Review: Aladdin (Richmond Theatre, London)

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Like a lot of people with a lifelong theatre habit, mine started with a pantomime. Having since written and acted in several, playing everything from Peter Pan to an Ugly Sister, I still love them and it’s delightful on the walk from Richmond station to the theatre, to see the excitement of so many diminutive […]

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Review: Boy Meets Boy (Jermyn Street Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

When, in the mid-1980s, I picked the cheaply produced black-and-white printed original cast album of Boy Meets Boy out of a bargain bin in Tower Records, it instantly became a favourite show I’d never seen produced.  A pastiche of every black-and-white Astaire/Rogers backstage musical with endlessly hummable, witty and clever songs, but destined not to […]

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Review: Boy Meets Boy (Jermyn Street Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

When, in the mid-1980s, I picked the cheaply produced black-and-white printed original cast album of Boy Meets Boy out of a bargain bin in Tower Records, it instantly became a favourite show I’d never seen produced.  A pastiche of every black-and-white Astaire/Rogers backstage musical with endlessly hummable, witty and clever songs, but destined not to […]

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Review: The Sweet Smell of Success (Arcola Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

JJ Hunsecker pens the ultimate vitriolic New York gossip column. Everyone wants to get in to JJ. Unfortunately the only thing JJ wants to get into is his much younger sister Susan, and so uses patsy press agent Sidney Falco to thwart her more natural romance with crooner Dallas. This unsavoury relationship, as inappropriate as […]

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Review: The Sweet Smell of Success (Arcola Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

JJ Hunsecker pens the ultimate vitriolic New York gossip column. Everyone wants to get in to JJ. Unfortunately the only thing JJ wants to get into is his much younger sister Susan, and so uses patsy press agent Sidney Falco to thwart her more natural romance with crooner Dallas. This unsavoury relationship, as inappropriate as […]

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Review: Radio Times (Richmond Theatre, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

You’ve never heard of Reg Armitage from Wakefield, have you? Much less heard that he was one of Britain’s most prolific composer-lyricists in the years between the two World Wars or that Sheridan Morley described him as the nearest thing Britain had to a home-grown Irving Berlin. Changing his name to Noel Gay didn’t really […]

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Review: Radio Times (Richmond Theatre, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

You’ve never heard of Reg Armitage from Wakefield, have you? Much less heard that he was one of Britain’s most prolific composer-lyricists in the years between the two World Wars or that Sheridan Morley described him as the nearest thing Britain had to a home-grown Irving Berlin. Changing his name to Noel Gay didn’t really […]

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Review: I Love You, You’re Perfect – Now Change (Riverside Studios)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

The trouble with being one of “Off-Broadway’s longest-running shows” is that they tend to play tiny theatres to undemanding out-of-town audiences who sustain them long beyond their useful life: witnessThe Fantasticks, the grand-daddy of the species, whose 2010 airing at the Duchess Theatre was so roundly condemned by London critics, it didn’t run 42 days […]

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Review: I Love You, You’re Perfect – Now Change (Riverside Studios)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

The trouble with being one of “Off-Broadway’s longest-running shows” is that they tend to play tiny theatres to undemanding out-of-town audiences who sustain them long beyond their useful life: witnessThe Fantasticks, the grand-daddy of the species, whose 2010 airing at the Duchess Theatre was so roundly condemned by London critics, it didn’t run 42 days […]

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Review: Hot Mikado (Landor Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

With all the liberties that have been taken with Gilbert and Sullivan – from the Jonathan Miller 1920s art deco staging at English National Opera now nearing its 26th year of revival, to Sasha Regan’s free-form all male Pirates of Penzance from the Union Theatre currently touring Australia – you might wonder why anyone would specifically […]

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Review: Hot Mikado (Landor Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

With all the liberties that have been taken with Gilbert and Sullivan – from the Jonathan Miller 1920s art deco staging at English National Opera now nearing its 26th year of revival, to Sasha Regan’s free-form all male Pirates of Penzance from the Union Theatre currently touring Australia – you might wonder why anyone would specifically […]

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Review: Call Me Madam (Union Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

In the week of the televised US presidential debate, the resonances of Call Me Madam are remarkable: an incumbent Democrat president with his back to the electoral wall and looking anxious about a second full term is challenged by a slick Republican rival who’s proving popular with a soundbite. European economies are in crisis and […]

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Review: Call Me Madam (Union Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

In the week of the televised US presidential debate, the resonances of Call Me Madam are remarkable: an incumbent Democrat president with his back to the electoral wall and looking anxious about a second full term is challenged by a slick Republican rival who’s proving popular with a soundbite. European economies are in crisis and […]

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Review: Carousel (Barbican Centre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Derived from a 1909 Hungarian tragedy by Ferenc Molnár and now set on the coast of Maine, Carousel propels us instantly to the meeting and marrying of mill worker Julie Jordan with fairground ‘barker’ (the man who sells the rides) Billy Bigelow in a moment of disobedience that costs them both their jobs. Billy’s moodily […]

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Review: Carousel (Barbican Centre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Derived from a 1909 Hungarian tragedy by Ferenc Molnár and now set on the coast of Maine, Carousel propels us instantly to the meeting and marrying of mill worker Julie Jordan with fairground ‘barker’ (the man who sells the rides) Billy Bigelow in a moment of disobedience that costs them both their jobs. Billy’s moodily […]

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Review: Everything in Colour (New Wimbledon Theatre Studio, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Billed as a new musical to celebrate Cool Britannia, Everything in Colour is the familiar story of the lead singer of a band who is offered solo fame and fortune by a record company, and who has to choose between himself and his friends. When he decides to take the fame for himself, he is […]

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Review: Mack and Mabel (Southwark Playhouse)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Just what IS wrong with Mack and Mabel, the silent-film-era musical with songs by the great Jerry Herman? Sometimes trailed as ‘the best score never to come from a hit musical’ it just doesn’t seem to thrive – even the 1974 Broadway original starring Bernadette Peters almost instantly received 8 Tony nomination but survived only the […]

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Review: Mack and Mabel (Southwark Playhouse)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Just what IS wrong with Mack and Mabel, the silent-film-era musical with songs by the great Jerry Herman? Sometimes trailed as ‘the best score never to come from a hit musical’ it just doesn’t seem to thrive – even the 1974 Broadway original starring Bernadette Peters almost instantly received 8 Tony nomination but survived only the […]

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Review: Ragtime (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

The scale of the Coming-To-America migration musical Ragtime is epic, so grandiose, so richly populated with cast that when it opened in 1998, the production budget was $11 million and two adjacent Broadway theatres were combined into one just to contain it. The inventive team at Regent’s Park never fights shy of a challenge: their […]

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Review: Ragtime (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

The scale of the Coming-To-America migration musical Ragtime is epic, so grandiose, so richly populated with cast that when it opened in 1998, the production budget was $11 million and two adjacent Broadway theatres were combined into one just to contain it. The inventive team at Regent’s Park never fights shy of a challenge: their […]

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