Still the same ill-conceived show. Maybe the fact that the cast seem less intent on trying to "sell" the show to the audience made it slightly more bearable than in New York. Maureen Lipman does the best she can with what she's given.
Musical - A Chorus Line (Crucible Theatre,
A decent production with some weaknesses (clumsy direction at
times, a pretty miscast Zach, "new" orchestrations) and some strong points
(Josefina Gabrielle -- wonderful as Cassie -- and some great kids in the cast).
Musical - Anything Goes (Theatre Royal
Drury Lane, London, 7:30pm)
There are pure moments of bliss, especially when the one and
only Gareth Valentine unchains the fantastic orchestra. There are also moments
when the production looks awkward, when the staging looks cramped and when the
leading lady does not have the charisma to carry the show on her shoulders.
Musical - Sweeney Todd (Royal Opera House,
Although this was the same production I saw in Chicago just
over a year ago, the London mounting definitely didn't rate as high on the
excitement scale. Both leads were too busy singing to really act. The pace was
much too slow, thus spoiling some of the fun. Even Paul Gemigniani seemed to
have given up all hope and conducted rather mechanically. But Sweeney
Todd in Covent Garden — at last — has to be considered a victory.
Exhibition - Turner and Venice (Tate
It was somewhat strange to learn that Turner hardly spent
four weeks in Venice in all his life. Yet his fascination for the city was the
source of many paintings. Of particular interest are the many sketches on
display and the late paintings where shapes are hardly recognizable and colour
becomes the most important element.
Musical - Sugar / Some Like It Hot (Opéra
Royal de Wallonie, Liège, 3pm)
To say that this production was a pleasant
surprise would be the understatement of the century. The orchestra did more than
justice to the brilliance of Jule Styne's score and the cast was incredibly
right (not an usual occurrence in Liège). The physical production looked fine
and the staging and choreography were blissful. The show managed to retain the
charm of the movie, while adding an extra layer of pleasure with the musical
numbers. Let this show come to Paris! It deserves a transfer so much more than
the ill-guided production of Singin' in the Rain designed by the same
team a couple of years ago.