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Posts from January 2004

Musical - Victor/Victoria (Bridewell Theatre,

Musical - Victor/Victoria (Bridewell
Theatre, London, 7:30pm)

A very weak show -- all the songs not from the movie are
rather appalling, especially on the lyrics side. The tacky set and low-budget
production don't help, even if the two leads are pretty good.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie”

Shaftesbury Theatre, Londres • 24.1.04 à 15h

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

Musical - A Chorus Line (Crucible Theatre,
Sheffield, 7:30pm)

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 Show - Fosse (Le

Musical Show - Fosse (Le Châtelet, Paris,

Maybe the most entertaining version I've seen (after being
pretty disappointed in New York and in London)... even if it meant having to
bear Ben Vereen's mugging for two hours.

Concert - Ensemble Orchestral de

Concert - Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
(Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, 8pm)

Nice and unusual program, including Elgar’s Serenade for
and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.

Musical - Anything Goes (Theatre

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.

Play with Music - Jumpers

Play with Music - Jumpers (Piccadilly
Theatre, London, 2:30pm)

A many-faceted play by Tom Stoppard which is sometimes
disorienting, sometimes provoking... but always captivating, in part because of
a superb cast led by the incomparable Simon Russell Beale.

Musical - Sweeney Todd (Royal

Musical - Sweeney Todd (Royal Opera House,
London, 7:30pm)

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
in Covent Garden — at last — has to be considered a victory.

Exhibition - Turner and Venice

Exhibition - Turner and Venice (Tate
Britain, London)

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.

Book - But Darling, I'm

Book - But Darling, I'm Your Auntie Mame!
(Richard Tyler Jordan)

A well-researched history of Patrick Dennis's character, from
the original novel to the play to the movie of the play to the musical to the
movie of the musical.

Book - Colored Lights: Forty

Book - Colored Lights: Forty Years of Words
and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration and All That Jazz
(John Kander & Fred

A wonderfully candid and informative theatrical memoir by
Broadway's last great creative team.

Musical - Sugar / Some

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.