Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It’s not where you start: Songs for A New World @St_JamesTheatre


Twenty years after it first premiered Off-Broadway, the song-cycle / revue Songs For A New World at the St James Theatre serves as a useful introduction to composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown’s early work.

It’s initially exciting to watch four accomplished performers (mostly) handle his vocally demanding work. But the effect of 90 minutes of his music straight through makes you feel as if you are trapped in a world that is a bit repetitive.

It starts out spectacularly with the opening number “The New World”, a song about starting over. And then there is a song about endings, another about loss, and another about new beginnings. By the half way point, the limitations of the music become apparent.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Moderately modern Milly: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers @OpenAirTheatre


Fancy footwork and star performances from Alex Gaumond and Laura Pitt-Pullford make Regents Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers a memorable and magical night out... Assuming it doesn’t rain...

Don’t let the central premise of mountain men who kidnap women to make them their brides put you off. While it is typical battle of the sexes stuff, the women hold the upper hand throughout. Besides there are enough tuneful songs and spectacular (and at times jaw-dropping) dancing that propel the story at breathtaking speed, that there is little time to think too much about the plot.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Cabaret sisters doing it for themselves: Sibling Revelry @HippodromeLDN


It would be fair to say that Ann Hampton Callaway and her sister Liz Callaway raised the roof with their sensational cabaret show at the London Hippodrome. Smart and engaging with some terrific witty banter, it is hard to imagine a better show in London at the moment.

Both are stars of New York’s cabaret scene and have both been Tony Award-nominated for their performances in major Broadway musicals. Music is clearly in their bones having grown up in a musical family. They have had acclaimed careers in their own right but the show is is an opportunity to update the show they performed together back at the Donmar in 1996.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Ambiguously Straight: Bromance @udderbellyfest @bmtroupe


Flying by the seat of your pants takes on greater meaning with circus troupe Barely Methodical and their latest offering Bromance, which is at the Udderbelly Festival on the South Bank until 19 July.

The three performers, Beren D’Amico, Louis Gift and Charlie Wheeller, fuse circus performance with their expertise in martial arts tricking, parkour and breakdancing; not to mention some hilarious comic interactions for a thrilling hour.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The importance of being earnest: The Dreamers @St_JamesTheatre


The Dreamers is more a semi-staged music piece than a piece of musical theatre, but once you get over that (and the feeling you are watching an important and earnest history lesson), it is a fascinating story about Capt Reggie Salomons, who died while trying to save his men at Gallipoli in 1915.

With original words and music by Kent-based musicians James Beeny and Gina Georgio, this production which originated in Tunbridge Wells last year and is now at the St James Theatre.