fri 24/10/2014

musicals

Memphis, Shaftesbury Theatre

It's throwback week on the West End, with two very different shows recalling the darkest days of America's racial disharmony. But whereas The Scottsboro Boys shocks and satirises and has us choke on our own laughter, Memphis is content to be the...

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The Scottsboro Boys, Garrick Theatre

You come away from The Scottsboro Boys sure of two things: that the next cakewalk you hear will induce queasiness and that the show's director/choreographer Susan Stroman is some kind of genius. This kick-ass West End premiere, now happily...

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Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre

There’s a moment of stunned silence in Imelda Staunton’s storming Mama Rose at the Chichester Festival Theatre, a long, long, moment where neither speaking nor singing she conclusively demonstrates what a difference a great actress makes in this...

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Six of the best: Theatre

PLAYSElectra, Old Vic **** Kristin Scott Thomas continues her sensational partnership with Ian Rickson in Sophocles. Until 20 DecKing Charles III, Wyndham's Theatre **** Pigott-Smith is the jewel in the crown of a provocative political comedy. Until...

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Here Lies Love, National Theatre

The National Theatre's new Dorfman auditorium gets off to a kick-ass start with Here Lies Love, the Off Broadway musical transplant that does for the closing months of Nicholas Hytner's tenure as artistic director what Jerry Springer the Opera did...

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Urinetown, Apollo Theatre

It's tempting with this show less to write a review per se than to simply pile on the puns, but that would be to piss on - sorry, I meant do a disservice to - both the musical that is Urinetown and to the exceptionally deft UK premiere that the...

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Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

“It takes a star to parody one,” wrote theartsdesk’s Edward Seckerson, nailing the essence of this immortal spoof-fest’s last incarnation at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Star quality was assured given the presence of Damian Humbley, peerless in...

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The Lion, St James Theatre Studio

This has been a busy season for Off Broadway musicals crossing the pond to London, from Dessa Rose and Dogfight to Forbidden Broadway and See Rock City. But for simplicity of approach coupled with swiftness of emotional attack, Benjamin Scheuer's...

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Prom 21: Kiss Me, Kate, John Wilson Orchestra

“Another Op'nin', Another Show”. The first musical number of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate sets the scene for a group of actors and hoofers to brush up their Shakespeare, cross their fingers and hold on to their hearts, and to hope that not too much...

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'Gimme a vodka and a floorplan': Elaine Stritch remembered

My (very) small haul of autographs collected as a schoolboy ran the gamut from Peter Pears to Linda McCartney but even back then I knew the classiest signature I bagged was that of Elaine Stritch. Years later, she was described as someone who went...

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Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory

Since 1982 it’s been open season on the great and the good of Broadway musicals. It was in that very year that a chap called Gerard Alessandrini created Forbidden Broadway and from the hitherto innocuous sidelines of the fringe set out to cut any...

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Goddess

Women everywhere may start cutting loose in their kitchens after seeing Goddess, a sweet if slight Australian film that suggests a hybrid of Mamma Mia! and Shirley Valentine. Adapted (and greatly expanded) from a solo play written and performed by...

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