Posts with the label tyrone huntley
Showing posts with label tyrone huntley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tyrone huntley. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Ain't Misbehavin', Southwark Playhouse | Review


Ain't Misbehavin'
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Wednesday 24th April 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Tyrone Huntley makes his directorial debut with this vivacious production that hasn't been seen in London for almost 25 years. With Oti Mabuse's choreography, the show is a whirlwind of energy which excites and entertains throughout.

Originally conceived by Richard Maltby Jr the show is billed as The Fats Waller Musical. It's more of a cabaret revue than a musical but, thanks to Huntley's direction, the performers have their own characteristics which thread throughout the show and create a fantastic cohesion. Songwriter and pianist, Fats Waller had a hugely successful career which combined jazz, slapstick comedy and gin. However, this show isn't about the man himself, but the music he created.

The powerhouse cast bring spades of energy and vocal prowess with every number. RenĂ©e Lamb is sassy and animated, Carly Mercedes Dyer is sweetly comedic, Landi Oshinowo brings spades of soul, Wayne Robinson is smooth and sharp and Adrian Hansel is sleek throughout. Alongside the strong five-piece band, the team give contagious performances.

The set and costume design by takis is glitzy and exuberant, with sparkles and swing embodied on every inch. The Southwark Playhouse is transformed to have an almost speakeasy feel as we are whisked away to a world of jazz and gin.

The 100 minute show is a sexy and sassy celebration of Fats Waller's music, with choreography and vocals to impress everyone. The cast do an outstanding job of selling all of the thirty musical numbers and providing both emotional and hugely comedic moments.

Ain't Misbehavin' runs at the Southwark Playhouse until June 1st 2019

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Ain't Misbehavin', Southwark Playhouse | Review

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Sondheim on Sondheim, Royal Festival Hall | Review


Sondheim on Sondheim 
Royal Festival Hall
Reviewed on Thursday 15th March 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Stephen Sondheim is one of the most loved musical theatre composers ever but because so much of his music is deeply rooted into it's source shows, his songs are rarely performed in a revue style as it tends to make little sense. However, people often try to make it work which is how Sondheim on Sondheim, conceived by James Lapine, was born. Instead of just being a series of songs, it includes footage and commentary from Stephen himself.

There is a mixture of biographical footage as well as more musically descriptive passages which meld into the live performances. Particularly effective moments were when Sondheim describes the various opening numbers for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum before they're sung live, and when he explains the musical complexities of Sweeney Todd as Julian Ovenden gives a rousing rendition of Epiphany.

The cast of this concert were sublime, with some outstanding ensemble moments including the jazzy, extra-swung version of West Side Story's Something's Coming. Claire Moore and Liz Callaway are both spectacular, with their touching mash up of Losing My Mind and Not a Day Goes By being a stand out of the night as well as their solo performances of Send in the Clowns and Buddy's Eyes. Julian Ovenden showed off his powerful voice in a number of songs, especially the glorious Finishing the Hat from Sunday in the Park with George


I felt that Rebecca Trehearn and Tyrone Huntley were underused in the concert. However, Rebecca's rendition of I Read and Tyrone's, Being Alive were absolutely wonderful. Both performers are firm favourites of mine and it was joyous to hear them backed by a full, flowing orchestra, even if it was only for a brief period. Damian Humbley replaced Ben Forster and provided some fantastic vocal moments, namely during Franklin Shepard, Inc.

Aside from the vocal performances, the BBC  Concert Orchestra were splendid, however at times, especially in the first act, the balance between them and the performers just didn't work and led to very uneven sound. At points it seemed like the microphones were not working at all whilst at others it sounded over amplified. 

Overall this was a beautifully moving concert with some light hearted moments as well as some more moving flashes such as when Sondheim describes his relationship with Oscar Hammerstein and talks candidly about receiving a letter from his mother saying she wished she never birthed him. I left the Royal Festival Hall in awe of the performers, in love with Sondheim's music and connected to him as a person. Of course we just saw him on screen but in his candid moments he came across as a genuinely kind person who adores music- something which we can all relate to.

Sondheim on Sondheim will be broadcast on Tuesday 20 March, 7.30pm on BBC Radio 3

photo credit: Mark Allan

Sondheim on Sondheim, Royal Festival Hall | Review

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Monday, 4 December 2017

Marisha Wallace: Soul Holiday, Charing Cross Theatre | Review


Marisha Wallace: Soul Holiday (Concert) 
Charing Cross Theatre 
Reviewed on Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

There's no denying that Marisha Wallace is a powerhouse; in the short time she's been in London she's really made herself a feature of the West End and a must see star. Continuing her conquest of the West End theatre scene, Marisha recently released a Christmas album, Soul Holiday, full of festive treats to get us all in the Christmas spirit and yesterday performed these musical gems for us at the Charing Cross Theatre.

The concert included her jazzy Christmas re-imaginations, gospel songs and some musical theatre classics as well as her hilarious/motivational/all round brilliant interludes between songs. Her warm personality, outstanding vocals and ability to work a crowd had the audience in the palm of her hand within a matter of moments.

Personal highlights included 'O Come All Ye Faithful', the brilliantly upbeat 'Joyful, Joyful', and her heartfelt performance of 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' which she explained was particularly meaningful as she's been away from her family and friends for so long. 'He Chose Me' was vocally faultless and especially moving. Her stunning rendition of 'I'm Here' from The Colour Purple (she played Celie in the production at Cadogan Hall) was incredible and a testament to her vocal and acting skills.

