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‘Teenage angst in the bathroom… & classroom’: BE MORE CHILL – Shaftesbury Theatre / HEATHERS – Theatre Royal Haymarket

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

There comes a point in every lifelong theatre lover’s career when you suddenly wake up and wonder: am I simply too old for this? Ben Brantley, former chief critic of the New York Times, hit this particular critical nail on the head when he ended his review of the 2018 Off-Broadway summer run of the cult musical Be More Chill (before it was propelled to Broadway in turn) by advising: “It may be helpful to think of this bounding, exhaustingly enthusiastic puppy of a show as the theatrical equivalent of one of those high-pitched dog whistles that only those under 25 can hear.”

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So another delay to the ‘cautious, irreversible’ roadmap out of lockdown: It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In what is becoming a wearyingly predictable cycle, Boris Johnson’s latest failure to act fast enough to lockdown the country from the arrival of what is now known as the Delta variant of Covid, which originated in India, has resulted in it becoming the dominant strain of the virus in Britain — with the added problem that it is much more easily transmissible than previous strains.

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NEWS: National Theatre’s reopening programme includes new musical co-written by Rufus Norris & the return of playwright Alecky Blythe

In Broadway, London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Online shows, Plays, Press Releases, Quotes by Press Releases

The National Theatre has announced its programming until the start of next year with productions on all three South Bank stages as well as three major UK tours, two productions on Broadway, a return to cinemas, and a new feature film to be broadcast on television this autumn.

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Can honest critics have theatre professionals as friends?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

I’m unashamedly a friend and champion of the theatre; but I can never been a simple cheerleader for it, regardless of the circumstances or my connections with people in a show I’m seeing. As honest critics find out all too often, we’re loved when we love something we see; but that can quickly pivot to becoming the enemy when we don’t.

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Now & forever? What is the legacy of Cats 40 years on?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

There’s hardly a more insistent ear worm of a song in all of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ear-wormy repertoire than ‘Memory’, the breakout hit of his 1981 musical Cats, which last night celebrated the 40th anniversary of its premiere at the then New London Theatre (now itself renamed for Gillian Lynne, the choreographer whose work on the show ignited a revolution in global musical theatre, and accidentally created the West End’s first authentic dance-based musical).

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As Phantom & Six announce reopening dates, plans speed up for Broadway’s return

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

It turns out New York is moving even faster, with the state (and its neighbours, New Jersey and Connecticut), according to the New York Times on Monday, “lifting almost all their pandemic restrictions, paving the way for a return to fuller offices and restaurants, a more vibrant nightlife and a richer array of cultural and religious gatherings for the first time in a year”.

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Are we all going to rush to the theatre as soon as social distancing is no more?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Do we have to become responsible for our own Covid safety? So, the man who (allegedly) said he didn’t mind if the bodies were piled high, he didn’t want to impose another lockdown — until he, in fact, did — is now embarking on another experiment in which that may indeed turn out to be outcome. On 21 June, all social distancing is to be scrapped in the UK.