Friday, 29 May 2015

Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review on The Phantom of the Opera.
The Phantom of the Opera was a show I was very interested in seeing as I have seen Phantom twice in the West End and loved it. I unfortunately was not too keen on the Broadway version. It was still good, don't get me wrong, but just not as good as the West End. A few of the cast members really performed well, including Kaley Ann Voorhees as Christine Daaé, Jeremy Hays as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, Linda Balgord as Madame Giry, Kara Klein as Meg Giry and they had some really strong dancers in the ensemble. Christine and Raoul had really nice voices and that really showed during the song 'All I Ask of You'. They also had great costumes and the scenery and effects they used were incredible. James Barbour, who was playing Phantom, did not seem right for the role of Phantom. If I had never seen The Phantom of the Opera before I would've thought he was great, but the last Phantom I saw, who was Geronimo Rauch, was stunning so to me James's stage presence felt a bit lifeless. The two theatre managers, Monsieur Richard Firmin and Monsieur Gilles André, unfortunately didn't do the show justice. Usually they carry the comedy in the show, but they also seemed to have stage presences that were a bit lifeless. The same goes for the actors playing Carlotta Giudicelli and Ubaldo Piangi. It may be that these 5 actors were just very tired, or ill, yesterday. Perhaps they should have an alternate Phantom as they do with Christine? It wasn't a bad show and I am sure if there is anyone seeing Phantom for the first time they will love it.

The featured star of The Phantom of the Opera is, drum roll please… KALEY ANN VOORHEES!


I find it really surprising that Kaley was only the alternate Christine as to me she was born for this role. I hope after the current Christine leaves the show Kaley will take the role of Christine full time as she is such a talented singer. I am sure if she ever came to London she would get the role of Christine quicker before you can say 'The Phantom of the Opera'. 

Now for my final verdict on The Phantom of the Opera. I give The Phantom of the Opera… 


If I had never seen The Phantom of the Opera before, perhaps this may have gotten five stars. But overall they have some really good actors, singers and dancers within the cast and I may have just caught them on a bad day.

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

This concludes my amazing New York holiday and I hope to be back soon! Join me next time when I will be reviewing Thriller - Live.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had minor cast changes since this review.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review: Finding Neverland

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Finding Neverland.
All I can say is WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! This was one of the best musicals ever. It had fantastic costumes that were really fun, I especially loved the dog costume. The songs were great and I can't wait to buy the soundtrack. A few of my favourite songs were 'Live by the Hook', 'The World Is Upside Down' and 'When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground'. The cast were really good and included Matthew Morrison as J. M. Barrie, Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, Kelsey Grammar as Charles Frohman and James Hook, Teal Wicks as Mary Barrie, Carolee Carmello as Mrs. du Maurier and all the children. The cast had great energy and impeccable timing. It was a mixture between a musical, a comedy and a drama. I laughed a lot and cried a lot, it is the perfect musical. This would definitely be in my top 5 musicals, I thought it was incredible. It is based on the Miramax motion picture by David Magee and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up - one of the most beloved stories of all time. This musical surpassed all my expectations. I would recommend people to take a box of tissues for act two as I can guarantee you will be crying. It was such a heartwarming story and this a show that I would recommend to anyone, young or old.

The featured star of Finding Neverland is, drum roll please… MATTHEW MORRISON!


Matthew was incredible at this role. People had criticised him being cast in this role saying it was only 'star-casting' but I strongly disagree. I couldn't think of anyone else who could play this role as well as he did. He is an amazing actor, singer, dancer and does a great Scottish accent. I don't know what else an audience could want!

Now for my final verdict on Finding Neverland. I give Finding Neverland… 


I can't wait for the soundtrack to come out and I really hope Finding Neverland has a London transfer.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Phantom of the Opera

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had minor cast changes since this review.

