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Eternal guilt: Dorian The Musical @SWKplay

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Dorian is a new musical that updates Oscar Wilde’s gothic novel from the uptight Victorian era to an undetermined period of gender fluidity and glam rock. On paper, musicalising the Picture of Dorian Gray to a period of glam rock, social media, and cheap shoes seems like a good idea. After all, Oscar Wilde’s gothic story is very adaptable. It has been the source of countless adaptations for the stage, television or movies. I was half expecting a trashy Dorian, similar to the early 1980s telemovie that shifted Dorian’s gender to a woman. This version falls into a so bad it’s good category with Anthony Perkins in a lead role, who as he ages under makeup starts to look like Andy Warhol.  And while it’s great to see a new show, a strong cast can’t compensate for such an earnest production with underpowered songs. There’s no sense of fun, and some curious staging and costume choices  -mismatched dresses, crocodile boots and furry suits - serve as a distraction. It’s currently playing at th

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