Mark Shenton: First of all, apologies that I was missing-in-action yesterday. I was in London — and at a hotel without desk space in the rooms, so unable to write. (And the dog ate my homework, too). So no, that’s not the entirety of my excuse. But sometimes I need to take a break, too. There may be days when the newsletter fails to materialize!
I do feel anyone going to see Son of a Preacher Man because of Dusty Springfield could be a bit disappointed, but in saying that it was an entertaining and enjoyable evening and the audience seemed to appreciate it.
I expected more in terms of Craig Revel Horwood’s choreography for Son of a Preacher Man, but that was made up by most of the cast members occasionally playing instruments on stage.
A new British musical inspired by Goethe poem The Sorcerer’s Apprentice receives an exclusive West End concert presentation at the Ambassadors Theatre on 8 February 2017, with a stellar cast including Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett and impressionist Jan Ravens.
‘Tis the season for goodwill to all, and proving most generous with their time are various sets of musical theatre performers who are doing all sorts of charitable endeavours this December. First up are the guys at Relative Motion have just announced West End Up Close… at Christmas, their third concert in partnership with The House of St Barnabas, a charity and members’ club in the heart of Soho.
“Who’s In It?” This is probably the most common question when any director, producer, or theatre comes up with a show they want to present. Hamlet – ok but who’s in it. South Pacific – ok but who’s in it. Or maybe The Homecoming, or Rocky Horror – ok but who’s in it?
Aria Entertainment’s From Page to Stage platform for new writing in musical theatre is another of those life-lines which refreshes the parts that the West End so rarely reaches – and to see a fledgling musical like The Stationmaster find its feet and roar for the first time on a stage, in a theatre, is immensely gratifying.
Last night I had the privilege of helping to open the third annual From Page to Stage season of new musicals. From Page to Stage is the brainchild of Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment, who also produced The House of Mirrors and Hearts, for which I chaired a post-show Q&A at the Arcola Theatre in July.
Another busy week: I loved 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Songs for a New World, As Is, The Spitfire Grill and revisiting Memphis, but had problems with Sinatra, Mack and Mabel and American Idiot.