wed 01/02/2023

musicals

Allegiance, Charing Cross Theatre review - George Takei's childhood story makes a heartfelt musical

Like families, nations have secrets: dirty linen that they prefer not to expose to the light of day. Patriotic myths need to be protected, heroic narratives shaped, good guy reputations upheld. In 1942, the USA rounded up Japanese-Americans and...

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Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - Scrooge goes to Tennessee

We’ve had 75 years to get used to Scrooge McDuck, so we can hardly complain if the Americans indulge in a little cultural appropriation and send Charles Dickens’ misanthrope to Depression-era Tennessee for another whirl on the catharsis-redemption...

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Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre review - bombastic musical let down by its songs

What do you mean you haven’t heard of the newsboys’ strike of 1899? It’s a classic David and Goliath story: a group of New York kids selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer (him of the prize), who take a stand when their boss tries to charge them 20...

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Hex, National Theatre review - 12 months after being sent to sleep by Covid, Rufus Norris's show is back

Hovering way, way above us, three aptly named high fairies, in voluminous chiffon, open a show that may not be airy in the metaphorical sense, but invites us to cast our eyes upwards continually – no bad thing to do in the bleak midwinter of 2022....

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Matilda the Musical review - a dizzying, smartly subversive delight

I bow to no one in my affection for Matilda the Musical onstage, which I've loved across multiple iterations, from Stratford-upon-Avon to the West End and Broadway, and numerous cast changes, too.But Matthew Warchus's screen iteration of his Roald...

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Elf, Dominion Theatre review - hit musical revival slays it again

Just about the three toughest tricks to pull off in the theatre are making a musical, making a family show and making characters so charming that even the most cynical in the house are pulling for the little guy (or not so little in this case). So...

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From Here to Eternity, Charing Cross Theatre review - Pearl Harbour musical fails to fly

Whorehouses, gay prostitution and suicide – you can see why James Jones’ bestselling 1951 novel was bowdlerised by the publishers and sanitised into subtext by Hollywood for the Oscar-laden movie released a couple of years later. As the extensive...

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Tammy Faye, Almeida Theatre review - Elton John's often dazzling new musical

I’ll confess to a certain schadenfreude when the American televangelists who seemed so foreign to us Brits were led away to be papped on their perp walks, ministers in manacles: One big name after another skewered on their own hubris, gulling the...

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Ride, Charing Cross Theatre review - A true story of female empowerment

Who tells your story? Something of a theme in new musicals since Hamilton posed the question in those long ago pre-Covid, pre-inflation days. In Ride, the once famous cyclist who had hardly ever ridden a bike, Annie Londonderry, circumvents the...

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Into The Woods, Theatre Royal Bath review - If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise

What will get audiences back into theatres? Revivals of old favourites. Works from popular genres like musicals. Pantomimes. This production of Into The Woods kinda ticks all those boxes, but it also ticks the box that matters most. It is a unique...

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Treason The Musical In Concert, Theatre Royal Drury Lane review - plenty of musical gunpowder but not enough plot

A semi-staged concert performance of a musical is a little like a third trimester ultrasound scan. You should see the anatomy in development, the shape of what is to come and, most importantly, discern a heart beating at its centre. But you can’t...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! / Hiya Dolly!

Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder!, Summerhall ★★★★★ What a pleasure to be in the audience for this terrific musical whodunnit, about best friends Kathy (Bronté Barbé ) and Stella (Rebekah Hinds), who live in Hull and have a podcast devoted...

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