sat 25/01/2020

musicals

Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in...

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Les Misérables, Sondheim Theatre review - join in our crusade

Do you hear the people sing? In recent months, you're more likely to have heard news stories about the longest running West End musical than the actual music. Stephen Sondheim – who celebrates his 90th birthday in March – missed the gala opening of...

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Celebrating the musicals of Jerry Herman (1931-2019)

How is it that, in the nearly 900 pages of Sondheim's collected lyrics with extensive comments Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat, with numerous special boxes celebrating other composers and lyricists, he managed to mention Jerry Herman only...

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Girl From The North Country, Gielgud Theatre review – poignant collaboration between Conor McPherson and Bob Dylan

Despair hangs like mildew over the small iron-ore mining town of Duluth, Minnesota, where dreams go to die, and the living haunt the clapped-out buildings like lost souls. This poignant collaboration between playwright Conor McPherson and Bob Dylan...

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Cats review - feline freakiness

Tom Hooper’s freakily phantasmagoric visualisation of an already strange West End smash is a high-wire act risking the sniggers which greeted its trailer. And yet it never falls, sustaining a subtly hallucinatory, wholly theatrical reality. Doubling...

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Curtains, Wyndham's Theatre review - unexpectedly giddy fun

Who knew? This West End premiere of the 2007 Broadway entry from the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) secured a prime holiday-season slot at the last minute when this playhouse's previous entry, The Man...

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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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