To be honest, if it’s an evening of laugh-yourself-silly fun, catchy tunes, inspired lunacy and bona fide triple threat star turn performances that you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than Shucked at the Nederlander Theatre, New York.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: Sweeney Todd at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon take a look at what is being said about the new revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford.
‘He was a star maker, in every sense’: Celebrating the distinctive Broadway art of Al Hirschfeld
Another constant for over 40 years was Al Hirschfeld, whose highly distinctive line drawing caricatures of Broadway accompanied the New York Times reviews of new openings. No one elevated the simple line drawing embodiment of Broadway to an art form in its own right quite as he did.
‘Live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar’: Alun Hood celebrates his Top 20 new theatre shows of 2022
As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar, although the impending cost of living crisis is inevitably, and understandably, causing anxiety in theatrical circles. Please do get out there, if you can, and support your local venue in 2023.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: Merrily We Roll Along at New York Theatre Workshop
We round up the reviews for the Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical starring Merrily We Roll Along starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez.
‘A biting fury that feels raw & authentic’: AIN’T NO MO’ – Broadway ★★★★
AIN’T NO MO’ by Jordan E Cooper Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb Belasco Theatre, New York City – until 26 February 2023 https://aintnomobway.com All aboard the final flight of African American Airlines, a journey taking every last Black American, tired and pissed off from being sidelined, passed over, disappointed, hurt, viewed with suspicion and just plain […]
‘A performance for the ages’: FUNNY GIRL – Broadway
No doubt about it, Lea Michele is the Greatest Star, singlehandedly salvaging a train wreck of a revival and tuning it into a white hot hit. Not seen on Broadway since its original 1964 production, Funny Girl returns with a redesign of the 2016 London production, retaining direction by Michael Mayer and updates to Isobel Lennart’s original book by show-doctor Harvey Fierstein.
‘Sassy, sexy musical comedy’: & JULIET – Broadway
Musical theatre’s new guilty pleasure, & Juliet is an accelerated endorphin rush that leaves the cheering crowd on a giddy high. A jukebox musical so in touch with its identity that it literally starts with a jukebox on the stage, & Juliet corrals more than two dozen of 100-plus hits of mega successful songwriter Max Martin into a sassy, sexy musical comedy.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: Into the Woods at St James Theatre, New York
We take a look at what critics have had to say about Lear deBessonet’s Broadway production of Into The Woods starring Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: Macbeth at the Longacre Theatre, New York
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon take a look at what critics have been saying about Sam Gold’s production starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga.
Diary of a Theatre Addict returning to New York: 9 shows in 7 nights
Regular readers will know that my name is Mark and I’m an addict — a theatre addict — and much else; if you have an addictive personality, you addict to anything that makes you feel different — sex, sugar, coffee, and in my case, theatre, too.
On Broadway: Hotfooting from Six to Marlow & Moss in cabaret at 54 Below
I finally caught SIX’s Broadway incarnation. And I made a night of it: since the show runs for just 70 minutes, I was able to hotfoot it after to see Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, its co-authors and creators, in a cabaret at 54 Below.
What won’t now come to pass: Stephen Sondheim was in the midst of writing a new musical
Stephen Sondheim – Broadway’s musical theatre’s greatest innovator and powerhouse over the last seven decades – left us, after 91 years, in the midst of writing another new musical that he revealed only weeks ago.
My highlights from 20 shows seen over 13 nights in New York City
Here’s the final tally from my recent trip to New York City: across 13 nights, I saw 20 shows in all – 11 of them on Broadway, 8 off-Broadway, one in a cabaret room.
Princess Diana endures another fatal car crash on Broadway
As if the late Diana, Princess of Wales, didn’t suffer enough in her short life and sudden, violent death, here she is as the title character and subject of a new Broadway musical, being exploited all over again.
‘Didn’t I want to see it unfiltered by the opinions of others?’: Mark Shenton explores critical opinion and its influence on perception
One of the pleasures — but also the risks — of being a theatre critic is that you come first to a new production, ready to form your own opinions on what you’ve seen, before you’ve already encountered or digested the opinions of others.
NEWS: Moulin Rouge is the big winner at the Tony Awards & there is British success for A Christmas Carol & The Inheritance
Moulin Rouge! The Musical triumphed in 10 categories at the 74th Tony Awards, including being named Best Musical, but there was also British success, with Rob Howell and Hugh Vanstone winning awards for their design work on the Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol (5) and Stephen Daldry named Best Director for his staging of Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance (4), originally at London’s Young Vic Theatre before its West End transfer.
Are theatres taking Covid safety provisions seriously enough?
I recently wrote to every major theatre chain in London to ask to see their COVID safety risk assessments and ventilation plans.
The bittersweet unfinished theatre business of Covid
Last week saw Paula Vogel’s Indecent finally open officially at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a year and a half after previews had begun, for the UK premiere of Rebecca Taichman’s Tony-winning original production.
‘A feelgood triumph?’: Mark Shenton finds out what critics thought of Back To The Future, a West End premiere not without drama
Although this newsletter officially remains on hiatus and will resume publication on Monday 20 September, I’m interrupting my time on the beach for a second time to deliver this bulletin with the reviews of Back To The Future that opened officially at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre on Monday.