Monday, 20 June 2016

Review: Motown the Musical

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Motown the Musical.
Motown has been at the top of my list to see for so long now and yesterday I finally was able to see it! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! This is the best new musical in the West End since Kinky Boots (which I saw last August) and I'm so happy that the show has transferred from the 'Great White Way'. It is just what the West End needed! Motown the Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring all the classics, it tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack that changed America. I had so much fun at this show and by the end all the audience were up on their feet dancing! It would be impossible to not have fun while watching the show. The Shaftesbury Theatre had such a great atmosphere, you could tell everyone in the audience was really loving it! The show features just under 50 songs (that must be some sort of record?) and each completely WOW's. Cast members who stood out were Cedric Neal as Berry Gordy, Lucy St Louis as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson, Sifiso Mazibuko as Marvin Gaye and Bradley Morton as Young Michael Jackson. Motown is far before my era, but according to my Mum (who is a big fan of the genre) they sounded just like the original artists. Thought the lighting was absolutely excellent and I wouldn't be surprised if it won the Olivier Award for it. The costumes were well designed and the choreography is stunning. I found the origins of Motown to be really fascinating and it was so interesting how Berry Gordy went from lightweight boxer to the founder of a new genre of music, whilst helping to end the fight against racism. The highlight of the show for me was 'Can I Close the Door',  beautifully sung by Cedric Neal.

The featured star of Motown the Musical is, drum roll please... CEDRIC NEAL!


Cedric put so much emotion into his performance as Berry Gody, this was perfect casting. His facial expressions were perfect, he had great comic timing and a voice that stunned the whole audience!

Now for my final verdict on Motown the Musical. I give Motown the Musical...


Motown is the best jukebox musical I have ever seen and is currently one of the best shows in the West End.  Motown is currently booking until October next year, so whether you see it now, or a year from now, this is not one to be missed!

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

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Review: Show Boat

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Show Boat.
Last Wednesday I found myself with a free afternoon and I thought what better thing is there to do than head to a matinee in the West End, so I ended up seeing Show Boat! Spanning 40 pivotal years in American history, this epic musical follows the lives and loves of three generations aboard a show boat as it plies the Mississippi River. One of the most romantic musicals of all time, this lavish new production is directed by Daniel Evans and features classics of musical theatre including Make Believe, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, and the landmark Ol’ Man River. Whilst originally written in the 1920's, this production feels so fresh and is an outstanding revival of an old classic. The New London theatre is the perfect venue for this show and the stage is the perfect size. Cast members who stood out were Gina Beck as Magnolia Hawks, Chris Peluso as Gaylord Ravenal, Victoria Hinde who was understudying as Julie La Verne, Leo Roberts as Steve Baker and Jim Greene, Tosh Wanogho-Maud who was understudying as Joe, Sandra Marvin as Queenie and Danny Collins as Frank Schultz. You could tell the cast were working so hard to put on a good performance and it certainly worked! The show is excellently staged so that even from the sides of the audience, you can see the stage. The sets and costumes were both really well designed. I really loved all the music, especially 'Ol Man River' and 'Till Good Luck Comes My Way'. There haven't been any announcements of a cast recording, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed! The show was originally running until January next year, but will sadly be closing in August. This is a real shame as I feel this stunning revival will be closing far too early. It is such an entertaining piece of theatre and is so unique. The only negative I have about the show are the accents. Some of the cast seemed to struggle with the Southern American accents and it could occasionally be hard to hear what they were saying. Apart from that, this is such a well-done revival!

The featured star of Show Boat is, drum roll please... GINA BECK!


Gina has such a lovely voice and gave a really solid performance and showed a lot of emotion in the part. I'm really happy that she transferred from Sheffield with the show so the West End could be lucky enough to see her performance.

Now for my final verdict on Show Boat. I give Show Boat...


Show Boat is a show that I believe would be suitable for all the family, however there are some scenes young children may find upsetting and I would look at Wikipedia for more information. It's such a shame that Show Boat is closing in August and it would be great if the show toured as I imagine it would do really well regionally.

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 Motown the Musical.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Review: Waitress

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Waitress.
WOW! WOW, WOW WOW! Ever since watching clips of the show online, I have been dying to go and see Waitress and last Thursday I finally went! I was completely amazed and it is one of the best shows I have ever seen. I'm not even sure if words can describe how good it was, but I'll try! There is something so special about this musical, everything works so well! The synopsis is: 'Jenna is a waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, Jenna fears she may have to abandon the dream of opening her own pie shop forever… until a baking contest in a nearby county and the town's handsome new doctor offer her a tempting recipe for happiness. Supported by her quirky crew of fellow waitresses and loyal customers, Jenna summons the secret ingredient she’s been missing all along – courage. ' The cast are all incredible and really well-matched, with not one weak link in the cast. The cast features Jessie Mueller as Jenna, Keala Settle as Becky, Kimko Glenn as Dawn, Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter, Nick Cordero as Earl, Dakin Matthews as Joe, Eric Anderson as Cal and Christopher Fitzgerald as Ogie, a great ensemble and a fantastic orchestra. I absolutely adore the music and luckily for me the cast album came out the day after I saw the show, perfect timing! I've had the album on repeat ever since, the music is enchanting. It took me ages to decide, but eventually I decided my favourite songs are 'Opening Up', 'Never Ever Getting Rid of Me' and 'She Used to Be Mine'. Jessie Mueller gives one of the best, if not THE BEST, performances I have ever seen in musical theatre. I was crying my eyes out during her rendition of 'She Used to Be Mine'. I am really surprised I have not heard more people raving about this performance because I was completely and utterly stunned. Christopher Fitzgerald gives a real show-stealing performance and is utter perfection. This is the perfect role to showcase his great talents. The costumes, set and lighting were all designed really well and the show was excellently choreographed. This show deserves all the praise in the world and sadly with the Tony's becoming the Hamiltony's this year, it may not get the praise it deserves, which is a real shame but I hope that his show has a really long run. I could go on and on about how incredible this show is, but I'll stop there so this review doesn't become too long!

The featured star of Waitress is, drum roll please... JESSIE MUELLER


I found this performance so moving, I actually can't remember a better performance I have seen in musical theatre. This is a performance of a lifetime in a role Jessie was born to play!

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


I urge people to run to the theatre to buy tickets and if in a different country to buy the cast album. I loved this show so much and I really, really want the show to transfer to the West End. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!

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

Sadly, that is the end of my New York reviews. I love Broadway so much, the shows are so spectacular over there and I can't wait to go again! Join me next time when I will be reviewing Show Boat.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Review: The Judas Kiss

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Judas Kiss.
I continuously debated whether or not to make the trek to Brooklyn to see Rupert Everett perform in The Judas Kiss, but eventually decided I had nothing to lose and just headed to the theatre! I certainly made the right decision as I found the show to be really fascinating and interesting. The show is an insight into Oscar Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas. Focusing on two critical moments in Wilde's last years; the eve of his arrest at the Cadogan Hotel and a night in Naples after his release from two years imprisonment. The Judas Kiss speculates on the consequences of his self destructive fatalism, betrayal and love without trust. The courage and bravery shown by Oscar Wilde is truly inspirational and the play has really made me want to find out more about him. Rupert Everett, in the role of Oscar Wilde, captures the audience's hearts and really plays the role convincingly. In his portrayal, he had the audience on a string and made everyone feel such compassion for Wilde. His performance is worth the ticket price alone! I was a little wary about going to the show, as I wasn't overly keen on David Hare's (playwright of The Judas Kiss) play 'Skylight', but I was really pleasantly surprised. The rest of the cast were also very good, with Charlie Rowe as Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie) and Cal Macaninch as Robert Ross standing out. The set, lighting and costumes were all very well designed and each worked extremely well. The play is exceptionally well written and it was good to have some occasional comic relief. Between David Hare's fantastic writing and Rupert Everrett's stunning acting, this is a perfect combo! The only criticism I have for the show is that it was occasionally hard to follow, but I don't know if anyone had the same problem. It took me around 20 minutes to get fully into the show as well. I hope that people in Manhattan don't get put off seeing the play, as it is certainly worth the journey. I can guarantee a great night out at the theatre!

The featured star of The Judas Kiss is, drum roll please... RUPERT EVERETT!


I was completely captivated by this performance. The emotion shown by Rupert is unbelievable, this is a performance I won't be forgetting any time soon.

Now for my final verdict on The Judas Kiss. I give The Judas Kiss...


Sadly the show closes this Sunday (June 12th) so if this sounds like something you may enjoy, make sure you go before it closes! I'm curious if the play will transfer to Broadway! Just a warning, the play contains nudity, so if this concerns you then this may not be the play for you.

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 Waitress.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: She Loves Me

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of She Loves Me. 
She Loves Me was at the very top of my list to see, as being the huge Frasier fan I am, I really wanted to see Tom McGowan (Kenny on Fraiser) perform! Tom, along with the rest of this stunning cast, all mesmerise and the show completely exceeded my expectations. She Loves Me follows Georg and Amalia, two parfumerie clerks who aren't quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring co-workers can't seem to find common ground. But little do they know, the anonymous romantic pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed? The show's strongest aspect is it's cast, who are all absolutely stunning and have great chemistry, they play off each other very well. Cast members who stood out for me were Laura Benanti as Amalia Balash, Zachary Levi as Georg Nowack, Jane Krakowski as Ilona Ritter, Gavin Creel as Steven Kodaly, Tom McGowan as Ladislav Sipos, Nicholas Barasch as Arpad Laszlo and Peter Bartlett as the Headwaiter. The show features an award winning set designed by David Rockwell which is so well done. The detail put into it is unbelievable and I am glad it was recognised by the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. The orchestra were brilliant and I'm glad that they were visible to the whole theatre, I hate it when the orchestra are hidden! Laura Benanti has a remarkable voice, which was perfect for the role of Amalia and she also showed great facial expressions. Zachary Levi has a great charisma and he steals every scene he is in. Zachary and Laura were perfectly matched , they just work so well on stage together. Jane Krakowski is so talented and I would love to see her in more shows. She's really funny, has a great voice and is a fantastic dancer. She came to the West End back in 2005, hopefully she'll someday return! Before going to the show, I didn't realise how funny it was. Peter Bartlett and Tom McGowan were both hilarious! The choreography and costumes are really good as well. This is a charming production and I can't wait for the cast album to be released! I was trying to choose a favourite song from the show, but I just couldn't. They're all great! The only thing that may put people off the show, which isn't a criticism, but the show could be viewed as a bit dated. This is inevitable, due to the show being written in the 1960's. I personally don't find it that much of an issue as it's impossible not to have fun at this show!

The featured star of She Loves Me is, drum roll please... ZACHARY LEVI!


Zachary is perfect in this role and I couldn't fault his performance one bit. I really felt he was the glue that held the show together. He was outstanding and I'm glad that I got to see his performance!

Now for my final verdict on She Loves Me. I give She Loves Me...


She Loves Me is playing at Studio 54 until 10th July, so if you're not bothered about the show being a little dated, it would definitely be a recommendation of mine. A great show with a great cast!

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 Judas Kiss.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Review: Eclipsed

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Eclipsed.
Being the huge Star Wars geek I am, I was extremely excited for this play to see Lupita Nyong'o live. This was a really interesting play and not one I would usually go to. Eclipsed is the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia. They forge a close-knit community... one that inspires them to feats of increasingly greater strength. Directed by South African-born Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed is a stirring tale of hope, humor and resilience. The play stars an all black and all female cast, which really shows how good theatre is when it comes to diversity. The show handles a really strong subject matter that may make certain people uncomfortable, but I thought the show handled the subject very well. The show features a very strong cast, but the three cast members who stood out the most for me were Lupita Nyong'o as The Girl, Saycon Senbloh as Wife #1 and Pascale Armand as Wife #2. They each just showed so much emotion and captured the fear and hope of freedom of the character's perfectly. Lupita, Saycon and Pascale have all been nominated for Tony's and I wish them the best of luck for awards night! The way the play is written is very clever and you are completely transported to Liberia, 2003. The set, costumes and lighting were all really good. Lupita called out a man in the audience using his phone, while staying in character, which I applaud! Bad behaviour in theatre has gotten really bad so it is great when an actor calls it out, especially whilst staying in character. The play occasionally featured humour, mostly delivered by Pascale Armand, which worked well, mostly due to Pascale's great comic timing. At the end of the show, the actors read out a few names of girls who had been kidnapped in Liberia, which I found to be really heartwarming. What bugged me so much, was that while the names were being read, a few audience members walked out. To me, this just felt really disrespectful. The only thing to criticise about the show, was that accents were, from time to time, quite hard to understand. It got easier to understand as the play went on, but perhaps this could've been tweaked slightly.

The featured star of Eclipsed is, drum roll please... LUPITA NYONG'O!


Lupita gives a really moving and convincing performance, I think she was perfectly cast in this role. She plays a 15 year old girl and she is so good at it that my Mum actually thought she was! This is her Broadway debut and I hope she goes onto more shows after this!

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


I would recommend this play to fans of Lupita Nyong'o and for those who would like to know more about the Liberia war. This play isn't for everyone though, as I'm sure a few people may feel uncomfortable watching this.

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 She Loves Me.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Paramour

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Paramour.
With not many shows playing on Monday, I decided to give Paramour a go, despite hearing a mixed response. I was pleasantly surprised, as I throughly enjoyed this show! This show is Cirque Du Soleil's first outing to the 'Great White Way', combining the circus with a Broadway musical. Does it work? Definitely! The combination is utterly genius and done extremely well. The synopsis for the show is: 'Set in the glamorous world of Golden Age Hollywood, this musical spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art. Featuring a cast that blends circus arts and musical theatre, Paramour will transport you to a world of sublime beauty and emotion as it walks the exhilarating tightrope of the heart. ' The storyline worked well,  Cast members who stood out were Ruby Lewis as Indigo James, Ryan Vona as Joey Green and the Atherton Twins. Ruby Lewis was the highlight of the show for me, amazing actress, amazing singer and an amazing dancer, I don't know what else you could want from a leading lady! In a show like this, it is very easy to be overshadowed by the acrobatics, but I thought Ruby was definitely one of the best parts of the show. The book was well written, it wasn't the most complicated plot, but it worked well for this show. The Atherton Twins were utterly spectacular I really wish they had been featured in the show more, as the rest of the audience seemed to think they were amazing too. Their act during 'Help a Girl Choose' is completely jaw-dropping. The costumes, sets and choreography are all really good, the show is amazing visually. The set changes are unbelievable and I'd love it if other shows followed Paramour's lead with their set changes. The music was a nice surprise, as watching the trailer I really didn't expect the music to be as good as it was. If I were directing the show, I would've perhaps changed the opening number 'The Hollywood Wiz'. There were just too many things going on at once during this song and I didn't know where to look. I also feel the ending could've used a little work as I didn't quite get what happened. My only guess was that it was metaphorical. A friend of mine, who also went to see the show, asked me the same question so it would be really good if the show had edited the ending a little.

The featured star of Paramour is, drum roll please... RUBY LEWIS!


I would love to see Ruby in another show, because she really gave a great performance here. Nowadays, it's quite rare to find a tripl
e-threat (great acting, great singing and great dancing), so if you go to Paramour make sure to look out for this performance!
Now for my final verdict on Paramour...


When going to Paramour, the thing to keep in mind is that it's not your usual Broadway musical, however it is still a really fun night out at the theatre and perfect for the whole family!
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 Eclipsed.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Review: Fiddler on the Roof

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Fiddler on the Roof.
I had wanted to see this last time I was in New York, but never found the time in the end. I really wanted to see the show this time around, but was concerned that once again I would run out time to see it. Luckily, I found out that my flight arrived around midday and Fiddler was doing a performance in the evening (unlike most shows on a Sunday), so after waiting all that time I finally got to see it! The wait really paid off, it was absolutely mesmerising! What I loved about this show so much, is that most revivals I see are often quite dated, where as this just seemed so fresh and new. The show is still relevant to this very day! The synopsis is: 'Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof takes place in Anatevka, a village in Tsarist Russia during the eve of the revolution. Tevye is a poor milkman who cares for his wife and five daughters. While he and the rest of the elders in the village are deeply routed in tradition, his daughters’ forward thinking clashes with Tevye’s principles and causes a rift in the family. ' Words cannot begin to describe the choreography by Hofesh Shechter, I was completely blown away by it! Cast members who stood out for me were Adam Grupper who was understudying as Tevye, Alexandra Silber as Tzeitel, Julie Benko who was understudying as Hodel, Melanie Moore as Chava, Adam Kantor as Motel, Ben Rappaport as Perchick, Alix Korey as Yente. Adam Grupper gave a really moving and heartfelt performance, with the highlight of his performance being his rendition of 'Chavaleh'. I was completely wowed by this performance and it is really hard to believe that Adam doesn't play the role full time. I feel understudies are so under appreciated and performances like this really show the power of what an understudy can do. The show features a tremendous cast who bring a great energy to the stage. The music is astounding and I have been listening to the cast album non-stop. My personal favourite songs are 'Tradition' and 'To Life'. I was so thrilled to be able to see the show, I enjoyed every minute of it! I could not find one thing to fault this brilliant show!

The featured star of Fiddler on the Roof is, drum roll please... ADAM GRUPPER!


If you are fortunate enough to catch Adam's performance, you're in for a real treat! Hopefully when Danny Burstien departs the show, Adam will be given the role full-time, as it would be great if more people could see his stunning portrayal.

Now for my final verdict on Fiddler on the Roof. I give Fiddler on the Roof...


Fiddler is an open-run, currently booking until December this year and this is definitely something I would recommend for the whole family. Keeping my fingers crossed for a London transfer, revivals don't usually transfer, but still keeping my fingers crossed!

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Paramour.

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

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer