Propeller, Edward Hall’s all-male ensemble, is back on tour with a revitalised version of The Winter’s Tale,a production originally seen in 2005. I didn’t see it that time round, but the 2012 version seems to be curiously imbalanced…
It’s December, so that means every theatre in the country will cover its costs for the next year by running a pantomime for the next six weeks.
As ever, I am on panto duty and have been all over the place reviewing pantomimes for www.whatsonstage.com and here are two of my favourites so far.
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall; who is the fairest of them all?” It’s a tough call, but in this production of Snow White, the answer is the Handsome Prince, played by Ben Harlow. Harlow puts his past as Gaston to good use in Beauty in the Beast, giving the prince a comic-book cheesiness, imbued with bizarre theatrical flourishes. At one point he leaps on stage, waving jazz hands with a cry of “Jellicle cats!”
There are good pantos, there are great pantos – and then there is Cinderella at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.
From the moment that you realise that the ushers up in the circle pretending to play the trumpet and saxophone aren’t pretending at all, and are actually musicians Sarah Chandler and Karen Straw, it’s clear that this a production keen to take the (already pretty flexible) rules of panto and stretch them as far as possible.
The best new musical of 2011 is here!
Movies are ace. Musicals are cool. Theatre is mega. Cheerleaders are awesome. So it stands to reason that Bring It On: The Musical is going to be the best thing in the world.
I know what you’re thinking: “That’s not a real show… it’s going to suck”, but you’re as wrong as wrong can be. The show has already premiered and the director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler won a Tony Award for In The Heights, a show currently on in Broadway. Furthermore, the book is by Jeff Whitty who won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for the very, very, very funny Avenue Q. My point is, shut your piehole, dummy, it’s got a pedigree.
Yes, there’s a dog in The Wizard of Oz.
He scampers about, gets carried a lot, and (on the night I was there) doesn’t poo on the stage. That’s the first and last mention of the Westie (one of four) who ‘plays’ Toto, and is apparently the only thing many other critics focused on. It’s quite amazing how they managed to ignore the rest of the show and the cast, and churn out 500 words on a dog. They’re really giving their readers what they want.
The Wizard of Oz has never been a particularly popular stage show over here, but when Andrew Lloyd Webber picked the L. Frank Baum classic as the subject of his new TV talent search, it was obvious that popularity would soon soar.
Jukebox musicals haven’t got a great reputation but Million Dollar Quartet might just change all that.
Generally, jukebox musicals are less fun than being beaten with a knotted rope, but Million Dollar Quartet sidesteps many of the usual pitfalls thanks to having an authentic storyline, brilliant cast and seriously great music.
The story goes, that at Sun Records in December 1956, four rock ‘n’ roll pioneers got together for an informal jamming session. In an amazing moment in musical history, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley hung out, drank beer and made some music.