Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber’

Review – Evita, Regent’s Park

Wednesday 14 August 2019

A jobbing actress who finds global fame and VIP status by marrying a person who holds a position of national significance?

A woman who has special interests in charitable deeds and spouting political thoughts but becomes something of a fashion icon in the process and also the target of accusations of hypocrisy?

If the opportunity had been around there’s no doubt Eva Perón would have opened an Instagram account. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Jesus Christ Superstar, Barbican Theatre

Friday 26 July 2019

Well yes. Time to fess up. This was our fifth visit to this Regent’s Park production of JesusChrist Superstar. Though only (only?) the third time we actually got to see the show. Our first visit was cancelled due to a power failure and another cancelled due to inclemency. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Guys and Dolls with Rebel Wilson, Phoenix Theatre

Friday 19 August 2016

CknMotoVEAAA1lPA Shentonesque week for Phil: a couple of return visits to musicals. Phil had his second coming at Regent’s Park with  Jesus Christ Superstar followed the next night with Guys and Dolls: not that he was over-enthused with the latter, he was just shamelessly seduced by the star casting. Obvs.

The JCS run is sold out, so the only option was to go for day ‘seats’ which entails sitting on one of the grassy knolls either side of the stage. They are weather dependent. The show might go ahead in inclement weather but those ‘seats’ may not be on sale. The kindly people at Regent’s Park (and we must mention how especially nice all the theatre staff are at RPOAT) don’t want to risk us getting soggy bottoms. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Tuesday 9 August 2016

18842_show_portrait_largeSome things you may not know about Jesus Christ Superstar:

It was the first show Phil saw in the West End. He came up from Wiltshire with friends to see the original London cast at the Palace Theatre. A theatre he is now unlikely to ever see the interior of again.

He recorded the original JCS album on his reel-to-reel tape recorder. A microphone placed between the speakers of his friend’s stereo. A household forced into silence for an hour and a half.

He typed out the entire lyrics using his sister’s Brother typewriter, bound the sheets with Sellotape and created a cover reproducing the album artwork using felt tip pens. Quite an achievement for a 25 year-old.

He went to see this revival at Regent’s Park on the night the show was cancelled. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, London Coliseum

Wednesday 13 April 2016

glenn-close-sunset-boulevardWell this wasn’t intended to be our 5th in the series of shows-missed-first-time round as we were due to be at The Suicide at the National Theatre but that was cancelled due to laryngitis. Javone Prince’s who plays the lead role – not ours.

And Sunset Boulevard? Well, Phil saw it first time round with Patti LuPone and then Elaine Paige but not Glenn Close who did it on the Broadway some 20 plus years ago, so it does fit our theme. Sorta.

Anyhoo, Ms Close “makes her West End debut” according to the publicity, Phil saw her Blanche Dubois at the National 14 years ago so is this strictly her West End debut? Discuss. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Stephen Ward, Aldwych Theatre

Tuesday 17 December 2013

00713940 - 250x346When Phil asked Andrew if he fancied trailing along with him to the new “PG advised” Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “play with songs”, Stephen Ward, he replied, “I hope I’m not too Stephen”.

Phil, unusually, understood Andrew instantly. New cockney rhyming slang for ennui. It will no doubt form a regular part of our lexicon.

Hard to believe it’s getting on for 4 years since the Whingers visited the composer’s last show and inadvertently caused something akin to a minor rumpus.

But this in not the behemoth of Love Never Dies. This take on the Profumo Affair – following Stephen Ward’s part in the scandal and the common consent that the establishment used him a scapegoat – is a decidedly small scale offering by comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium

Friday 25 February 2011

Featuring TV’s Danielle Hope as Dorothy and Bill Kenwright as the Harbinger of Doom.

We were astonished to read that co-producer Mister Bill Kenwright had been treading the Palladium boards as warm-up man for Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new production of The Wizard of Oz. Frankly, it seemed unlikely.

But it is true.

It was true on Tuesday evening, anyway. There he was, reminiscing about Sunday Night at the London Palladium, talking up the quality of the orchestra, the beauty of the sets and the “zillions” (which must mean TWOO has now outstripped Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as the most expensive musical of all time) spent on the double stage revolve.

Stopping just short of slapping a thigh he encouraged the crowd to sing along, clap, cheer, scream and boo the wicked witch before casually dropping in the fact that Michael Crawford wouldn’t actually be giving his wonderful Wizard or his Professor Marvel. Or his Emerald City doorman, come to that. It’s times like this make you wish for the simple white slip poking out of your programme.