Review: Les Misérables

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Les Misérables.
I have to admit, I was really, really excited to see this on Broadway as I saw it in the West End three years ago and loved it. I can certainly say I was not let down, the Broadway version of Les Misérables is astounding. It may even be a little bit better than the West End version in my opinion. The costumes were fantastic, they really showed what people would've worn in France a long time ago. They used the stage very well and had great sets. The cast were absolutely wonderful, they all had stunning voices. The cast included Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean, Earl Carpenter as Javert, Erika Henningsen as Fantine, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, Gavin Lee as Thénardier, Rachael Izen as Madame Thénardier, Chris McCarrell as Marius, Samantha Hill as Cosette and last but certainly not least Wallace Smith as Enjorlas. The song 'Master of the House' was utterly hilarious. The Thénarder's were phenomenal in this scene, with both acting and singing. Unfortunately there was some criticism I had for the show. Brennyn had an incredible voice, but I'm not too sure she was right for Eponine. The problem was the child playing young Eponine was white, but then adult Eponine was black. Her character suddenly changed colour. Also, her parents, the Thénardier's were both white so it didn't really work. Ways to get around this are maybe making one of the Thénardier's black, or casting Brennyn as Fantine or Cosette as the show would not be the same without her great voice. Also I feel when Gavroche gets killed during act two the barricades should swivel round, as they do in the West End. I, personally, wasn't too keen on the kid playing Gavroche. To me Gavroche should have an English accent. They should have either had an English kid to play him, or an American kid to do an English accent as I found his accent really annoying. Apart from these small things the show was incredible and can't wait to see it again in London.

The featured star of Les Misérables is, drum roll please… GAVIN LEE!


Gavin is possibly the best Thénardier in history of theatre and film. He was absolutely hysterical. I really hope when he finishes doing Thénardier on Broadway he transfers to London.

Now for my final verdict on Les Misérables. I give Les Misérables… 


Les Misérbales is an amazing piece of musical theatre and I am very glad it reopened on Broadway.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Finding Neverland.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had major cast changes since this review.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Review: An Act of God

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of An Act of God.
This was another birthday treat for me so I was really excited, unfortunately I was a bit disappointed as this was supposed to be a comedy and yet I only found it mildly amusing. The problem with this show is that it made a lot of jokes and references to The Old Testament so unless you know The Old Testament you will not find this show funny. They really could've done more jokes outside of The Old Testament but unfortunately chose not to. To me this was just bad scripted stand-up comedy. There was one bit in the show where one of God's angels went through the audience, pretended that the audience member had asked a question and then God would answer it. The audience knew they were fake questions, but why do a fake question? I'm sure Jim would've been capable of answering real questions and thinking of a witty answer. They made some jokes about The Holocaust that I thought were really out of order. They said without The Holocaust we wouldn't have Cabaret. The Holocaust is really not something to be made fun of. It is still in previews so I hope by opening night they will take this joke out. Another thing is that Michael asks God why children have cancer and bad things happen. This didn't really suit the show as this was supposed to be a comedy. They tried to add a little bit of drama, but it did not work at all. A few good things about the show were that Jim Parsons, Christopher Fitzgerald and Tim Kazurinsky as God, Michael and Gabriel were all really good and saved the show from disaster. The angels were actually very funny and most of the times I laughed was at their lines. The staging and lighting were also very good and very clever. This show wasn't all bad, but there is a lot they need to change.

The featured star for An Act of God is, drum roll please… JIM PARSONS!


Unfortunately Jim did not have a lot to work with, with this script. He did however do his best so I salute him for that and I hope his next return to Broadway will be a show a little bit better than this.

Now for my final verdict on An Act of God. I give An Act of God… 


I only recommend this show to people who know The Old Testament. To people who don't I recommend them to not waste their money on this show as I did.

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 Les Misérables.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Review: The Spoils (Off-Broadway)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Spoils.
I came to see this show for a Birthday treat during the afternoon. When I saw the trailer I wasn't too sure about it, it looked a little boring. All I can say is that I was very, very wrong. This show was magnificent. The cast were incredible. They gelled so well together. The cast included Jesse Eisenberg as Ben, Kunal Nayyar as Kalyan, Erin Darke as Sarah, Michael Zegen as Ted and Annapurna Sriram as Reshma. Jesse, who also wrote it, is a complete and utter genius. To write a play like this shows that he is one of the smartest people on the planet. The synopsis of the show is nobody likes Ben. Ben doesn’t even like Ben. He's been kicked out of grad school, lives off his parents' money, and bullies everyone in his life, including his roommate Kalyan, an earnest Nepalese immigrant. When Ben discovers that his grade school crush is marrying a straight-laced banker, he sets out to destroy their relationship and win her back. It is such a deep play and shows Jesse's intelligence. Ben is a very talented actor and he really portrays how Ben is such a disturbed character and how drugs have affected his mind. It is rather interesting to watch how Ben perceives the world in this state of mind. Kunal was also really good as Kalyan. I always knew he was a fantastic actor, but I didn't realise how good. His final scene where Kalyan confronts Ben really shows off his acting talent. The story was so gripping and I was always so excited for what would happen next. I spent the interval just trying to guess what would happen in act two. What else was good that it was not only a serious play, it was also very funny. Some people on the Broadway Message Boards on Broadwayworld.com criticised the ending. People said it didn't have a proper ending, well those people did not understand the play whatsoever then. This a man who is only the way he is because he feels he has never done any good. As soon as Sarah and Ted tell him something he did that was good a long time ago he suddenly changes into a different person and that is why it ends the way it does. Just to warn people it does had quite a lot of swearing, but the show would not be the same without it. I recommend this play to any fans of Jesse Eisenberg or Kunal Nayyar as this show is one of the highlight of their careers.

The featured star of The Spoils is, drum roll please… JESSE EISENBERG!


To write and star in a show like this shows real talent. I really hope he goes on to write and star in more stuff as he is very talented.

Now for my final verdict on The Spoils. I give The Spoils… 


This was the real highlight of my birthday and I hope it will transfer to London.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing An Act of God.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Review: Something Rotten

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Something Rotten.
I wasn't actually planning to see a show on Friday at first, but I managed to pick up some rush seats so decided to go along. I was very, very glad I did because this is such an amazing show. It had amazing costumes that really showed what people wore in South London 1595. The cast were absolutely incredible, Telsey and Company really made the best casting choices possible. I couldn't think of anyone better for the roles than the people they picked. This amazing cast included Brian d'Arcy James as Nick Bottom, Christian Borle as The Bard, John Cariani as Nigel Bottom, Heidi Blickenstaff as Bea, Brad Oscar as Nostradamus, Katie Reinders as Portia, Brooks Ashmanskas as Brother Jeremiah, Peter Bartlett as Lorde Clapham and The Judge, Gerry Vichi as Shylock and last but definitely not least Michael James Scott as Minstrel. The cast worked great together. The script was genius and the actors all had great comic timing. I laughed so much during this show. The dancing was also superb. It was by far one of the best musicals I have seen in quite a while. The songs were stunning and the cast were all great singers. The way they portrayed Shakespeare like an olden day Justin Bieber was utterly genius and made the audience laugh so much. The song 'A Musical' made the whole audience hysterical. This is one of the funniest songs in any West End or Broadway show. The jokes they made referencing other musicals were hilarious. The only thing that may need a little bit of tweaking is that the song "Make an Omelette" did go on a bit too long but apart from that this show was incredible and I beg them to do a London transfer.

The featured star of Something Rotten is drum roll please… BRIAN D'ARCY JAMES!


Brian is one of the most talented people in Broadway at the moment. He could act, he could sing, he could dance, he was absolutely phenomenal. He has been nominated for a Tony which I really think he deserves so good luck to him.

Now for my final verdict on Something Rotten. I give Something Rotten… 


If there is anyone who lives in New York who wants to laugh their socks off, then this is definitely the show to go to.

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

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

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had minor cast changes since this review.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Review: Bugsy Malone

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Bugsy Malone.
When they announced they were putting on Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith I was really excited as I love the movie. I can certainly say I was not disappointed. The dance routines were incredible. They had some really talented dancers within the ensemble. The songs are really great and fun. Props, costumes and set were all really good and I thought the car scene at the end of act one was hilarious. I have to admit, act two was a little bit better than act one but it was still all good. I also thought it was great at the end how they got everyone up on their feet. It had a great cast, but people who stood out for me were Sasha Gray as Bugsy Malone, Zoe Brough as Blousey Brown, Jenson Steele as Fat Sam Staccetto, Oliver Emery as Dandy Dan, Hammed Animashaun as Leroy Smith, Emily Beacock as Baby Face and Lena Marelli. The way that Leroy was portrayed by an adult was hilarious. I also thought it was great to have a young Dandy Dan as this was adorable. I felt Bugsy lacked a bit with his singing skills and was a lot better at the acting and dancing. The same thing goes for Tallulah, who was a great singer and dancer, but had seemed to have trouble acting, and Fizzy, who could act and sing but had problems dancing and this is quite an issue as he does quite a lot of dancing. However overall this is a lovely production.

