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The Last Five Years: Who else played Cathy & Jamie before Samantha & Jonny?

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Photos, Sticky by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey are just the latest in a line of musically exquisite, broken-hearted couples to tackle Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle. Remember Lara Pulver and Damian Humbley in the UK premiere? Here’s a pictorial timeline including them and other transatlantic pairings you may recognise.

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Press pass: All the Aladdin reviews, the biggest star on the purple carpet + show trailer

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes, Reviews, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Judging by the overnight reviews, and despite the inevitable pantomime associations for British audiences, the Disney-scale spectacle has worked its magic on most critics. In addition to a round-up of overnight reviews, there’s also a dash of purple carpet glamour, with one very special guest in particular: title star Dean John-Wilson‘s girlfriend, also known as Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo.

NEWS: The Color Purple, A View from the Bridge & Hamilton triumph at Tony Awards

In Awards, Broadway, Musicals, Native, News, Plays, Quotes by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

The Menier Chocolaty Factory’s production of The Color Purple led the British charge at last night’s Tony Awards, hosted by fellow British import James Corden at the Beacon Theatre in New York. It won two awards, as did the Young Vic’s transfer of A View from the Bridge. American-born hit Hamilton, due to open in the West End in 2017, swept the board with 11 awards.

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NEWS: The Color Purple, A View from the Bridge & Hamilton triumph at Tony Awards

In Awards, Broadway, Musicals, Native, News, Plays, Quotes by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

The Menier Chocolaty Factory’s production of The Color Purple led the British charge at last night’s Tony Awards, hosted by fellow British import James Corden at the Beacon Theatre in New York. It won two awards, as did the Young Vic’s transfer of A View from the Bridge. American-born hit Hamilton, due to open in the West End in 2017, swept the board with 11 awards.

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: 13 shows in London, 5 beyond, 11 in New York in April

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

Across April I’ve duly seen 13 shows in London, one of them twice within the space of four days – namely the current revival of Guys and Dolls. I’d seen it twice before that, first when it originated at Chichester two summers ago and then when it transferred to the Savoy in January, and now again when it moved across town to the Phoenix with a substantially re-cast set of principals and I reviewed it for a third time. Then I returned to it yet again the same weekend to accompany a friend who was in town visiting from New York (yes, it’s that good!).

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ON BROADWAY: The Color Purple

In Broadway, International, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

It says much for London’s modest but acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory that their production of The Color Purple, first staged three years ago, has been shipped back to Broadway to a rave reception. John Doyle’s simple staging that worked so well in the Menier’s cockpit, all stripped-back wood and chairs, has been neatly expanded to fit the Bernard B Jacobs’ cavernous stage and the transition works well.

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NEWS: Winners announced in the 2016 #AlsoRecognised Awards

In Awards, Cabaret, London theatre, Musical direction, Musicals, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Today’s the day! We’re delighted to announce the winners of the 2016 Also Recognised Awards. And, despite the fact that most of our categories are unique, it’s interesting to see that there are a few overlaps with another little awards, whose ceremony was held earlier this week… For more on this year’s awards, see also the full voting results, winners’ …

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BROADWAY: The Color Purple

In Broadway, International, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Simon ParrisLeave a Comment

To have Jennifer Hudson on the Broadway stage is miracle enough, but the additional presence of human dynamo Cynthia Erivo in the lead role is the one-two punch that makes this show a knockout. With a volume that is completely at odds with her petite frame, Erivo brings down the house time and again, earning a standing ovation before the final curtain with Miss Celie’s joyous anthem “I’m Here.”

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CD REVIEW: Cynthia Erivo & Oliver Tompsett sing Scott Alan – Deluxe Edition – Review

In Albums, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Scott Alan has recently brought out a Deluxe version of the album he released last autumn that featured the paired voices of Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett. Alan has worked with many of today’s musical theatre stars, but with Tompsett and in particular Erivo, there is a muse-like connection between the writer and his performing talent.

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Are black and Asian actors really losing out on Shakespeare?

In Features, London theatre, Native, News, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Scotland, Touring by Susan ElkinLeave a Comment

Of course I want to see lots of excellent black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) actors cast in lead roles. No thinking theatre lover wouldn’t. The best and most suitable actors for every part, please. I am, however, disturbed by the distorted way in which last week’s report led by Jami Rogers for the University of Warwick and based on the Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database has been spun.

News from New York: Color Purple and Fun Home are hits, Pacino flops, Groban arrives

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

London’s Menier Chocolate Factory have just scored their fourth Broadway hit: after previously transferring Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, and Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles, to Broadway after runs in the West End first, this time they’ve by-passed the West End to go direct to Broadway with The Color Purple and take coals to Newcastle once again, returning a musical ‘home’ whose original production only closed seven years ago.

News from New York: Color Purple and Fun Home are hits, Pacino flops, Groban arrives

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

London’s Menier Chocolate Factory have just scored their fourth Broadway hit: after previously transferring Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, and Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles, to Broadway after runs in the West End first, this time they’ve by-passed the West End to go direct to Broadway with The Color Purple and take coals to Newcastle once again, returning a musical ‘home’ whose original production only closed seven years ago.

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News from New York: Color Purple and Fun Home are hits, Pacino flops, Groban arrives

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

London’s Menier Chocolate Factory have just scored their fourth Broadway hit: after previously transferring Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, and Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles, to Broadway after runs in the West End first, this time they’ve by-passed the West End to go direct to Broadway with The Color Purple and take coals to Newcastle once again, returning a musical ‘home’ whose original production only closed seven years ago.

CYNTHIA ERIVO & OLIVER TOMPSETT SING SCOTT ALAN – Album Review

In London theatre, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

There’s an eclectic, relaxed charm to this collection of Scott Alan’s songs as performed by Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett. With Alan having enjoyed a modest UK residency this summer / autumn, there is a natural evolution that has seen this album born out of a collaboration of three people who evidently enjoy and above all complement each other’s talents.

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My theatre diary: Musicals, magic and monsters including Impossible, Splendour and Seven Brides

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Apart from my Edinburgh blitz, I like to take August a little slow on the theatregoing front. These few weeks offer a brief respite while many people are away on holiday or still up at the Fringe (which I’m not the slightest bit jealous about – no, really) before the ‘autumn season’ kicks off and […]