Re-review: All change on the Strand for Dreamgirls and Kinky Boots

All change on the Strand for Dreamgirls and Kinky Boots post closing notices at the Savoy Theatre and Adelphi Theatre respectively, and I revisit both.

“Never let ‘em tell you who you ought to be
Just be”

Come mid-January, the Strand will look a fair bit different for theatregoers as both Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls have posted advance closing notices, leaving the Adelphi and the Savoy respectively on the same date, Saturday 12th January.  As sad as it is to see any show close though, both of these musicals have had a fairly decent run (Kinky Boots opened in August 2015, making it nearly 3 and a half years; Dreamgirls in November 2016, reaching two) and given how merciless the commercial market can be, I think both productions can hold their head up high with their West End runs.

And getting ahead of the game with those closing notices means that people still have many the opportunity to catch either or both of these shows before the final curtain. (I should add too, that both shows have announced that they will be touring the UK going into 2019.) I’ve paid both a revisit relatively recently and am happy to report that they both remain well worth seeing, due to some mighty fine performance. Oliver Tompsett has only just stepped into the role of Charlie Price but he is nigh-on perfect casting and his majestic voice suits Cyndi Lauper’s score down to a T and he’s clearly getting on well with Simon-Anthony Rhoden’s impressive Lola.

© Matt Crockett

Over at the Savoy, I caught Marisha Wallace as Effie and she is a comic delight as well as a vocal powerhouse, really impressing me in this iconic role, but it is Asmeret Ghebremichael’s Lorrell who is show-stealingly, worth-the-price-of-a-decent-ticket levels of excellent. For me, the production as a whole has lost a little of the magic sparkle that its opening cast carried off so effortlessly and some of the characterisations in Kinky feel a little tired but then, I’ve seen both shows multiple times before and so I’m hardly the best judge there.

And I can’t be too mad about the prospect of two big houses coming free for new shows – I wonder what will be filling them in the New Year – plays from the National (The Lehman Trilogy) or perhaps the Donmar (Jean Brodie) or maybe a big musical or two from Broadway (Anastasia, Waitress). Leave your thoughts in the comments below…

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