mon 09/12/2019

musicals

The Boy Friend, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fun but featherweight

There’s slight (White Christmas, to name but one) and then there’s The Boy Friend, a period musical so unabashedly vaporous that if you sneeze, it might blow away. All credit then to the Menier Chocolate Factory for anchoring Sandy Wilson’s...

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White Christmas, Dominion Theatre review - breezy but bland

Nostalgia for things that probably never were is an animating theme in politics these days. Much the same feeling displaced to the realm of showbiz, lends a vaguely dampening air to White Christmas, this latest stage retread of the 1954 Bing...

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Frozen II review - the allure cools off

Frozen is possibly the most beloved Disney movie since the studio rediscovered its mojo in the 1990s. While picking up a couple of Oscars and laying waste to box office records, it had young girls immersing themselves in favourite characters...

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The Best Musicals in London

 Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre ★★★ Disney's latest blockbuster film-turned-stage show remains airborne – justCome From Away, Phoenix Theatre ★★★★ 9/11-themed musical crosses the Atlantic, capacious heart intactDear Evan Hansen, Noël...

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Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre review - this social outcast will steal your heart

Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an institution in the States, running on Broadway since 2016 and currently on its second year of a national tour. It also made a star...

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Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre review - a lavish but old-fashioned revival

It’s been 15 years since Cameron Mackintosh’s stage musical version of P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins made its West End debut. Now, the magical nanny returns to the Prince Edward Theatre, with Zizi Strallen (who also headlined the UK tour) succeeding...

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Ghost Quartet, Boulevard Theatre review - a beguiling journey into the beyond

London’s latest new theatre opens with an appropriately otherworldly Halloween offering: American composer Dave Malloy’s teeming 2014 song cycle, which played at the Edinburgh Festival in 2016. It’s a superb piece for demonstrating the benefits of...

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Assassins, Watermill Theatre, Newbury, review - Sondheim musical in scalding form

“Every now and then the country goes a little wrong”: so goes one of the many lyrics from the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Assassins that makes this 1990 Off Broadway musical (subsequently chosen to open Sam Mendes’ Donmar Warehouse in 1992...

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The Silver Lake, English Touring Opera review - shadows of the Weimar twilight

Almost exactly a century after the Weimar Republic’s constitution took effect, English Touring Opera presents a show whose birth coincided with the Republic's untimely death. His third collaboration with the prolific, maverick playwright Georg...

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CD: Mika - My Name is Michael Holbrook

When he arrived on the scene in the mid Noughties Mika – yes his name is Michael Holbrook – flew the flag for grandiose pop classicism. He had The Feeling as fellow travellers, and to an extent The Killers in their first wave of...

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Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, Wilton's Music Hall review - klezmer revue is moving and inventive

Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s “refugee musical” – now there’s a phrase you don’t expect to write – is a treat. Harking back to the early 20th century pogroms of Eastern Europe, it’s darkly steeped in history, conveying the sorrows of...

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Big the Musical, Dominion Theatre review - sweet if wildly overstretched

The work isn't finished on Big, if this stage musical of the beloved 1988 Tom Hanks film is ever to, um, make it big. A Broadway flop in 1996 where it was among the last shows directed by the late, much-admired Englishman Mike Ockrent, the material...

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