The featured star of Bugsy Malone is, drum roll please… ZOE BROUGH


Whereas other cast members had trouble with various things, Zoe could act, sing and dance. She melted the audience's hearts when she sung "Ordinary Fool". She has a bright future ahead of her!

Now for my final verdict on Bugsy Malone. I give Bugsy Malone… 


I hear Bugsy had just extended to September so I advise everyone to see this show.

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

I have some exciting news everyone, I will be heading back to NY to review a couple of shows so join me next time when I will be reviewing Something Rotten.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Review: The Lion King

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Lion King.
I hadn't seen The Lion King for four years so was super excited to see this. It has improved so much since I last saw it. It wasn't bad when I last saw it, I thought it was good, but yesterday when I saw it I thought it was stunning and has made my list of favourite musicals. To start off my review I just want to say that the costumes were amazing. They were so colourful and beautiful. The sets were also really good and the choreography is just mesmerising. The way they portray the animals using puppets, dancing and various costumes is so genius. The songs in the show are really good and the cast give the songs there all. Cast members who stood out for me were Shaun Escoffery, Ava Brennan as Nala, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize as Rafiki, Richard Frame as Timon, Jamie Golding who was filling in as Pumbaa and can I say if they had not announced before the show he was the understudy I wouldn't have known any difference so well done, Howard Gossington as Zazu, Gemma Knight Jones as Sarabi, Sarah Amankwah as Shenzi, Taofique Folarin as Banzai, Mark McGee as Ed and Young Simba and Nala. I read in the programme before the show that it was going to have an excerpt from Let It Go and I thought "Oh god!" however it was actually really funny they put it in where Zazu sings a little bit of it for Scar. One other bit I thought was very good was when Timon was hanging from the tree about to fall in the river. Also it was a lovely theatre. The only bad things I thought about this show was that I felt Simba needed a deeper voice. His voice didn't sound like a big lion, it sounded like a small cat. I also didn't feel Scar was ferocious enough. He just sounded rather quiet. One final thing was that Timon's puppeteer was dressed in green and this just seemed a bit odd. I realise it was supposed to be camouflage but it actually made it stand out more. Maybe he should've worn black or brown? Apart from that this was an astonishing show and is a show that both children and adult audiences will enjoy.

The featured star of The Lion King is, drum roll please… AVA BRENNAN!


Ava is one of the best singers in the West End. I wouldn't have minded if she had featured in every song in the show. As she wasn't in too many songs I think the show should add some new songs that just feature her.

Now for my final verdict on The Lion King. I give The Lion King… 


The Lion King is currently one of the best West End shows on at the moment and advise everyone to see it.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Bugsy Malone.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had minor cast changes since this review.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Review: Wicked

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Wicked.
I hadn't seen Wicked in three years so was really looking forward to seeing this again. I must admit I didn't enjoy it as much as I used to but still enjoyed it anyhow. It had utterly fantastic sets and fun colourful costumes. I was reading that years ago when Wicked opened on West End they were nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Set Design but didn't win, I was surprised about this because I thought the costumes and sets were amazing. I love the bit when Elphaba "defies gravity". This never gets old and I always say the same thing every time: "WOW!" The special effects are great in this show and I like the flying monkeys. It has a great storyline which is about two unlikely friends, one being born with emerald green skin who is smart, feisty and misunderstood, the other being beautiful, ambitious and very, very popular, and how they end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. To top it all off it has great choreography and this is very entertaining. The cast were also great, but people who stood out for me were: Emma Hatton as Elphaba, Sophie Linder-Lee as who was filling in for Glinda, Katie Rowley Jones as Nessarose and Sam Lupton as Boq. There were all these good things about the show, but there were quite a few bad. First of all I was not too keen on the Fiyero doing the show last night. He was the understudy and I understand that but he was just too nervous. I do get that though, I would be nervous too. But the understudies need to be trained really well and it was quite obvious he was just filling in. When I saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and It's Only a Play they had understudies playing and you couldn't tell the difference. However none of that is his fault and he did get a lot better during act two. They also seemed to have major microphone issues. I heard microphones making loud beeping noises during the songs. This happened three or four times throughout the show and started to get a little irritating. I must admit this is maybe a show for younger children but all round is a very fun fairy tale story.