The cause? Not mere laryngitis but “blood on his nodules”, apparently – a medical detail that perhaps unsurprisingly failed to whip the crowd much further into the desired state of frenzy but which did cause the Whingers to kick themselves for not packing the WEW Patent Rectal Thermometer.

An economically monickered understudy called “Zeph” (usually “Munchkin Mayor/Ensemble”) would be stepping into Mister Crawford’s beret. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – By Jeeves, Landor Theatre

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Some people can be very kind.

When Phil announced to anyone who would listen at the Sunday matinée preview of By Jeeves at the Landor Theatre that he’d seen the original production, the overly generous and perhaps slightly naïve response was “That must be fifteen years ago!”

What of course Phil meant was the pre-London, Bristol Hippodrome tryout of Jeeves (as it was called in those long gone days back when Colin Firth was probably still on the throne).

If the Whingers had been together (in the co-dependent theatregoers sense) then its doubtful they would have made it even to the interval. Early previews apparently ran at four and three-quarter hours. Phil remembers the performance he endured going well beyond three and a half hours. Phil’s family became prototype Whingers unanimously agreeing it wasn’t very good and way too long. If only Sir Trevor Nunn had been brought in to cut it down to size.

Sheared of most of its numbers (only three remain from the original) and reworked in 1996 as By Jeeves it’s now running at an easier to digest two and a half hours (including interval).

But sadly, it felt every minute of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Aspects of Love, Menier Chocolate Factory

Thursday 15 July 2010

Lordy!

This was the first WEW outing to an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical since that other thing earlier this year, the occasion on which the Whingers finally – after four years of writing – came up with a reasonably funny gag. Monkeys and typewriters and all that.

No wonder another 11 people signed up to come along, all hoping to be around when the Whingers came up with their second apposite aphorism. Needless to say they were disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Love Never Dies, Adelphi Theatre

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Paint Never DriesThe Whingers could think of many reasons not to see Love Never Dies, the long-awaited (although by whom is unclear) sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.

Phil was impressed with the spectacle of the original when he saw its first preview a zillion years ago but when he when revisited it with Phantom virgin* Andrew years later he was shocked by how, well, tedious it actually is.

On the plus side if you really must do a follow-up then a storyline set in Coney Island sounds just up the Whingers’ alleys. Just think of the visual possibilities! The Whingers’ inner juries were definitely going to examine all the evidence before deciding whether or not another crime against musical theatre had been committed. Phil even admitted to being quite excited about going.

But word-of-mouth from die-hard Phantom wasn’t encouraging: there are 53 pages (and still counting) of largely negative comment on the WhatsOnStage forum, largely from Phantom fans. If they didn’t like it what chance would the Whingers have?

Still, there obviously IS a demand from the press at least because the nice people at Peter Thompson Associates who are handling PR for the show wrote a very nice email back to the Whingers to say that “due to the extremely high demand and a strictly limited ticket allocation we will not be able to provide you with press tickets for this show”.

How cruelly dashed on the rocks of pecking orders were our dreams of endless first nights, unlimited free drink and casual hob-nobbing with celebrities at after-show parties. Bet Biggins got an invite.

So anyway, it was down to the Whingers to fork out their own money like the ordinary theatre-goers they once were, and are apparently again, for £37.50 EACH in the UPPER (oh, the shame of it) Circle of the Adelphi.

So let us examine the case for and against Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s latest opus. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Sunset Boulevard, Comedy Theatre

Tuesday 9 December 2008

sunsetboulevard“You can’t write a musical about Sunset Boulevard,” Billy Wilder is said to have told Stephen Sondheim. “It has to be an opera. After all, it’s about a dethroned queen” (We’re not going to insult your intelligence with links to SB, BW or SS – you know what/who they are).

Sondheim got the message but if Andrew Lloyd Webber had any qualms he overcame them and – unhappily – another hit was born, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Betty Buckley, Petula Clark and Rita Moreno (ditto) being among the luminaries who have given their close-up, Mr De Mille.

Now, cards on the table. The Whingers have never been struck by Mr Lloyd Webber’s work and they tend to steer well-clear of sung-through musicals. They also believe that Sunset Boulevard is a classic film that no-one has any right to mess with (for heaven’s sake; at this rate they’ll be staging All About Eve next!) but they gallantly overcame all these prejudices and more in order to take a trip down Sunset Boulevard at the Comedy Theatre. Read the rest of this entry »