Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Review: If/Then

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of If/Then.
Now as some of you may have read from my tweet last night when I got to the theatre they told us some soul-crushing news: Idina Menzel would not be performing. Now because of this a lot of people decided to get refunds so the theatre was half-empty. However I had promised you guys a review so I decided to still see it. I had also seen it last August and loved it so wanted to see it again. I unfortunately didn't enjoy it as much this time but it was still great to see again. But enough about that, lets talk about the storyline. It had a great storyline that, as I have said before, is a little similar to Constellations. It's about choices we have to make in a split-second which could change our future so drastically. They also have amazing songs and a great cast that included fantastic actors such as: Jackie Burns who was understudying the role of Elizabeth Vaughn, LaChanze as Kate, Anthony Rapp as Lucas, James Snyder as Josh Barton, Jerry Dixon as Stephen, Jenn Colella as Anne, Jason Tam as David and finally Tamika Lawrence as Elena. I loved the set and liked how it was on two levels. Finally it was very emotional and even had me crying towards the end during a very emotional bit which I wont say as I don't want to spoil it for everyone. But one negative I have is that the dancers seemed a little bit tired. In August they seemed so energized but last night maybe they were a little thrown off because Idina wasn't there. It seemed this was the case with a few of the actors. The problem was that the role of Elizabeth was written for Idina and that is why I don't agree with writing roles for specific actors. The show without Idinia Menzel is like having the sun without it's glow. However saying that Jackie was amazing at this role and had great chemistry with James Snyder, even better chemistry than he has with Idina Menzel. Jackie is an amazing singer and I think she should be playing a lead role somewhere instead of just being an understudy. I am actually glad I got to see her perform because she is extremely talented.

The featured star of If/Then is, drum roll please… JACKIE BURNS!


Just to reiterate what I said she is an amazing actress and singer and I hope after If/Then she will be playing a lead role somewhere.

Now for my final verdict on If/Then. I give If/Then...


I find it a shame that If/Then is closing as it used to be one of my favourite musicals! All well, I guess some things are just not meant to be!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below. 

I would just like to say I have had an amazing time here in New York and I would like to say well done to all the talented stars on Broadway. I hope to come again soon. Join me next time when I will be reviewing Jersey Boys.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Review: Chicago (Broadway Feb 2015)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Chicago.
Now originally I wasn't planning to see this, however there are very few Broadway shows on Monday's so when we heard this was on on Monday's it seemed quite an interesting show so we decided to add a little bonus into our holiday. I am very glad we did because this was the best Broadway show we saw all holiday. Let me start with the singing and dancing. Their timing was impeccable! Also unlike some shows where you have a weak link, there was no weak link in this show. The cast also worked great together and I can agree with every decision the casting director made. This fabulous cast included Jennifer Nettles as Roxie Hart, who brought a refreshing energy to the stage, Carly Hughes as Velma Kelly, who is just an all-round perfect performer and a pleasure to watch, Alexander Gemignani as Billy Flynn, who could certainly hold his notes for what seemed like forever, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, who portrayed his role excellently as the ever doting husband of Roxy, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron "Mama" Morton, who sang her heart out beautifully. This is an amazing show and enjoyable for all ages from 10-100. I only have one negative for this fabulous show and that was I didn't like Mary Sunshine's costume. Apart from that this show was great and a must-see to all in New York.

The featured star of Chicago is, drum roll please... CARLY HUGHES!


Carly Hughes has managed to win featured star with the help of her amazing acting, singing and dancing. She is an all round great performer.

Now for my final verdict on Chicago. I give Chicago... 


