sat 16/11/2019

musicals

Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre review - a lavish but old-fashioned revival

It’s been 15 years since Cameron Mackintosh’s stage musical version of P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins made its West End debut. Now, the magical nanny returns to the Prince Edward Theatre, with Zizi Strallen (who also headlined the UK tour) succeeding...

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Ghost Quartet, Boulevard Theatre review - a beguiling journey into the beyond

London’s latest new theatre opens with an appropriately otherworldly Halloween offering: American composer Dave Malloy’s teeming 2014 song cycle, which played at the Edinburgh Festival in 2016. It’s a superb piece for demonstrating the benefits of...

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Assassins, Watermill Theatre, Newbury - Sondheim musical in scalding form

“Every now and then the country goes a little wrong”: so goes one of the many lyrics from the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Assassins that makes this 1990 Off Broadway musical (subsequently chosen to open Sam Mendes’ Donmar Warehouse in 1992...

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The Silver Lake, English Touring Opera review - shadows of the Weimar twilight

Almost exactly a century after the Weimar Republic’s constitution took effect, English Touring Opera presents a show whose birth coincided with the Republic's untimely death. His third collaboration with the prolific, maverick playwright Georg...

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CD: Mika - My Name is Michael Holbrook

When he arrived on the scene in the mid Noughties Mika – yes his name is Michael Holbrook – flew the flag for grandiose pop classicism. He had The Feeling as fellow travellers, and to an extent The Killers in their first wave of...

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Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, Wilton's Music Hall review - klezmer revue is moving and inventive

Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s “refugee musical” – now there’s a phrase you don’t expect to write – is a treat. Harking back to the early 20th century pogroms of Eastern Europe, it’s darkly steeped in history, conveying the sorrows of...

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Big the Musical - sweet if wildly overstretched

The work isn't finished on Big, if this stage musical of the beloved 1988 Tom Hanks film is ever to, um, make it big. A Broadway flop in 1996 where it was among the last shows directed by the late, much-admired Englishman Mike Ockrent, the material...

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CD: Renée Zellweger - Judy

Renée Zellweger already has strong musical cinema form, Her role as Roxie Hart in Chicago garnered her second Oscar nomination. However, playing and singing Judy Garland is a whole different ball game. The film Judy takes a late-Sixties run of...

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Preludes, Southwark Playhouse review - journeying into the mind of Rachmaninoff

Where does music come from? That’s the vital question posed to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Dave Malloy’s extraordinary 2015 chamber work, as the great late-Romantic Russian composer – stuck in his third year of harrowing writer’s block – tries to...

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Falsettos, The Other Palace review - affecting search for the new normal

William Finn and James Lapine’s musical – which combines two linked one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, set in late 1970s/early 1980s New York – picked up Tony Awards in 1992 for its book and score, and was nominated again in...

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Once on This Island, Southwark Playhouse review - folkloric Caribbean musical charms

As British summer really kicks in (umbrellas at the ready), our thoughts might turn fondly to the sunny Caribbean. Good timing, then, for the return of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s 1990 musical set in the French Antilles. Based on Rosa Guy’s...

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Prom 30: The Warner Brothers Story, John Wilson Orchestra review – orchestral riches

Wisecracks can be profound. The late André Previn – who spent most of the period from his late teens to his mid-thirties working in film studios – once responded to a critic’s snub that the music of Korngold all sounded like Hollywood with the line...

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