Archive for March, 2008

I’d Do Anything – week 3 report

I’d Do Anything logo

This post refers to the live shows of 29th & 30th March 2008.
If you are looking for my post on I’d Do Anything for 7th April, click here
If you are looking for my latest post on I’d Do Anything for 13th April, click here

I’d Do Anything is well and truly underway; the first live show is complete and the first potential Nancy has left the building… but how was week 3?

Continue reading ‘I’d Do Anything – week 3 report’

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The Friday musical round-up: 28th March

It’s Friday, so is this is my last post of the week, and the first of what I hope will become a regular weekly article – a very brief round-up of musical theatre news from the last week. I’ll keep it in bullet point form, and if something needs more explanation, I’ll link to it!

And so, this week…

  1. Maria Friedman Re-arranged opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory, where it will run until the 4th May (for more info, click here, or read my review here)
  2. 12 finalists were selected to go forward to the live shows of I’d Do Anything, starting from tomorrow night (see what I thought here)
  3. Royal Festival Hall announced that this year’s summer musical will be The Wizard of Oz, directed by South Bank Centre’s artistic director, Jude Kelly (book tickets here)
  4. Desmond Barrit was confirmed as the newest member of Wicked – he will take over the role of the Wizard from Nigel Planer, who originated the role in London
  5. Into The Hoods, a hip-hop adaptation of Sondheim musical Into The Woods, opened at the Novello Theatre, garnering superb reviews (to see 2 of them, click here or here)
  6. Rowan Atkinson was announced as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’ upcoming production of Oliver, which will be on at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Have a great weekend.

How frustrating: ‘Curtains’ is closing on Broadway

Curtains Broadway poster

I’m going to New York in August with a plan to see a few musicals. Hopefully this will go some way to making up for the fact that the majority of West End musicals shows right now seem to be long-runners or jukebox shows (see interesting in The Times here)

One of the shows at the top of my list is Curtains, the last show written by long-time collaborators John Kander and Fred Ebb before the latter’s death in 2004. Great news too – less than 2 weeks ago, the lead actors (most notably David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk and Karen Ziemba) signed up for a further 6 months (see announcement here)

Strangely, barely a week after announcing the extension, Curtains had just posted its closing notices (see announcement here, and will now finish on June 29th (more than a month before I arrive in New York!). It’s unclear exactly what changed in March, but it’s frustrating for me all the same.

Continue reading ‘How frustrating: ‘Curtains’ is closing on Broadway’

Review: Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre)

Zoë Wanamaker and Simon Russell Beale in Much Ado About Nothing

I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see Much Ado About Nothing at the National on Tuesday night. The show closes on Saturday, so you only have 5 more chances to see the show, although I suspect that at this very late stage it’s practically impossible to get hold of a ticket.

I’m no Shakespeare expert (if you’ve read my blog, you’ll see that I spend more of my time watching musical theatre than I do classical theatre), but I was thoroughly impressed by both the play and the production.

A few thoughts, in no particular order, about the production…

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Review round-up: What the critics said about God of Carnage

God of Carnage

God of Carnage opened last night at the Gielgud Theare. I had a ticket to see the show during previews, but I found myself in Brussels for the day and unfortunately had to give up my seat. I plan to rebook soon to form my own judgement, but in the meantime, I couldn’t help looking at today’s reviews.

The cast and creative team is incredibly strong, so expectations were understandably high. The play is written by Yasmin Reza, who is most famous for Art, which was a huge success in London. As with Art, God of Carnage is translated by the phenomenal Christopher Hampton, a translater and adaptor whose previous work has included Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Embers.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, fresh from his success with Boeing Boeing, it has a star-studded cast of Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer and Ken Stott (who, incidentally, was also in the original cast of Art). 

But as we all know, having big names does not guarantee positive reviews… thankfully for the producers of God of Carnage, the reviews appear to have been very positive. In fact, of the ‘quality’ newspapers, only the Independent are critical. Michael Billington, Charles Spencer and Benedict Nightingale are all impressed as you’ll see if you read on:

Continue reading ‘Review round-up: What the critics said about God of Carnage’

Recommended Website – CastAlbums.org

CastAlbums.org website

I recently discovered a fantastic website, and wanted to share it with you. If you love musical theatre, then this really is an invaluable resource.

As the name suggests, CastAlbums.org is a searchable database of audio and video recordings, but it really is so much more than that. It combines aspects of an online shop, database and community – just think of a musical theatre-themed combination of amazon, imdb and myspace.

 The thing that struck me initially was the sheer volume of data included – the database already includes more than 3000 shows, 30,000 songs, and close to 50,000 people. It includes both official cast recordings and non-commercial recordings like demos and live recordings. Perhaps most importantly, I really trust the data as it has been built up by people who know and care about musical theatre – the site’s ‘users’, which currently number ~1700.

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I’d Do Anything – week 2 report

Originally posted on 23rd March

Final 12 Nancys

We’re now 2 weeks into the BBC’s new series, ‘I’d do anything’, and the final 12 girls have been chosen to go through to the live shows.

I’ve actually really enjoyed the first 2 weeks of the show, although I’m finding the search for an Oliver a bit of a distraction still – maybe that will change from next week but I’m still not convinced. I’m also slightly disappointed that Cameron Mackintosh won’t be on the show every week…

Personally, I found some of the ‘story-telling’ on the first 2 shows highly irritating – it felt like most of the contestants had a sob-story to tell. Personally I want to hear people singing, and I think the BBC went a little overboard on this part. Let’s concentrate on whether people are talented from now on…

Thankfully, there appear to be some really strong finalists this year, so I’m excited about the competition we can expect to see in the coming weeks.

Continue reading ‘I’d Do Anything – week 2 report’


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