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#295727 Urinetown

Posted freckles on 08 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

Very interesting views, but with nothing to compare it to, I loved it & found it completely engaging. I suppose there's more than one way to interpret a show & Jamie Lloyd does seem to like taking his own path. But this one worked for me.

Oh, now I want to see it again AND see another version...

#295691 Playhouse After Spam

Posted steveatplays on 07 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

Like Steve said, I'd really like to see Urinetown move in there, and stick around as long as possible.

#295539 Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre, 6 Oct - 8 Nov 2014

Posted Distant_Cousin on 07 March 2014 - 09:08 AM

I love Imelda Staunton as an actress, and adored her in Sweeney Todd, but I don't find her voice exactly pleasant.  She can hit all the notes but that's about it.

#295409 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted DanielJohnson14 on 06 March 2014 - 03:13 PM

Well after everyones comments, by the sound of it this sounds like a most confusing and overfilled musical, too much happening!

#295326 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted Althea on 06 March 2014 - 10:20 AM

So I went to see this last night and it's certainly not Viva Forever but Book of Mormon doesn't have anything to worry about.  As a first preview it was quite tight technically (only one flat failing to make an appearance but they handled it well) and you forgave them the 45 minute interval for the set reveal for act 2 - although I'm sure there are other ways to do that scene change that isn't as difficult.

The songs are ok but only 'I Can't Sing', 'Please Simon' and 'It Could Be Me' really stick in your head.  Act one was fun with quite a strong book and some knowing winks to the audience but I hate to say it but Act 2 is a MESS.  The first twenty minutes are promising but it then just falls apart after Fabulous - they don't know where to go with the story and it sort of lopes towards an ending reminiscent of Viva - maybe talent shows just don't make good drama?  It came in at about 2hrs 40 plus interval so they need to shave at least 20 mins.

Cynthia has a great voice but her part is quite underwritten and her finale number isn't Beyonce.  Simon Bailey is hilarious and really picked up the show's tone when it was flagging, I enjoyed Simon Lipkin's Dog Barlow where he seemed underused and overused all at the same time.  Nigel as Simon was very funny and you could tell he was enjoying himself.  BEST number is the Jedwoods - it's brilliantly staged and VERY funny.

The show isn't as clever or as sophisticated as it thinks it is and the weirdness needs to be tamed a little - it's not got the educated silliness of Spamalot to make it work.  

They need to lose the Exec Producer (what the hell was that about his charm bracelet??) and most importantly the Hunchback  - he's set up as the villain but then has a terrible pay off and his big rap number doesn't deserve its stage time.  

Supermarket Mary's number should also go not only because it steals the travelators from Kinky Boots but because it's just not very funny.  As said by someone else on here - it should be a number about all of the other contestants.

I hope they manage to fix the show as it has potential but maybe planning on selling out the show in a space as big as the Palladium was an overestimation.

#295229 Do I Hear A Waltz?

Posted dallardice on 05 March 2014 - 07:25 PM

The Almeida also offers discounted preview tickets to people who live in Islington, which is clearly designed as an outreach program to connect the theatre with its local community... the only problem is that Islington has some of the most expensive houses in London, but is also amongst the highest levels of social housing in England.  It would be interesting to know how effective the 'local residents' discount was in terms of bringing people into the theatre who wouldn't already be there (shades of Donmar Front Row...)

#295161 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted wickedgrin on 05 March 2014 - 09:16 AM

Hysterical overheard conversations between two elderly women at yesterdays Tuesday matinee.

Woman 1 "do you think the ceiling is going to fall in"
Women 2 " it would be more exciting than the show wouldn't it"

Woman 1 "I'm glad Gladys didn't come she would not have liked the swearing"

Woman 1 "There's nothing scandalous about it now is there...."
Woman 2 "Ooooh no, I bet it's all going on today, it's just that we don't know about it, and wont do for another 30 years or whatever, the establishment - they're all still at it"!
Woman 1 "Yes look at that Patrick Rock"
Woman 2 "Who dear?"

Woman 1" Do you think that they (the cast) give their all when they know it's closing in a few weeks?
Woman 2 "Well that Christine Keeler gave it her all (cackles) but I suppose they hope to be picked up for something else - they never know who's watching"

Woman 1 "There are some nice songs aren't there... it's a pity he did not write them for a different show"
Woman 2 " But then it would have been a different show wouldn't it"

#295216 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted Seriously on 05 March 2014 - 05:35 PM

Maybe next time he slags someone off for being too musical theatre he'll have a better understanding of how difficult it actually is!

#294891 Happy Days The Musical

Posted wickedgrin on 02 March 2014 - 04:14 PM

If you had seen Ben Freemans performance you will know why!

