sat 21/05/2022

musicals

Grease, Dominion Theatre review - a super night out, great songs well sung and spectacular dancing

Barry Gibb was at the considerable peak of his era-defining songwriting powers when he provided the song that played over the opening titles of the iconic 1978 film, so it's a wise decision by director, Nikolai Foster, to go straight into "Grease is...

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Bonnie & Clyde, Arts Theatre review - great songs, but plot fires too many blanks

One of the more irritating memes (it’s a competitive field, I know) is the “Name a more iconic couple” appearing over a photo of Posh and Becks, or Harry and Megan, or Leo and whoever. I’ve always been tempted to close the discussion down with a...

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Zorro the Musical, Charing Cross Theatre review - struggling to find the right tone

Zorro (what a name!) is back, swashing and buckling his way into the West End, 13 years after he left and now not the only one wearing a mask. He’s also an entertainer turned political leader, inspiring his people to resist an evil martinet. Well,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: West Side Story

West Side Story’s cinema release crashed into Omicron and never recovered. Maybe Ariana DeBose’s Oscar will help the world wake up to this Spielberg masterpiece, which definitively betters 1961’s Robert Wise/Jerome Robbins version.Spielberg loves...

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Anyone Can Whistle, Southwark Playhouse review - full-on bonkers

Musicals don't get madder than Anyone Can Whistle, the 1964 Broadway flop from onetime West Side Story and Gypsy collaborators Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents which makes history of sorts at Southwark Playhouse as the first Sondheim show to be...

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First Person: playwright Chinonyerem Odimba on birthing her potent and timely new show

People often ask how long a play takes to make its way out of you. And it’s always a valid question because no matter how beautiful, soft, joyful, or short a play is, there is a wrestling match that takes place between the idea lodging itself...

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But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical, Turbine Theatre review - two cheers for feelgood show

We open on “Seventeen is Swell”, the antithesis of Janis Ian’s 70s angsty anthem, “At Seventeen”. Megan is living it large as the cheerleader’s leader with her football captain boyfriend, two loving if strict parents and a golden future of all-...

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Steve, Seven Dials Playhouse review - everything’s charming, except the script

Steven (David Ames) is having a birthday party. He’s invited his closest friends – two of whom have recently started dating their personal trainer, Steve – and his partner, of course: Stephen (Joe Aaron Reid). Their eight-year-old son, Stevie, is...

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Saturday Night Fever, Peacock Theatre review - crowd-pleaser stays true to its roots

Wind the clock back 45 years and the Big Apple was bankrupt, the lights had gone out and many native New Yorkers were packing their bags. Gangs controlled whole neighbourhoods, drugs were the currency of choice and, for a kid with no college,...

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Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre review - spectacular escapism

One of the many theatrical casualties of Omicron in December was the official UK opening of Moulin Rouge!, the stage version of Baz Luhrmann’s indelible 2001 film that has already racked up 10 Tony Awards for its 2019 Broadway production (albeit in...

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Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, Jermyn Street Theatre review - True Crime musical gets West End showcase

There's a lot of True Crime stuff about, so it's hardly a surprise to see Stephen Dolginoff's 2003 off-Broadway musical back on the London stage, a West End venue for the Hope Theatre's award-winning 2019 production. Whether one needs to see a pair...

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Best of 2021: Theatre

There was no live theatre at the start of 2021, just a return to the world of virtual performance and streaming to which we had become well accustomed, and very quickly, too. So imagine the collective surprise come the start of this month as show...

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