Stars of the West End was performed at the Cadogan Hall, London.
Stars of the West End was not a benefit, an awards ceremony or a fundraising gala, but simply a celebration of West End musicals, with four very talented British musical performers impeccably backed by a magical six-piece band at the Cadogan Hall.
Tom Solomon, winner of the BBC’s Voice of Musical Theatre competition and one of the best Mary Sunshines in Chicago I ever seen, gave heartfelt renditions of ‘Being Alive’ and ‘Something’s Coming’. He said: “We call the show Stars of the West End because one or more of us has appeared in nearly all of the musicals that we feature. I feel it gives our show something special, as we can bring a rounded character to each song.”
Indeed Matt Sterling, West End veteran of both Phantom and Les Misérables, was impressive in ‘Music of the Night’ and ‘Bring Him Home’, but his rendition of ‘I Am What I Am’ was also moving and personal.
Actresses Shona Lindsay (Phantom, Grease, Singin’ in the Rain) and Jayne O’Mahony (Evita, the young and adult Cosette in Les Misérables) impressed with their vocal virtuosity throughout the evening.
O’Mahony was as excellent in her rendition of Kander and Ebb’s ‘All That Jazz’ as she was in the big Andrew Lloyd Webber ballads such as ‘Memory’ from Cats.
Lindsay really shone in ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’, though there was even more personality to her ‘Always True to You Darling (In My Fashion)’ from Kiss Me, Kate.
Toby Cruse’s musical direction was always top-notch, so there was little to criticise about the evening, except perhaps that a little Fosse or Robbins movement in the Chicago and West Side Story segments would have been welcome, as would a less predictable choice of material on occasions.
A classy, truly enjoyable evening that could also be a very good introduction for the musical theatre neophyte!