mon 28/07/2014

musicals

Six of the best: Theatre

PLAYS Hotel, National Theatre **** Polly Stenham’s brilliant new play is a terrifying thriller set in a luxury tropical resort. Until 2 AugLet The Right One In, Apollo Theatre **** A triumphant transfer for the beautiful, melancholy vampire...

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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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Carousel, Arcola Theatre

How do you solve a problem like a musical? Rodgers and Hammerstein's ambitious Carousel seems tailor-made for expansive venues like the National Theatre, where Nicholas Hytner memorably revived this show in 1992: diminutive spaces need not apply....

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Jersey Boys

Given that Jersey Boys is about a singer, Frankie Valli, whose voice - or so we are told within the first five minutes - constitutes "a gift from god", it's a shame Clint Eastwood's film of the stage musical smash hit doesn't feel more heaven-sent....

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The Pajama Game, Shaftesbury Theatre

On the Richter scale of catchiness Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’s songs for The Pajama Game are right up there. Quite who did what in their brief but shining songwriting partnership was never entirely clear, though Adler claimed supremacy in the...

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Sunny Afternoon, Hampstead Theatre

The Kinks’ music deserves more than another jukebox musical. Joe Penhall has instead collaborated with Ray Davies on a show about the pain and compromise musicians go through to fill those jukeboxes. Most of The Kinks’ biggest hits are here...

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theartsdesk in Sydney: Strictly Ballroom's back

"Everyone is beautiful when they dance,” oozes the ballroom MC in the midst of a competition that reveals just how un-beautiful terpsichorean people can be when seriously challenged by other dancers, or by anyone radical enough to try to dance to a...

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The Beautiful Game, Union Theatre

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton's musical was first seen in the West End in 2000, where it received mixed reviews and ran for just under a year. In 2009-10, they reworked the show for productions in Canada and South Africa under the title The Boys...

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Savoy Theatre

The “fantasy” Riviera conjured by designer Peter McKintosh for the West End premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - the Musical is pretty much an extension of the Savoy Theatre’s shining Art Deco auditorium, its sleek angular segments gliding into...

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I Can't Sing!, London Palladium

The names have been changed to protect the guilty but half the fun of I Can’t Sing! - the so-called X-Factor musical - lies in the relentless spoofing of a show we love to hate and a format so unremittingly predictable that its contestants, judges,...

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