News: Reuben Joseph to lead new cast of Hamilton

Jeffrey Seller and Cameron Mackintosh, producers of the West End production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, have announced new casting for the show. They’ll deliver their first performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 21st June 2022, where tickets are currently on sale to 1st October 2022.

Reuben Joseph will play the title role of Alexander Hamilton with Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Aaron Burr, Allyson Ava-Brown as Angelica Schuyler, Shan Ako as Eliza Hamilton, Roshani Abbey as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Trevor Dion Nicholas as George Washington, Waylon Jacobs as Marquis De Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Emile Ruddock as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Jake Halsey-Jones as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton and Joel Montague as King George III. At certain performances the role of Alexander Hamilton will be played by Alex Sawyer. Continue reading “News: Reuben Joseph to lead new cast of Hamilton”

News: Joe Iconis’ new album to feature 44 songs and over 70 collaborators

Ghostlight Records announced the new recording by musical theater virtuoso Joe Iconis, a sprawling new 44-track album, simply titled Album, due out on Friday, June 17. The album features over 70 members of Iconis’ vast family of collaborators including Aaron TveitAndrew RannellsLin-Manuel MirandaKrysta Rodriguez, Kerry Butler, Danny Burstein, Annie Golden, George Salazar, Will RolandAndrew Barth Feldman and many more.

The album was produced by Iconis, Ian Kagey, and Charlie Rosen, executive produced by Randi Zuckerberg, features music direction by Danielle Gimbal, and choir arrangements by Joel Waggoner. Iconis has also shared the project’s first single, “Album,” a time-hopping piano ballad about art and legacy. Listen to the single “Album” here and pre-save or pre-order Album here. Continue reading “News: Joe Iconis’ new album to feature 44 songs and over 70 collaborators”

#AdventwithClowns Day 20 – tick, tick…BOOM! (2021)

Lin-Manuel Miranda directs a fantastic new version of tick, tick…BOOM!, making a theatrical nerd’s wet dream out of this Jonathan Larson musical 

“Everything you’re about to see is true…apart from the bits Jonathan made up”

Some musicals you see and you think yeah, this could possibly change a sceptic’s mind about the artform. And then some you see and you think, this really is just playing to the crowd. tick, tick…BOOM! definitely falls into this latter category, hugely enjoyable but so densely suffused in the world of musical theatre that it might be too much for newbies to unpick.

It is directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and adapted by Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen) from Jonathan Larson’s (Rent) semi-autobiographical musical about writing a musical. And structurally, we follow Andrew Garfield’s Jonathan as he delivers a one-man-show (called tick, tick…BOOM!) whilst flashing back to his attempts to finish his magnum opus, a musical called Superbia. Continue reading “#AdventwithClowns Day 20 – tick, tick…BOOM! (2021)”

Review: Bring It On – the Musical, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Fabian Aloise’s banging choreography spikes, basket-tosses and split-lifts this cracking production of Bring It On – the Musical at Queen Elizabeth Hall, or catch it on its UK tour in 2022

“Like Hells Angels, but cheerleaders”

In a show that really is about teamwork, it’s a real joy to see a production practising what it preaches. I caught Bring It On – the Musical the night after press night and so saw a couple of understudies in leading roles. Now I don’t know if Oliver Adam-Reynolds (on for Louis Smith as Cameron) and Kenedy Small (on for Chelsea Hall as Bridget) had been on as these characters before but the joy their castmates showed at the curtain call was a truly uplifting thing, even more so than the two high pyramid.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d like Bring It On. The film is one of my all-time favourites – some might call it a guilty pleasure but for me, it is just straight up pleasure – and so an adaptation that essentially tells a different story (much like Sister Act the Musical, another of my beloved movie choices) carries the danger of not being the same. But Jeff Whitty’s book does a good job of reshuffling the deck to tell a different story but one which carries much of the same spirit (stick). Continue reading “Review: Bring It On – the Musical, Queen Elizabeth Hall”

27th Critics’ Choice Awards – nominations

Best Picture
Belfast
CODA
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick… BOOM!
West Side Story

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Guillermo del Toro – Nightmare Alley
Steven Spielberg – West Side Story
Denis Villeneuve – Dune Continue reading “27th Critics’ Choice Awards – nominations”

#AdventwithClowns Day 5 – Hamilton, Disney+

Only a year and a half behind the curve, I finally get around to the immense pleasures of the filmed version of musical behemoth Hamilton

“We are waiting in the wings for you”

I don’t think there can be many people left who want to see Hamilton on screen who haven’t done so yet. I held out though, not having really felt too much of the online watching experience that made up theatregoing in lockdown. Plus, I also knew that it wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon, unlike so much of the time-limited offerings from theatres.

It is a show I do enjoy, having caught first night and opening night in London, plus making a trip to the Richard Rodgers Theatre beforehand to see this original US cast in action. And I also made a trip once the show reopened this side of lockdown so in some ways, I didn’t really feel the imperative to see it in a non-live context. Obviously, I was wrong. Continue reading “#AdventwithClowns Day 5 – Hamilton, Disney+”

#AdventwithClowns Day 1: In the Heights (2021)

This Advent I am going to try to showcase some of the online theatre content that’s still available, particularly now as Omicron approaches, starting with the film version of In the Heights

“That’s señorita to you”

Whilst fully appreciating the concerns raised at the lack of Black Latinx representation in a film set in a New York neighbourhood where they make up a substantial proportion of the population, it does feel a bit of a shame that so much of the discourse around In the Heights focused on it, possibly to the detriment of its box office. When there’s so little representation available from Hollywood studios, you want something like this to succeed regardless but with that representation at a premium, it’s no wonder that those who are still left out want to make their voices heard.

These problems around colorism aside, Jon M Chu’s film of Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin Manuel Miranda’s 2005 musical remains a fairly curious choice for adaptation. The story isn’t one of the conventional narrative arc, it really is more of a feeling, a mood, a slice of life from the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights. We follow a whole range of characters as they follow their dreams, no matter how big or small, from life-changing decisions to getting an ice-cold drink to ease a heatwave but the focus is on the micro-, offering a warm personal hug. Continue reading “#AdventwithClowns Day 1: In the Heights (2021)”

73rd Primetime Emmy Awards winners

Outstanding Comedy Series
WINNER – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Black-ish
 (ABC)
Cobra Kai (Netflix)
Emily in Paris (Netflix)
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Hacks (HBO Max)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
PEN15 (Hulu)

Outstanding Drama Series
WINNER – The Crown (Netflix)
The Boys (Prime Video)
Bridgerton (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Lovecraft Country (HBO)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Pose (FX)
This Is Us (NBC) Continue reading “73rd Primetime Emmy Awards winners”

Re-review: Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

A cheeky return visit to the Victoria Palace Theatre sees Hamilton in rude health, with the 2021 cast in fine form 

“You’ll be back, soon you’ll see”

You know how it is, when a ticket to Hamilton falls into your lap, you can’t really say no to this… So a return to the Victoria Palace Theatre, my first since this behemoth of a show actually opened up and one which was surprisingly rewarding, over and above the pleasures of the show itself.

Karl Queensborough and Simon-Anthony Rhoden now occupy the key roles of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr and what I found really interesting was that my sympathies actually altered between them. I’ve always been team Burr (it must have been the Terera of it all) but Rhoden has introduced a brusquer, harsher characterisation, which combined with Queensborough’s hugely open charisma, had me swapping sides quicker than James Madison. Continue reading “Re-review: Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre”