Archive for July, 2008

My month and a half of musicals

It’s the end of July and if the Ambassador Theatre Group are anything to go by, producers are worrying about how they’re going to fill their theatres over the summer months. ATG have launched Summer Saver, a website where you can book the best tickets in the house for £25 for a host of big shows… But whilst August appears to be a quiet time for theatres, it seems to be a busy patch for me.

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I’d Do Anything’s Samantha Barks is Sally Bowles

Another one of the runners up from ‘I’d Do Anything’ has been cast in a show, and rather unsurprisingly, it’s Bill Kenwright who is responsible. 3rd placed Samantha Barks will be playing the part of Sally Bowles in his upcoming tour production of Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, opposite dancer Wayne Sleep.

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Review: West Side Story (Sadler’s Wells)

After the mild disappointment of my trip to see The Wizard of Oz on Saturday, yesterday was the turn of West Side Story at Sadler’s Wells, which made up for any lingering disappointment.

I’m not going to write too much about West Side Story, as I’m not sure I can do justice to either the show, or the production itself. There has also been a lot written about it, given that this year marks the show’s 50th anniversary. If you are interested, I plan to do a bit of a round-up of the articles and reviews later this week (but if you can’t wait until then, check out the Guardian editorial or a Times article.

But first, what did I think about the show?

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Review: The Wizard of Oz (Royal Festival Hall)

I was originally due to be seeing The Wizard of Oz  next week, and even managed to book tickets. Unfortunately, I then couldn’t make the performance, so it was looking like I wouldn’t get to see the Festival Hall’s summer musical. Fortunately, we managed to pick up a couple of last minute tickets for last night’s show.

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Review: Marguerite (Theatre Royal Haymarket)

I went to see Marguerite at the Theatre Royal Haymarket last night. If you haven’t heard about the show yet (pretty unlikely if you follow musical theatre!), it’s a collaboration between Michel Legrand, the team behind Les Mis and Miss Saigon (Alain Boubil, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer) and Jonathan Kent (who also directed the show).

Since the show opened a while back, I had already read most the reviews in the newspapers. Obviously I made up my own mind about the show and as if often the case, there was plenty that I didn’t agree with… so I’ve decided to write this post as a direct comparison of my views compared to the critics.

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The Friday musical round-up: 18th July

This week’s update includes news of 2 show openings, 1 piece of casting news and a couple of show announcements. I’d expect the number of announcements to increase in the coming weeks as shows confirm casts or finalise theatres.

In the meantime, here’s my round-up of what has happened this week.

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Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Adelphi Theatre)

Despite booking tickets months ago, I only actually got round to seeing Joseph last night. I blame ‘the Lee Mead effect’ for having to wait this long – the only performances with availability for a large group were those when Lee was on holiday. As you can imagine, no-one was happy with that option – why see the show without its star!

It was therefore with a great deal of anticipation that I entered the Adelphi last night, and in hindsight, I’d say that the show only partly met my expectations. When I reviewed the Mountview Showcase last week, I limited my post to highlights and lowlights, and I’m going to do something similar with last night’s show. If you want to read a more traditional review, you can see a positive one in the Times or a negative one in the Guardian.

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