Touring – reviewed at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Guest reviewer: Glenys Balchin
Signed, Sealed, Delivered is the hit musical tribute show featuring Lejaune André, the star of The Magic of Motown, which pays homage to Stevie Wonder.
The show includes many of Wonder’s extensive memorable songs, featuring the Grammy Award-winning ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’, as well as ‘Superstition‘, ‘Higher Ground’, ‘Master Blaster‘, ‘Part-Time Lover’, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ and the biggest international hit of all time – ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’, plus many more.
The performance is really a show of two halves, André being Wonder and then as himself singing the artist’s music. Although he does remain dressed as Stevie for the second half which I found a little disjointed visually.
He is joined on stage by a seven-piece band and four backing vocalists, all good musicians and singers, but at times seem not to be at ease on the stage or consistent in their overall collective performance. Two vocalists, Portia and Nathan, deliver a particularly polished performance.
In the band, the section featuring the brass, percussionist and drummer was more inn tune with the overall stage performance than the keyboardist and guitarists. The two guitarists really did not look like they wanted to be on stage and were not engaging with the audience, so it was very distracting.
The same cannot be said about Karen Straw who not only pulls off a polish performance on the trumpet and dances incredibly well, she is energetic and mesmerising to watch.
Lejaune Andre performance also, was well received by the audience and enjoyable to watch, if a little uncomfortable when he was first led onto the stage by the female vocalists, as Stevie Wonder.
The first half of the show had been hampered with technical difficulties and at times it was difficult to always hear the other singers but the second half was more enjoyable. The rendition of Happy Birthday had everyone up on their feet dancing in the aisles. The finale of Signed, Sealed and Delivered was executed well; the whole overall stage presence and performance of all the cast came together much better in the second part of the show.
That is why I would rate this show a four out of five and not a five, as there is room for improvement, a start would be for the guitarist and keyboard player to look like they wanted to be be on stage!