If I ever came to Broadway again I would love to see this again! Chicago will now be on my top list of favourite musicals!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing my final Broadway show If/Then.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had major cast changes since this review, for an updated review please visit: http://thebasictheatrereview.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/review-chicago-april-2015.html.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Review: The Audience

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Audience.
Now this isn't something I would usually see but I though as it had Helen Mirren, why not! I was really glad I came to see it because it was great. First of all the cast were amazing. Certain cast members who stood out for me were Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, who was absolutely stunning at this role, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson, who has come from the original cast in the West End and was a pleasure to watch throughout the whole show, Dakin Matthews as Winston Churchill, who put on a very convincing English accent and Geoffrey Beavers as The Queen's Equerry, who has also come from the original West End production. The costumes and makeup were also amazing as they managed to make Helen Mirren become so many different ages. It was also great to see the various relationships between the Queen and her twelve Prime Ministers. For instance she had a really sweet friendship with Harold Wilson, but she seemed to have a really awkward relationship with Margaret Thatcher. It also taught me a lot about our history that I didn't know before. To top off this great play it also was very funny. Considering it was a drama it made me laugh a lot. Funny, interesting and Helen Mirren, what more could you want in a play? The only negative I have about this show is that Dylan Baker as John Major had an accent that started as English, but slipped back to American at times. His acting was good but this accent really needs to be sorted out. I felt this spoilt the show a bit as he was supposed to be portraying a famous English prime minister. I hope this will be fixed before opening night. Apart from this the show was fantastic!

The featured star of The Audience is, drum roll please... HELEN MIRREN!


Her acting as the Queen is so real that it blows my mind. I cannot think of anyone else who could ever portray this role as well as she does. 

Now for my final verdict on The Audience. I give The Audience...



I really thought I wouldn't like this show so I was amazed at how good it was! 

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Chicago.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Review: Constellations (Broadway)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Constellations.
Now after seeing A Delicate Balance I was terrified about this show being awful. Well how wrong I was! This was such an amazing show. Between Nick Payne's writing and Michael Longhurst's directing this was genius. This idea was so abstract I couldn't get over how great it was. It was about how one little decision can make such a massive impact on your life. They replayed the scenes over and over again and saw how doing one little thing different can change the universe. The acting was also great, especially with Ruth Wilson as Marianne who brought me close to tears. It also had some very emotionally challenging subjects including Marianne having a brain tumor and wanting to have an injection to end her life. It was so true to life. It reminded me a little bit of If/Then. It also made me think about my life and how my life could be so different if I hadn't done certain things. The only things that I didn't like about this show were that Jake's supposed English accent sounded Australian. However when we asked some people afterwards they said they thought his accent sounded spot-on. I guess it's only English people who would notice things like that. I often find when Americans are trying to put on English accents they sound Australian. The only other thing I can criticize is that it was really short for a Broadway show (well for any show) and I think it could have been at least an hour and a half. I also didn't particually like the swearing. Overall this show was fantastic and I would recommend for everyone to see it!

The featured star of Constellations is, drum roll please... RUTH WILSON!


Ruth made both the audience laugh and cry, and that takes a really good actor to do. She was also really on the ball between changing scenes and it was good how she changed the scene each time by using different emphasis on certain words.

Now for my final verdict on Constellations. I give Constellations...


This show was pure genius! I hear it is coming to tour in the UK so I hope to see it again!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Audience.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Review: A Delicate Balance

Hey readers!
It's time for my review on A Delicate Balance.
Now I hate to say this but this was one of the worst shows I have ever seen! First of all it was way too long. It lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes and I got bored in first 25 minutes. I don't mean to be rude but by act 3 I was falling asleep. It felt like torture. I understand it was only a play (not a reference to It's Only a Play) but it had no action. I don't know what Edward Albee was thinking when he wrote this dreary storyline. All that happened was this couple and the wife's alcoholic sister were living in this house when their neighbours moved in as well as their daughter. The daughter doesn't like that her room has been taken so everyone fights and the neighbours move out. THE END. I could have written a better play in my sleep. Most of the parts of the play were utterly pointless as well. It seems A Delicate Balance is not to the English taste. The only good things I can say about the show were that the acting was really good. Glenn Close as Agnes, John Lithgow as Tobias and Lindsay Duncan as Claire were really great at their roles and their professionalism saved the play. I also thought the set was very good and at times the show was amusing. All I can say about this show it was certainly an experience! I found it a bit of a shame as I was really looking forward to it.

The featured star of A Delicate Balance is, drum roll please... GLENN CLOSE!


Edward Ablee should be grateful for Glenn Close because she saved the show from being a total train-wreck.

Now for my final verdict on A Delicate Balance. I give A Delicate Balance...


