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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, 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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Marking the nostalgia of the past for Follies’ 50th & edging towards some hope for Broadway’s future

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

On Friday the resumption of theatre life began in New York; meanwhile, today is the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening night of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, his jagged and shattering tribute to the musicals as well as the marriages of yesteryear, as James Goldman’s characters confront their current predicaments as middle and old-aged people looking back on their lives through the prism of the nostalgia of their theatrical pasts — all set to a score that gently pastiches the songs of the period while actually improving on them.

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As we say so long farewell to veteran actor Christopher Plummer, Mark Shenton praises the art of obituary writing

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

If, as Monty Python famously urges, we should always look on the bright side of life, then the brighter side of death are obituaries. They’re one of my absolutely favourite forms of journalism, and I read them just as avidly as I read the best critics; and it’s for the same reasons.

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Mark Shenton views the week of news, openings & radical overhauls of Shakespeare in the West End, Broadway & beyond

In Awards, Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Mark Shenton offers the week’s news, reviews, quotes and tweets in theatre from both sides of the Atlantic, including an interview with Sonia Friedman, reviews of Shakespeare in three different abbreviated versions, and a YouTube star appearing on Broadway.

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Cynthia Erivo heads to Broadway, Jonny Donahoe comes home & Ben Brantley raves about Chenoweth

In Broadway, London theatre, Musicals, News, Opinion, Plays by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

No sooner did I declare Cynthia Erivo yesterday to be number two in my list of current UK musical theatre actresses in my round-up for The Stage than yesterday it was also announced that she’s at to reprise the shattering performance she gave in The Color Purple at the Menier Chocolate Factory in the summer of 2013 when John Doyle’s production transfers to Broadway, beginning performances at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre on November 9 prior to an official opening on December 3.

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