#294834 Dreamboats And Miniskirts - Dreamboats And Petticoats Sequel

Posted Seriously on 02 March 2014 - 03:08 AM

10am BKL:  To do list
Ring Keith Strachan... we need some more songs
Watch old X Factor tapes for anyone who looks vaguely right.
Book auditions for theatre school graduates who need work as ensemble.
Remember this one is an actor muso show, so they'll need to bring their own instruments
Email TDK, ask him to cobble together some more backing tracks for the bits they can't play.
Get old costumes out of stores
Book one week in a church hall for rehearsals
Send clip art to Poster people
Start rumour it'll be transferring to The Playhouse

10.05am Homes Under the Hammer

#294845 Urinetown

Posted alec_e10 on 02 March 2014 - 09:30 AM

I went to see it last night. Centre of Row G with perfect view. The theatre is so well raked that even a very tall person in front of you would not spoil your view at all.

Loved the show and echo what others have said. Superb cast, great production. Jenna Russell brilliant as always and Richard Fleeshman is perfect in the role.

This Is a very slick and expensive production so surely they must be hoping for a west end transfer.

I need to go again soon

I wonder what the critics will think as they are a funny old bunch.

#294806 Urinetown

Posted steveatplays on 01 March 2014 - 07:29 PM

Caught the matinee, and loved it.

It's like someone decided to rework the TV series, "The Wire" as a laugh out loud comedy, and succeeded.

Each season of The Wire looked at a different human organisation, be it police department or politics or education, and suggested that human nature undermined it. Urinetown is like every season rolled into one two hour show that's absolutely hilarious.

And it's not about laughing at "others" with Jim Davidson snideness, like "Book of Mormon." It's about laughing at ourselves as human beings, and as musical theatre devotees.

"Urinetown" is like Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows," where we all know how selfish we are ("rich folks get the good life, poor folks get the woe, in the end it's nothing you don't know") except with less dirge, more splurge, such is the energy invested by cast and director.

Indeed, Jamie Lloyd resurrects all the darkness, dirt, death and blood that made his recent Macbeth gruelling, but which here are perfectly balanced by the sheer joy of the most catchy melodies.

Great intelligence underlies the characters of Officer Lockstock (played with ferocity and gleeful violent charm by Jonathan Slinger) and Little Sally (played with captivating cuteness, in both senses of the word, by Karis Jack). Indeed, every time I thought I spotted a flaw in the plot or presentation, either Lockstock or Little Sally chipped in to echo and answer and subvert my thoughts, making a mockery of my inner critic. This occurred from the very start, as Lockstock put down his large copy of Malthus, to sing "Too much exposition." It is the Brechtian distance and humour, that these narrators inject into the plot, that makes untraditional plot elements and dark themes palatable to a wide musical theatre audience.

I got so much energy and enthusiasm from the cast, it was infectious:

Jenna Russell holds her cigarette with such flamboyance she seems to take the death out of smoking. Her "Privilege to pee" had me feeling like I might; Simon Paisley Day seemed cruel and imposing, as well as reasonable and charming, all at once, his "Don't be a bunny" making perfect sense in a very evil way; Richard Fleeshman's naive yet heroic Bobby Strong embodied a hummingbird beauty and softness in his voice that was perfectly suited to taking the misery out of "Les Miserables," singing the generic "Look at the Sky," satirising musical theatre sentimentality, as well as the supreme showstopper, "Run Freedom Run!;" and kudos also to the actors playing Little Becky Two Shoes and Hot Blades Harry, singing "Snuff that Girl!"

All in all, I was bowled over by this and only too happy to join in the standing ovation. 5 stars. :)

nb: The bottom of the upper stage is level with the sightline of Row G, making that the optimal sightline for both upper and lower stages. Front row beats back row, because it's better to see heads than feet of upper stage performers, and also because the intimacy with the lower stage must be fabulous!

I wish my train wasn't delayed, as I can't wait to get home and try to book another ticket for the end of the run.

#294837 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted Titan on 02 March 2014 - 06:06 AM

Yeah but those were small social media campaigns, this is a national newspaper

#294756 Urinetown

Posted Front Row Dress on 01 March 2014 - 10:38 AM

This is so fantastic, I can't tell you (well I can but you know what I mean). The entire cast are phenomenal and Richard Fleeshman has really upped his game. I loved it from start to finish. We were in row E which was fine, but I would try not to sit any closer or too near the back of you will miss some of the action. I've written a five star love letter to it on the blog, but don't take my word for it, grab a ticket. http://www.frontrowd...-friday-28.html

#294712 Urinetown

Posted MrBarnaby on 28 February 2014 - 08:51 PM

Go and see it!