I was so excited to see Glenn Close, John Lithgow and Lindsay Duncan! I guess somethings just don't work out!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Constellations.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Review: It's Only a Play

Hey readers!                                                                                                              
It's time for my first ever Broadway review It's Only a Play.
Now this was a hilarious play with a good all-round cast. The show really had me laughing out loud which not many shows can do. I had read some really bad reviews about the cast not working well together and the timing being really awful but personally I disagree with those comments. I feel the cast really worked well together with their timing being great. The great cast included Katie Finneran as Julia Budder, the novice producer of 'The Golden Egg', Matthew Broderick as Peter Austin, the playwright of 'The Golden Egg', Martin Short as James Wicker, a TV sitcom star, Isabel Keating who was understudying as Virginia Noyes, a has-been actress now in rehab, F. Murray Abraham as Ira Drew, the infamous theatre critic, and Micah Stock as Gus P. Head, the cloakroom assistant. Now some people might notice I didn't include Maulik Pancholy as Frank Finger, that's because I didn't feel he was quite as good as the others. I think Maulik is a great actor, but this isn't a role that suited him. I know it must have been tough to fill Rupert Grint's shoes, but I think they should have chosen another British actor. Other criticism I have for the show is that it was a bit lengthly and got a little boring at bits. And personally I didn't really like the swearing. Overall the show was very good though.

The featured star of It's Only a Play is, drum roll please... MARTIN SHORT!


Martin did an amazing job of filling Nathan Lane's shoes and most of the time I was laughing during the show was whenever he said a joke. 

Now for my final verdict of It's Only a Play. I give It's Only a Play...


I loved this show and it is great opening to my NY holiday!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below. 

Join me next time when I will be reviewing A Delicate Balance.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer 

*Please note this show has now closed.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Review: The Ruling Class

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Ruling Class.
Now this is by far one of my favourite plays of all time. I knew very little about this show and this made me love it even more. I never knew what would come next. I was always on the edge of my seat waiting for the next plot-twist. This show never got boring. The show also had amazing actors, including: James McAvoy as Jack the 14th Earl of Gurney, Ron Cook as Sir Charles Gurney, Kathryn Drysdale as Grace Shelly, Joshua McGuire as Dinsdale Gurney, Anthony O'Donnell as Daniel Tucker, Michael Cronin as Bishop Bertie Lampton, Serena Evans as Lady Clare Gurney, Elliot Levey as Dr. Herder, Paul Leonard as the 13th Earl of Gurney, Mrs. Piggot-Jones, McKlye's Assistant, Detective Inspector Brockett, and Second Lord and finally Forbes Masson as the Toastmaster, Matthew Peake, Mrs. Treadwell, McKyle, Kelso Truscott Q.C, Detective Sergeant Fraser and First Lord. The cast really gelled well together which helped the play be as great as it was. They had an amazing portrayal of English aristocratic greed and pompousness. You were really brought into their lives and transported into their heads. However there were a few things about the show that I didn't like. First of all I didn't quite get why it was advertised as a comedy. It seemed like only 10% comedy and 90% drama. However that 10% was hilarious, but still too much drama for a comedy. I also feel they overdid it on the gore a bit and this could have been toned down just a little. I'm not sure what the movie is like, but if this version were a movie it would be a 15. The only other criticism I have is just for the venue. The seats were terribly un-comfy with the chairs being more like a bench. It was also baking hot with no air-conditioning. Besides all that the show was absolutely brilliant.

The featured star for The Ruling Class is, drum roll please… JAMES MCAVOY!


There was no one better for this role. He was amazing and I personally think he should win an award for this role.