The featured star of Wicked is, drum roll please… SOPHIE LINDER-LEE!


This was a very hard to decision to make but Sophie managed to win featured star with her fabulous acting, her tremendous singing and her stupendous dancing. It is hard to believe she is just Standby for Glinda as I think she really deserves the role and I hope once Savannah departs from Wicked she takes the role.

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


Overall this was a fun show and had a good message for people.

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 Lion King. 

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had major cast changes since this review.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Review: The Railway Children

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Railway Children.
Now I have to admit, I was rather excited for this show as I had missed it last year at Waterloo Station so was glad I could finally see it. First of all it had a great set. The way they created the train tunnel was very imaginative and clever. They did not have much room to create all the sets but the way they left it to the audience's imagination was great. The costumes were also very good, especially Mr. Perks's and The Old Gentleman's. It had a great storyline about Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away. It is a really emotional play and one that even had me crying at the end. The story was delivered amazingly by all the actors. The cast included: Serena Manteghi as Bobbie, Caroline Harker as The Mother, Jack Hardwick as Peter, Louise Calf as Phyllis, Andrew Loudon as The Father and The Doctor, Moray Treadwell as The Old Gentleman and The Policeman, Clare Corbett as Mrs. Perks and The House Maid, Connie Hyde as Mrs Viney and The Cook, Blair Plant as Schepanksky, The Butler, and The Railman, Mark Hawkins as Jim and The District Superintendent and last but certainly not least all the children. I was however not too keen on Sean Hughes as Mr. Perks. There was one scene when he was supposed to be really angry but he just didn't seem that bothered last night. He just seemed rather uncomfortable. In his defence though the theatre felt like a sauna so it is possible he just felt too hot. If anyone who works at the theatre is reading this I beg them to add air-conditioning to the theatre as at times it felt so hot I was going to faint. Overall it was wonderful family entertainment for young or old.

The featured star of The Railway Children is… SERENA MANTEGHI!


Serena made the audience laugh and cry. She was the perfect fit for this role. If The Railway Children ever comes to the West End I really hope Serena will still be playing this role.

Now for my final verdict of The Railway Children. I give The Railway Children… 


Weather you're 9 or 99, this is a show that is enjoyable for all.

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 Wicked.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show had had minor cast changes since this review.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Review: Hay Fever

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Hay Fever.
I had booked this show a whole month ago so have been looking forward to this for quite a while. I was not disappointed as this show was utterly hilarious. It had a fantastic cast including Felicity Kendal as Judith Bliss, Alice Orr-Ewing as Sorel Bliss, Edward Franklin as Simon Bliss, Simon Shepherd as David Bliss, Edward Killingback as Sandy Tyrell, Michael Simkins as Richard Greatham, Sara Stewart as Myra Arundel, Celeste Dodwell as Jackie Coryton and Mossie Smith as Clara. Every single member of the cast had absolute spot-on comic timing. It had a really great set, the special effects of the pouring rain behind the stage made me feel like it was actually raining. The costumes were also very good and were perfect for their era. It had a really fun storyline about a dysfunctional family when they have different guests over. It was a genius story and it shows how an arty family are so very different and eccentric but great personalities that we love. The only thing that I would change was the structure. It had act one, a 20 minute interval, than act two and three combined with 2 minutes of music in-between. I would have had act one, a 10 minute interval, act two, another 10 minute interval and then act three. I feel this may have worked a lot better but it is still in previews so hopefully this will be put into consideration before opening night. Overall this was a very funny show advise to anyone who needs a good laugh.

The featured star of Hay Fever is, drum roll please… FELICITY KENDAL!


This role could not have possibly been better cast. She was perfect for this role. She delivered every single one of her lines hilariously.

Now for my final verdict on Hay Fever. I give Hay Fever… 


Once again, if there's anyone who's looking for a laugh, this is the show to go to.

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 Railway Children.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.