tue 02/09/2014

musicals

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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Six of the best: Theatre

PLAYSA Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic **** Gillian Anderson seems born to play Blanche DuBois, in this inventive and intense rendering of the Williams classic. Until 19 SeptMedea, National Theatre **** An updating of Euripides which retains its...

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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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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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