Now for my final verdict on The Ruling Class. I give The Ruling Class…


I loved this show and hope to see it again! Although that's if I can bare the venue!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

I also have some exciting news. Tomorrow I will be travelling to New York and will be reviewing a few Broadway shows. So join me next time when I will be reviewing It's Only a Play.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Review: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (West End)

Hey readers!
It's now time for my review of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Now can I just say this is one of the best musicals of all time. This was my third time seeing it and it was as fresh as always. I'm going to start off with the amazing cast. In the past few months there have been various cast changes. Before going I was worried it wouldn't be as good with the cast changes, well boy was I wrong! All the cast members seem to have really good chemistry with each other. Usually with my reviews I only pick a few cast members who stand out, but I thought the cast were so good this time I am deciding to mention them all. Robert Lindsay as Lawrence Jameson, who is still as funny as ever, Alex Gaumond as Freddy Benson, who has taken over from Rufus Hound and doing a pretty epic job, Alice Fearn who was understudying as Christine Colgate, who considering she was understudying did an amazing job, Bonnie Langford as Muriel Eubanks, who has taken over from Samantha Bond who is also doing a fantastic job, Ben Fox as Inspector Andre Thibault, who has taken over from Gary Wilmot and is by far the funniest Andre throughout the entire run of the show, and last but certainly not least is Lizzy Connolly as Jolene Oakes, who is is still a joy to watch as usual. Also the set was amazing as it felt like the audience were swept away to the fictional town of Beaumont-Sur-Mer. The music was fantastic with every song being fun, upbeat and a joy all-round. It also helped the music that the orchestra were amazing, especially Richard John on the keyboard. Also the casts accents were very authentic with Robert Lindsay doing a German accent, Alex Gaumond, Alice Fearn and Lizzy Connolly doing American accents and Ben Fox doing a fantastically realistic French accent. To top it all off the costumes were also fantastic. I cannot think of anyway to fault the show and am very surprised it is closing. Now it's time for the featured star.

The featured star of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is, drum roll please… ALEX GAUMOND!


Alex Gaumond was the perfect choice for this role. From his amazing acting to his chemistry with the other actors he was superb! In my opinion he may even be better than Rufus Hound!

Now for my final verdict on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I give Dirty Rotten Scoundrels… 



Once again this is currently one of the best shows on the West End and I find it such a shame it is closing!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Ruling Class.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Review: Cats (West End)

Hey readers!
So it's time for my review of Cats.
Now I know this opinion may not be liked by others, but personally I didn't like this version of Cats. Cats used to be one of my favourite musicals, I saw it 3 times on DVD saw it on the German tour in 2011 and saw it last year on the UK tour. However seeing it this time it put me right off. I feel Andrew Lloyd Webber has tried to modernise the show a bit too much and it seems to have failed. It had many of the cast from the old UK tour, and yet something felt so different! First of all, what on earth have they done to the Rum Tum Tugger? When he first came on rapping, I wondered whether I was in the wrong theatre! This was not a proper song, it was a remix of the original. But the question is: why did they change it? Nobody asked for it to be changed. I don't seem to be alone with this opinion as I have been reading various tweets and many have had the same opinion as me. Of course I mean no offence to the actor, he did his best with what he had. Another thing was that in certain parts the dancers were not in time with each other. However it is possible they may have been rather tired as they had just done a matinĂ©e performance. There also seems to have been a bit of technical difficulty as during Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat all the microphones were off for the first minute of the song. Now enough of the bad stuff, lets try and think of some good stuff. Well first of all can I just say Nicole Scherzinger was amazing as Grizabella. She really hit the high notes. Other cast members who stood out for me were Joseph Poulton as Quaxo/Mr. Mistoffelees, Benjamin Yates as Mungojerrie and Dawn Williams as Rumpleteazer. Most of the songs were really good (You see, they can still be good without modernising them!) and the costumes looked very cat-like. Now in my last post I told you I would be picking out a featured star, so it's time for the first ever featured star in my reviews!

The featured star of Cats is, drum roll please… NICOLE SCHERZINGER!


I know I've already said this but Nicole was amazing! She is one of the best Grizabella's I have ever seen.

Now for my final verdict on Cats. I give Cats…


I went into the theatre really thinking this would be a five star show. Such a shame but hopefully this review will be read by somebody and they'll change it!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below. 

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Welcome

Hey readers!
So you may have come across my blog by chance and wondered why is it called the reviewer? What am I reviewing you may ask? Well I am reviewing theatre shows: west end shows, touring shows, I'll review them all!

In each post I will will review a different show talking about the good things and the bad. I will also give it a number out of five stars on it's quality and at towards the end of each review I will pick a selected cast member of the show who particularly stood out. In a few days I will be reviewing Cats so watch this space!

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer