thu 11/02/2016

musicals

Six of the best: Theatre

PLAYSMa Rainey's Black Bottom, National Theatre ★★★★★ August Wilson's Broadway debut dazzles anew. Until 18 MayEscaped Alone, Royal Court Theatre ★★★★★ New Caryl Churchill play creates a fantasy world where banality is infected...

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Guys and Dolls, Savoy Theatre

The seemingly eternal British love affair with Guys and Dolls continues apace with the (somewhat recast) transfer to London of the Chichester production from two summers ago, and a more buoyant way to inaugurate the new theatrical year is hard to...

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Dr Seuss's The Lorax, Old Vic

You'll feel guilty for having bothered with a programme after seeing The Lorax, the Dr Seuss adaptation that puts saving the environment centre-stage at the Old Vic just as the recent climate change gathering in Paris has done on the world stage....

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Funny Girl, Menier Chocolate Factory

It's hard not to invoke the B word - Barbra, that is, not Brice - and I speak as one who bunked off school to catch her at a midweek matinee when Funny Girl first played London almost 50 years ago. It was standing room only at the Prince of Wales...

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Elf, Dominion Theatre

This new family musical, based on the popular 2003 Will Ferrell film, has rightly been censured for its extortionate seating prices, hosting the West End’s most expensive top-end tickets at £267.50 a pop – and that’s without the drinks, ice cream...

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CD: Sara Bareilles - What's Inside: Songs from Waitress

A pop album drawn from a musical could be off-putting to some. Images of Glee spring to mind or a tweenypop version of Idina Menzel – both of which seem quite a departure from Sara Bareilles’ hugely popular hits "Love Song", "Gravity" or most...

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Xanadu, Southwark Playhouse

It trashed Olivia Newton-John’s film career, halted the movie-musical revival, and was so critically reviled it led to the creation of the Razzies. How, then, could the stage version of hubristic 1980 flop Xanadu become a 2007 Broadway hit? The...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Ray Davies

The Kinks were 50 last year and nagging talk of a reunion is still in the ether. In the absence of the real thing, there is a double-disc greatest hits album out this month which will surf the wave of latter-day Kinksmania. Meanwhile a kind of Kinks...

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Sweeney Todd, Welsh National Opera

If nothing else, Stephen Sondheim’s best-known work will put you off pies; it will put you off barbers; and it may in the end put you off Sondheim. Popular though it seems to be with planners and programmers, it’s sluggish and heavy going as drama...

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DVD: London Road

It’s a long old haul from the MGM musical to London Road. Alecky Blythe’s hugely original account of the murder in 2006 of five sex workers in Ipswich emerged from a set of interviews with local residents. At the National Theatre it grew into a...

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Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre

If the shoe fits, they say, wear it. But in truth there's always been a bit of a size differential between Kinky Boots, the modest urban Brit-flick set in a struggling shoe factory, and the Cyndi Lauper/Harvey Fierstein musical that it spawned,...

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HMS Pinafore, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

At the beginning of Act Two of John Savournin’s production of HMS Pinafore, the quarterdeck is in darkness. Kevin Greenlaw’s Captain Corcoran steps out of his cabin, downs a brandy stiffener, and launches into his melancholy lament to the moon....

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