall and Touring

Million Dollar Quartet continues at the Royal Festival Hall, London until 2 January and then tours until June 2017. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ We’ve had productions aplenty about another Fab Four down the years, but thankfully here we’re not focusing on The Cavern yet again, but an ex-auto parts shop […]

Continue Reading ·

Gary Williams – A Swingin’ Christmas – Live at Zedel

Gary Williams performed A Swingin’ Christmas at Live at Zedel, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Singer Gary Williams is a much-loved performer who moves between West End theatre, concert hall and ocean liner with consummate ease. Like many of the eminent stars he names in the course of his Christmas swing-a-long, I […]

Continue Reading ·

A Christmas Carol – Lost Theatre

A Christmas Carol continues at the Lost Theatre, London until 31 December. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ It can feel as if there are as many variant adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol as there are of Peter Pan. When it comes to musical versions, many people’s personal favourite […]

Continue Reading ·

Christina Bianco – O Come All Ye Divas – Charing Cross Theatre

Christina Bianco – O Come All Ye Divas continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 7 January 2017. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Christina Bianco has made a name for herself as a comedy impressionist of some renown, specialising in mimicking a range of larger-than-life singers. In this new Christmas […]

Continue Reading ·

In Transit – Circle in the Square Theatre, New York

In Transit continues at the Circle in the Square Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Just thinking about all the energy that the 11-person cast of In Transit expends during its 100 minutes or so running time can wear you out. The new Broadway musical is a snappy and […]

Continue Reading ·

Anything Goes – Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Anything Goes continues at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London until 29 January 2017. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It can be more than a little frustrating for the musical theatre lover that because of commercial imperatives, such as a title having to be familiar at all costs, the list of frequently revived […]

Continue Reading ·

Annie Get Your Gun – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Annie Get Your Gun continues at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield until 21 January 2017. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Most prestige venues now opt for Christmas shows that, while they may be ‘family entertainment’, avoid Santas, sleighs or slapstick. This year’s Crucible Theatre offering transports us instead to the Wild West […]

Continue Reading ·

The Band’s Visit – Atlantic Theater Company – Linda Gross Theater, New York

The Band’s Visit continues at the Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater, New York until 8 January. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ An Egyptian musician plays a plaintive melody on his clarinet to calm an Israeli baby who’s been crying in his crib. His music also brings together in tears the […]

Continue Reading ·

Marti Webb – The Pheasantry

Marti Webb performed at The Pheasantry, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ So, it’s your actual birthday, the house is full and the clearly very discerning, expectant festive audience includes legendary lyricist Don Black – so, no pressure then! But, it’s a kind of pressure that Marti Webb has been dealing with […]

Continue Reading ·

Dreamgirls – Savoy Theatre

Dreamgirls continues at the Savoy Theatre, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Dreamgirls first debuted on Broadway in 1981 and after a long 35-year wait, it finally has its London debut. As fans of the show will already know, the book throws the spotlight on the Dreamettes, a young, ambitious singing trio […]

Continue Reading ·

Samantha Barks – Live at Zedel

Samantha Barks performed in cabaret at Live at Zedel, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fresh from an American tour, a new album launch and fantastic run of The Last Five Years as Cathy at St James Theatre, Samantha Barks treated the Zedel audience to an intimate evening of vocal acrobatics as she took us through the […]

Continue Reading ·

Rent the Musical – St James Theatre

Rent the Musical continues at the St James Theatre, London until 28 January 2017. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Each generation of theatre lovers has a show that marks an iconic cultural phenomenon for that decade and while Rent might represent this for the 1990s, its timelessness has once again reunited all ‘Rentheads’ […]

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