On Monday 14 June, SMC Productions brings West End Live Lounge to the stage at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. What started off as a one-off concert in 2017, has fast become one of the staple events in the theatrical calendar. This series of concerts showcases an array of talent from the world of theatre, all performing some of the most iconic songs from the world of popular music and beyond.
The past year has been a difficult time for the arts, and now is the time to come back and show just exactly what we do best. ‘The Greats’ will play host to a stellar line up of talent from shows including; Six, Come From Away, Hamilton, & Juliet, Wicked, Bat Out Of Hell and lots more, all celebrating songs from some of the most iconic and recognisable artists from the world of music. Performing alongside the Live Lounge band, under the musical direction of Sam Coates, this is set to be a night not to miss! Continue reading “News: West End Live Lounge – The Greats”
After a successful West End debut in December 2020 at the Apollo Theatre, selling out two nights to 5-star reviews, Roles We’ll Never Play returns to the West End just in time for theatres opening!
Roles We’ll Never Play will see two star studded casts (a different cast each night) singing songs outside of their casting brackets. Notable performances in the last concert included a show stopping ‘All Male’ version of ‘Ex-Wives’ from Six The Musical and power house leading lady Alice Fearn ending the show with an incredible rendition of Santa Fe from Disneys Newsies. Continue reading “News: Roles We’ll Never Play returns”
The Barn Theatre goes choose-your-own-adventure with The Secret Society of Leading Ladies with mixed results
“Leave them wanting more”
There’s no faulting the ambition of the Barn Theatre as they continue to lead the vanguard of theatres exploring how far they can push the digital realm. The Secret Society of Leading Ladies sees them adopt something of a choose-your-own-adventure model for this concert, which means there’s over 150 different ways in which it can be experienced. Continue reading “Review: The Secret Society of Leading Ladies, Barn Theatre”
The Barn Theatre have announced an upcoming digital musical theatre event entitled The Secret Society of Leading Ladies, which provides a new innovative format that allows the viewer to make decisions and control the set list.
The Secret Society of Leading Ladies, which will run from 22nd February – 7th March, takes audiences into a world where Musical Theatre characters can co-exist in the same space regardless of era or genre. The concept was created to reward die-hard musical theatre fans, whilst being mould-breaking enough to invite a new audience to discover the world of musical theatre. Continue reading “News: the Barn Theatre announces The Secret Society of Leading Ladies”
The Original Cast Recording of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical captures much of what makes the show work so well, not least Adrienne Warren’s sensational lead performance
“Hot whispers in the night
I’m captured by your spell”
As Tina – The Tina Turner Musical opens on Broadway, what better time to take a look at the Original Cast Recording, which is now available worldwide – to stream, download or order the CD, then visit Ghostlight Records here. The show opened in the West End last year and while I may not have loved the book unconditionally, there is no denying the 24 carat gold quality of the score with its selection from Turner’s frankly amazing back catalogue which spans rock’n’roll to rhythm’n’blues to pop to straight up soul.
Rather cannily, the Broadway production has retained the lead from the West End production as Adrienne Warren deservedly took the lion’s share of the plaudits. And it is her personality, allied to that rip-roaring voice, that shines through this cast recording, elevating it from the mere karaoke of way too many other jukebox show cast recordings. Listen to the passion of the moan that opens ‘A Fool in Love’, the hunger of ‘Better Be Good to Me’, the aching tenderness of ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’ – this is a star-making performance. Continue reading “Album Review: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Original Cast Recording”
Adrienne Warren absolutely shines in Tina the Musical at the Aldwych Theatre, though the bio-musical form has its limitations here
“It gets bigger baby, and heaven knows”
Mamma Mia has a lot to answer for. The jukebox musical is clearly the legacy project that people are looking to once music stars have retired or disbanded (or not even then, in some cases). But whether they take a fictional route (a la Viva Forever or Son of a Preacher Man) or go bio-musical (a la All Or Nothing), it really isn’t easy to make it work that well.
Newly opened at the Aldwych Theatre, Tina the Musical has the credentials to make you hope it can do just that. Directed by Mamma Mia’s Phyllida Lloyd, written by Olivier winner Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins, and with the almighty back catalogue of Tina Turner to call on, there’s a thrilling sense of energy here which is perfectly encapsulated in the star-making performance of a fricking amazing Adrienne Warren. Continue reading “Review: Tina the Musical, Aldwych Theatre”
And whilst it remains impressive, it also remains elusive, caught between gig and theatre…
Meaning there wasn’t much to discover anew on second viewing (my review from last year).
Still worth a shot if you’ve not seen it though.
All photos © Johan Persson
Continue reading “Not-a-re-review: Jesus Christ Superstar, Open Air Theatre”
“Its simple truth speaks volumes in a world where hatred rages”
Following on from the re-release of his self-titled album earlier this year, Leslie Odom Jr gives us another opportunity to sink into his world of soulful jazz with an album of reinterpreted holiday classics in Simply Christmas on S-Curve Records. And I do mean sink into like the most comfortable sofa you can imagine, in front of a log fire and drinking a nice cup of Charbonnel and Walker, for this is rich and luxurious stuff – as evidenced halfway into opening track ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ when a softly funky breakdown envelops you in its warmth like a marshmallow on top of that hot chocolate.
Dangerously seductive in Hamilton, Odom Jr will lose precisely zero fans here with this lush yet restrained style. Arrangements are kept simple, allowing heartfelt vocals to imbue tracks like ‘The First Noel’ and ‘The Christmas Song’ with renewed life. Equally, the piano and vocal improvs in ‘My Favourite Things’ keep things utterly fresh without losing sight of the overall vision of the record. The gentle guitar accompaniment to The Carpenters’ ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ is a thing of loveliness and Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s new festive standard ‘Winter Song’ blooms gorgeously under the treatment. Continue reading “Festive review: Leslie Odom Jr / Megan Hilty / Eyles & Gould / All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride”