‘A timeless link to a beautiful history’: THE WIZARD OF OZ – London Palladium ★★★★★

In Concerts, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

London Palladium, London

Nearly 80 years after its release, there is not a lot left to say about the wonderful The Wizard Of Oz. A classic movie, beautifully crafted from script through to performance, design, photography, choreography and a legendary score.

Until, that is, one has the privilege of watching the movie on the big screen with the score played live by a 60-strong orchestra under the baton of Anthony Gabriele. We all know the story with its strongly fabled morality and lyrics that are literally enchanting. Gabriele has studied the film meticulously and his conducting is spot on to the frame.

A skilled musical director will be able to harness live musicians to live actors with a seamless fluidity. But where the action is on screen the scope for fluid flexibility and the odd filler-bar here or there is not an option. For two hours and 40 pages, Gabriele has to hit his mark with pinpoint precision. And he does. Connecting us with our past and our heritage and offering a timeless link to a beautiful history.

Judy Garland et al may be captured, beautifully, in that flickering light beam and one may know the movie thoroughly, but Gabriele truly takes this score over the rainbow. If the gig comes around again, don’t miss it.

Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.
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Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.