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Showing posts with label broadway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label broadway. Show all posts
Saturday, 12 August 2017

After Anatevka, Alexandra Silber (Book) | Review

After Anatevka, Alexandra Silber (Book) | Review
Saturday, 12 August 2017
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Not just a writer, but a renowned actress both here in the UK and across the pond, Alexandra Silber has successfully made an incredible transition from stage to page with her debut novel, After Anatevka. The novel is a study of love and tradition in Russia in the early twentieth century and is the perfect continuation of Fiddler on the Roof and Hodel's story. Silber's writing is stunningly eloquent and she conjures up images of the long gone world with a delightful flow and accuracy.

With the ever growing popularity of sites such as fanfic and wattpad, there seems to be a desire to continue the stories of our favourite characters, but whilst these can sometimes be cheesy and idealistic, Silber's is raw, truthful and gritty.

We last see Hodel, the second eldest daughter of Tevye and Golde, when she is leaving her father in Anatevka as she gets on a train to Siberia to work and be with her love, Perchik who has been branded as a political criminal by the Tsarist government. As the train approaches, Hodel promises her father that one day, she and Perchik will be married in a traditional Jewish ceremony although they both know Tevye will never see this happen as she says "God alone knows when we shall see each other again". This is the final time we see Hodel and are left to to deal with the heartbreaking reality of what she would have faced when she reached Siberia.  

After Anatevka tells us exactly what Hodel faced in the corrupt, violent world she was placed in on her mission to reach her fiancé. I think what's most heartbreaking about this novel is how much truth is in it. Whilst this is a work of fiction, the happenings are not fictional and many, if not all prisoners of the state were treated in the same atrocious ways. What's clear is how painstakingly meticulous Silber's research was and how she was able to weave this all in to create a shockingly truthful portrayal of Siberia in the early twentieth century. 

As well as showing the pain Hodel experiences in the present, Silber also throws in little anecdotes about her childhood and her relationship with her sisters, especially her somewhat combative but loving sister, Tzeitel. Their love is clear and provides moving passages showing the longing she feels to see those she left behind. Perchik's backstory is also particularly interesting and adds a layer which is not seen in the show and shows why he fights his way through the Gulag's challenges so ferociously.

After Anatevka is a profound debut novel. Alexandra provides a sentimental, insightful and truthful take on a world where change and tradition and forever at war with one another and a beautiful look at love. Silber's writing flows with an ease and simplicity that makes it a joy to read and she is an extremely accomplished story teller.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


After Anatevka is available to purchase here!

If you enjoy reading book reviews, head over to my book review site: www.livsbookishlife.blogspot.co.uk
Friday, 5 May 2017

Places, Lea Michele | Album Review

Places, Lea Michele | Album Review
Friday, 5 May 2017
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Places
Lea Michele
Reviewed by Olivia Mitchell
★★


Lea Michele's second solo album, Places was released on April 28th and flew to the top of the US pop charts, reaching number one almost as soon as it came out. It features a number of emotional ballads as well as some more upbeat songs which all flow together and scream emotion at every moment. In a recent interview Lea said that this album is more her true sound with both pop and musical theatre influences mixed in, it's not an album where she tries to fit a mould or sell to a certain market, it's just her.


Places is very slow-ballad heavy which could be a problem for some people but I thrive on those sorts of songs and honestly can't think of anything better than an all-out, belt for your life, dramatic album so I love it! The lyrics are theatrical and every song really plays to Lea's strengths as a singer, hitting each note with enough power and force to match Barbra and Celine.

This album flows very well indeed, each song holding its own and nothing is there just to fill space. Places is the perfect album for so many occasions, be it getting ready to go out, driving with the windows down, hiking or just while you're in the house living your best life. There's a song for everything and it's so personal and intimate that it feels like the exact album to accompany life and all its goings on.

The intimacy is what really makes Places special. Lea is baring her soul and showing us all her ups and downs through these songs. I want to tell you my favourite song but honestly it changes every five minutes so I can't but at the moment I am loving 'Run To You', 'Heavy Love' and 'Sentimental Memories'. The theme throughout the album is one of empowerment and pushing through whatever life throws at you. There is motivation beyond belief with 'Anything's Possible' especially, making you feel like you can conquer the world!

The amazing thing about Lea's voice is how it manages to be so strong but raw at the same time. She shows off her wide range well and moves between voice parts so smoothly it's just joyous to hear. Lea has always been an idol of mine and hearing this elegant piece of work made me even more inspired by her. 

Places refers to the call before starting a show where you're called to your place for the beginners call. The title seems very apt as it marks the start of a new chapter for Lea but to me I see the title as the sign to take my place, listen to this album, feel strong and motivated as hell and then to run at life full speed and live each moment to the fullest. So if you want to be inspired by both brilliant songs and flawless vocals then this is definitely an album you need in your collection. Lea really comes into her own and it's evident how much love and time has gone in to making this the best album it can be. Bravo!

Monday, 28 November 2016

In Conversation With... Shoshana Bean | Interview

In Conversation With... Shoshana Bean | Interview
Monday, 28 November 2016
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Firstly I want to apologise for how late this interview is. I interviewed Shoshana back in September but unfortunately my phone glitched and I couldn't retrieve the interview so it had to be put off. Thankfully I got it back so you lovely, stagey people can finally read it! So I hope you enjoy this late, but still very interesting and relevant interview from the wonderful Shoshana Bean!



Shoshana is a Broadway veteran who's starred in Wicked, Funny Girl, Hairspray and Beaches to name a few. She's released 3 solo albums, done countless solo concerts as well as those with the Postmodern Jukebox AND she sung back-up vocals for Michael Jackson! There's really nothing this lady can't do!...  
Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Get Excited | An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre

Get Excited | An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
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photograph by Angela Sterling
Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to the press launch for An American in Paris with some wonderful people from the Theatre Bloggers community. Aside from sipping champagne and indulging in delicious nibbles we were also treated to an exclusive presentation hosted by Darcey Bussell and her close friend and choreographer/director of the show Christopher Wheeldon.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Jeremy Jordan, Hippodrome Casino | Review

Jeremy Jordan, Hippodrome Casino | Review
Friday, 1 July 2016
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You know when you build something up so much in your head that it can't possibly live up to expectations? Last night was not one of those times. Yes I had built this concert up to a ridiculous level in my mind but the incredible Jeremy Jordan smashed every expectation and went above and beyond what I thought was humanly possible.

You may know him as the heart throb of tv from hits Smash and Supergirl or from his leading Broadway roles in Newsies and Bonnie and Clyde or maybe you're just hearing his name for the first time now.
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