Alice is having the Worst Day. The controlling ex she’d have back in a second is getting remarried, her car’s been stolen, she’s got the sack…
Carolyn Maitland will join Bill Kenwright’s production of the timeless story of love, despair and hope, GHOST – THE MUSICAL, in the part of Molly (previously played by Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding) alongside Andy Moss as Sam.
Following on from the re-release of his self-titled album earlier this year, Leslie Odom Jr gives us another opportunity to sink into his world of soulful jazz with an album of reinterpreted holiday classics in Simply Christmas.
I’ve long been a Miss Saigon fan and adored the new production when it opened in London last year, so when I was offered the chance to head back to the gorgeous Prince Edward Theatre and see the new cast in action, I jumped at the chance (thanks TodayTix)!
***** Hugh Maynard – inset Rachelle Ann Go and Kwang-Ho Hong
Every now and then a gig comes along that not only marks a performer’s talent, but also evidences their status in the industry and even more rarely, a remarkable generosity of spirit. So it is with Hugh Maynard, currently playing John in the West End’s revived Miss Saigon, who on the night he launched his debut solo album Something Inside So Strong not only sang sensationally but also chose to share his stage with a talented corps of Miss Saigon colleagues. It all made for a memorable night at the Hippodrome.
In front of his 5-piece band (MD Liam Holms) and on his own Maynard sparkled, covering Seal’s Kiss From A Rose in a distinctly fresh interpretation that still retained a hint of the writer’s hallmark edgy tenderness. When A Man Loves A Woman offered a further glimpse of the controlled power of Maynard’s belt, whilst in a disarmingly brave choice for a fella, his take on Brenda Russell’s Get Here (a smash hit for Oleta Adams) showed the full range of his tenor magnificence.
Maynard’s big number in the Boublil and Schoenberg epic is Bui Doi, an impassioned plea on behalf of Vietnam’s “dust of life” kids, the mixed-race progeny fathered by long absent GIs. A neat twist saw a 7-strong ensemble of Miss Saigon’s finest give a stunning, cheeky twist on the number, referring to the “spice of life” and sung a-capella no less, conducted by Maynard and gloriously led by the show’s Carolyn Maitland.
Making the short trip from the Prince Edward Theatre to guest for Maynard, his featured colleagues Rachelle Ann Go and Kwang-Ho Hong both sung solos from Les Miserables. Each famous in SE Asia, both guests offered proof, if any was needed, of Cameron Mackintosh’s ability to source talent from across the globe. Hong’s Bring Him Home along with Go’s I Dreamed A Dream set spines-tingling. Their song choices may have been well worn favourites yet each electrified the Hippodrome crowd before going on to duet with their host.
One night was not enough and Hugh Maynard needs to return to the cabaret stage soon. Until then he remains a living reminder of the excellence to be found in London’s musical theatre today.
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