News: You Will Be Found by #CheerUpCharlie & West End Friends to be released on 15th November

Auburn Jam Music are delighted to be releasing ‘You Will Be Found’ by #CheerUpCharlie & West End Friends, a fundraising charity single in aid of youth charity The Diana Award, on Sunday 15 November to tie in with the start of National Anti-Bullying Week (16-20 November).  

The star-studded single is led by ten-year-old Charlie Kristensen from Wokingham, whose experience of being bullied started the viral #CheerUpCharlie campaign. Charlie is joined on the song by numerous stage and screen stars including Wendi Peters, Layton Williams and Michael Xavier, with Iain Armitage, Michael Ball, Rufus Hound, and Faye Tozer amongst many famous faces reading their supportive messages on the song’s video. The single is available to pre-save now on iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Tidal at https://ditto.fm/you-will-be-found. Continue reading “News: You Will Be Found by #CheerUpCharlie & West End Friends to be released on 15th November”

Lockdown theatre review: Jesus Christ Superstar (2018 Concert)

Would Jesus have condoned such artistic thievery? Jesus Christ Superstar (2018 Concert) is full of great performances but borrows heavily from the Open Air’s production

“Would I be more noticed than I ever was before?”

The most striking thing about the US Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert from 2018, that will particularly stand out to those who saw the Regents Park Open Air Theatre production in any of its iterations, is that it is boldly credited to David Leveaux as director and Jason Ardizzone-West as production designer. There’s so much synchronicity between the two productions here that it is hard to believe that Timothy Sheader and Tom Scutt respectively didn’t deserve at least thanks if not full co-credits because original this is not.

A live television musical special – as the Americans did much more of than the Brits – this version of Jesus Christ Superstar is undoubtedly heavily influenced by the freshness of that iconic reimagining of the show. Released from its 70s origins but also any need to be particularly politically relevant (which tripped up the UK arena tour) it is a powerful piece of contemporary theatre which speaks to the cult of celebrity as pointedly as it ever has done. Continue reading “Lockdown theatre review: Jesus Christ Superstar (2018 Concert)”

Winners of 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play
WINNER – Cost of Living  Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival Written by Martyna Majok

Miles for Mary Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Written by Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto, Lila Neugebauer, and Stephanie Wright Thompson
Pipeline Produced by Lincoln Center Theater. Written by Dominique Morisseau
WINNER – School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play Produced by MCC Theater. Written by Jocelyn Bioh
The Treasurer Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Written by Max Posner

Outstanding Musical
Bella: An American Tall Tale Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Book, Music, and Lyrics by Kirsten Childs
Desperate Measures  Produced by The York Theatre Company in association with Cecilia Lin and Hu Guo. Book and Lyrics by Peter Kellogg, Music by David Friedman
Hundred Days Produced by New York Theatre Workshop. By The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher
Jerry Springer – The Opera Produced by The New Group. Music and Lyrics by Richard Thomas. Book and Additional Lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas
WINNER – KPOP  Produced by Ars Nova in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company and Woodshed Collective. Conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim. Book by Jason Kim, Music and Lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, Immersive Design by Woodshed Collective Continue reading “Winners of 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Nominations for 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play
Cost of Living  Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival Written by Martyna Majok
Miles for Mary Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Written by Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto, Lila Neugebauer, and Stephanie Wright Thompson
Pipeline Produced by Lincoln Center Theater. Written by Dominique Morisseau
School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play Produced by MCC Theater. Written by Jocelyn Bioh
The Treasurer Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Written by Max Posner

Outstanding Musical
Bella: An American Tall Tale Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Book, Music, and Lyrics by Kirsten Childs
Desperate Measures  Produced by The York Theatre Company in association with Cecilia Lin and Hu Guo. Book and Lyrics by Peter Kellogg, Music by David Friedman
Hundred Days Produced by New York Theatre Workshop. By The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher
Jerry Springer – The Opera Produced by The New Group. Music and Lyrics by Richard Thomas. Book and Additional Lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas
KPOP  Produced by Ars Nova in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company and Woodshed Collective. Conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim. Book by Jason Kim, Music and Lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, Immersive Design by Woodshed Collective Continue reading “Nominations for 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Album Review: If/Then (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

“I know all the odds and even so…” 

One of the temptations with cast recordings, and something that’s been facilitated by the dawning of the digital age, is to make a playlist of your favourite songs and then forget about the others. I am terrible for doing this – it’s why I’m word perfect on only half of Wicked – and yet I never seen to stop. If/Then is a good example of this – the edited highlights on my iPhone give the impression of a great show whereas the reality is more just good

Predictably, these excerpts mostly include Idina Menzel’s inimitable vocal, around which Tom Kitt’s score was crafted. The delicate duet of ‘Here I Go’ with the lovely James Snyder, the stirring ‘You Learn To Live Without’, the irresistible melodic force of ‘Always Starting Over’, she’s so at home in this world of emotionally swirling tunes that it is impossible not to get swept up with her, especially in the last song’s slow-building climax. Continue reading “Album Review: If/Then (Original Broadway Cast Recording)”

Review: If/Then, Richard Rodgers Theatre

“I’d lie to say I’m never sometimes always thinking of you”

I couldn’t do New York without taking the opportunity to see Idina Menzel and in lieu of battling the crowds at Times Square, tickets were booked for her starring role in Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s If/Then. Having had the soundtrack for a wee while now, and being a big fan thereof, I pretty much knew what I was letting myself in for, meaning there was none of the apparent confusion that blighted much of the initial critical response which found the show hard to follow.

Is it confusing? I don’t think so. It’s tricksy yes, as a twin set of narratives follow two different paths that newly-divorced Elizabeth could take as she moves to New York City to start her life anew. Pushing 40, she feels the clock ticking both personally and professionally and so as Liz it is the former that takes precedent and as Beth, the latter. The same friends and colleagues appear in each strand too, with different experiences so you do have to pay some attention but that’s no real hardship. Continue reading “Review: If/Then, Richard Rodgers Theatre”