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Showing posts with the label Nick Barstow

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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road @JsTheatre

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  Time heals everything they say. It has been over thirty years since London has seen I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road. And watching it at the  Jermyn Street Theatre  is like a trip back in time. When you arrive there is a band getting ready for the show, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a cabaret spot from the 1970s. Complete with pantsuits, glitter makeup and records on the wall. It is a terrific looking production that makes you feel like walking down the steps to the theatre you have been in a time machine.  But with its handful of songs and themes about the role of women, it almost feels as it time has stood still. The dialogue may be firmly rooted in the 1970s (and often a bit predictable), but the themes of female empowerment and being independent seem as if we haven't come so far since..

Adult themes and other tunes: Closer Than Ever @ThePheasantry

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Closer Than Ever, which had a brief run at The Pheasantry last week, was a musical appreciation of the more serious works of Richard Maltby Jr and David Shire. With its provocative subject matter and jazz infused score I am hoping it won't be long before we see it return. Closer Than Ever follows on from Maltby and Shire's earlier revue, Starting Here Starting Now. The latter had songs of innocence and wit, here the stories are more reflective about the compromises, disappointments and other charms of adult life. Getting old, mid-life crises, sex during lunch breaks. It's all laid bare here. Many of the songs had been intended for shows (five of them were cut from the musical Baby). Others were musical ideas that Maltby had been compiling over the years. It is intriguing that many of these songs don't seemed to be performed much as cabaret standards. Given many of the songs dramatic and comic potential hopefully this revue will inspire more mining of the Malby