Touring – reviewed at the Lyric Theatre, London
Ok, so what do you know about Simon and Garfunkel? If like me very little then this is the show for you. I must admit that once I’d heard the contestants of reality TV show Pop Stars repeatedly singing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ for their auditions, I felt that I never wanted to hear it again. However, there is no denying it is one of the most iconic songs of our time, but what’s the story behind this and other Simon and Garfunkel hits?
While Paul Simon, now aged 76, has recently played his final London concert in Hyde Park, The Simon & Garfunkel Story – this critically acclaimed concert style theatre show, telling the story of how two young boys from the same neighbourhood in Queens, New York went on to become the world’s most successful music duo of all time, continues to thrill and entertain his army of fans.
Using state of the art video projection, contemporary newsreel footage, TV commercials, incredible concert-style lighting and a full live brass ensemble, The Simon & Garfunkel Story is a moving and powerful concert chronicling their rise from their humble beginnings as 50s rock ‘n’ roll duo Tom & Jerry to global superstardom.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story takes you through all the songs and stories that shaped them and their dramatic break-up at the peak of their international success. It ends with a stunning re-creation of their legendary 1981 Central Park reunion concert.
As stated above, this is a concert-style show. Now you may or may not enjoy this specific type of show, but I do. It’s a nice and refreshing break to have almost a visual documentary acted out before you. This story takes you on the chronological journey of arguably one of the most iconic music duos of a generation. They are not acting as if they are Simon and Garfunkel, they are re-creating their story and performing their music – and they do both brilliantly.
Talented performers such as these, in this type of show are unusual, because in my believe in order to do it justice, they must have an immense admiration and respect for whom’s story they are telling . Without distracting scenery you can sit back an indulge yourself in an evening of pure musical delights. I was surprised to learn that I knew many more of the songs than I thought before taking to my seat. I’d have personally appreciated a track listing in the programme so that I could reflect and revisit some lesser known one’s. There was also a few surprises along the way, that I didn’t appreciate were written by this duo.
There’s plenty to enjoy here from the vocals, to the supporting artistes and finally the apparent love for the songs by Philip Murray Warson (Paul Simon) and Charles Blyth (Art Garfunkel). At times especially with Blyth, he almost looked lost in the music, but that actually applies to both. They were both totally absorbed, and enjoying it as much as the audience, and it was brilliant to witness. I appreciated the encouragement for the audience to join in at given moments, it added to the concert atmosphere and let’s face it who doesn’t want to clap their hands or sing along, when invited to do so of course.
I was delighted to hear that there will be a week’s run at the Vaudeville Theatre the week commencing 12th November, I will certainly be going again. You can’t beat live performance, with talented artistes who clearly have respect and admiration for the tracks they are performing, from a duo who provided the iconic music of a generation.
If I were you I’d check out www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com for future dates. You won’t be disappointed, all the hits are there along with some lesser known ones and Warson and Blyth are sensational as Simon and Garfunkel.