Two fantastic guests joined the festive bliss with Tyrone Huntley showing off his smooth, glorious voice in 'Last Christmas' and 'What's Going On' and Rachel Tucker in the Christmas favourite, 'Winter Wonderland' and the hilarious, belt-tastic 'Take Me or Leave Me' from Rent. Both were great, their friendship with Marisha really shone through and contributed to the warm and cosy, festive feeling.

Marisha spoke candidly about a number of topics including her grandmother who inspired her to continue singing, food (a festive staple) and Jesus. Whilst she spoke a lot about her religion, it was not in a forceful way and she explained that "it doesn't matter who or what you believe in, just believe in you and that you can do anything". It was refreshing to hear such honesty and motivation.

Whilst the 5pm audience were not the most enthusiastic, everyone still seemed to enjoy the concert as they basked in the glory of Marisha's voice and talent.  The intimate setting with the four fantastic band members, three backup singers, two gorgeous gowns and one Marisha was all there needed to be to create an evening of festive magic. 

Marisha is charmismatic, charming, vocally outstanding and just a born performer. I have no doubt that Marisha's career will keep going up and up as she reaches wider audiences and shows people what a first-rate performer she is and I can't wait to see what's to come. To feel the festive vibes, be sure to grab your copy of Soul Holiday and get along to see Marisha whenever you can! 

Marisha Wallace: Soul Holiday, Charing Cross Theatre | Review

Monday, 4 December 2017

Friday, 21 July 2017

In Conversation With... Tyrone Huntley | Jesus Christ Superstar | Interview


Tyrone Huntley has the voice of an angel and supreme acting skills. He's just finished starring as CC in Dreamgirls and is currently in rehearsals to reprise the role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Regent's Park Open Air theatre later this summer. He's already a star but he deserves even more praise for his outstanding performances and I can't wait to see what more he does!


For anyone that doesn’t know, can you explain a little about your career and highlights so far?

I graduated from Mountview in 2011 and got my first job in the U.K. Tour of Sister Act. My West End debut came straight after that in The Book of Mormon and since then I've been fortunate enough to work on other incredible shows including the Original London Casts of Memphis and Dreamgirls.


I read that you studied law and completed a degree in it whilst you were starring in The Book of Mormon and Memphis, how was it juggling the two?

It was difficult and extremely time consuming but ever so rewarding. I learned a lot and when I graduated I felt such a sense of pride and achievement. 


Do you have any other hidden passions that you’d like to pursue?

I'd love to learn to play the piano proficiently and I really want to learn a language but a real aspiration of mine is to hone my writing skills. I write songs but I'm in awe of playwrights and novelists and those who have the imagination to create entire worlds out of nothing.


You’ve just finished playing CC in the epic, Dreamgirls. Is CC anything like you?

CC has some really enviable qualities that don't sit naturally with me. Where CC is optimistic and positive thinking, I generally think the worst and I'm not surprised when things don't necessarily go my way!! That said, I like to think I can relate to his ambitiousness, his caring nature and desire to make people happy.


Have you had any funny onstage or offstage mishaps whilst you’ve been in the show? Or any other shows?

I did Porgy and Bess at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre a couple of years ago which meant, like Jesus Christ Superstar, we were obviously performing outside. In the show I had a little featured singing bit - my big moment. One evening I was just about to sing my part but as I breathed in I inhaled a massive fly so instead of singing my one little solo song, I had a beautifully underscored coughing fit! 


It’s so exciting that you’ll be returning to play Judas again at the open air theatre. What are the hardest and most exciting parts about playing the iconic role?

I'm very excited. It's a great role in a great show and I get to perform at Regent's Park again! The music is amazing and I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth back into it. That said, it's very challenging vocally which means, more than usual, I have to look after myself and make sure I stay as fit and healthy as possible which means my already limited social life will have to take even more of a back seat!!


Besides yourself, who else would you like to see tackle the character of Judas?

I'd love to see my old mate Matt Cardle do it, he'd be perfect. Or thinking outside of the box maybe Eva Noblezada... she'd sound amazing. 


What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?

I have to go through all of my lines for the next scene. I trust my short term memory way more than my long term memory and it puts me at ease just to check the lines are still there! 

Tyrone and the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar
You have a five minute break in rehearsals, what are you doing?

Eating. 


Is there a musical or play you’ve seen recently that you loved? 

I saw Hamlet at the Harold Pinter a few weeks ago with Andrew Scott and Juliet Stevenson. I was completely blown away by everything about the production! 


What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?

It's certainly not very fun but it's extremely important to me. I HATE coriander. It's poison!


What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

Hard work doesn't always pay off but if you put in the work, no one can ever take that away from you and you can always rest in the knowledge that you did everything you could. Be open - every experience, whether negative or positive, is an opportunity to learn.



A huge thank you to Tyrone for taking the time to do this interview. Make sure you book to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

Keep up with Tyrone via his twitter

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

In Conversation With... Tyrone Huntley | Jesus Christ Superstar | Interview

Friday, 21 July 2017

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Dreamgirls, Original London Cast Recording | Album Review


Dreamgirls

Original London Cast
Reviewed by Olivia Mitchell
★★

Recorded live at London's Savoy Theatre, backed by a fourteen piece band, this new recording of the well loved musical, Dreamgirls, gives you a wonderful opportunity to hear some of the finest voices on the West End singing one of the most high energy and belt heavy scores. And I Am Telling You that you need to get out and get a copy asap because it's a triumphant recording indeed.

The whole album feels like you're really watching the show and although there are probably far less swarovski crystals in your living room than on the stage of the Savoy, nothing is lost with the transition from stage to cd and with the recorded audience applause you can fully pretend you're in the show as you sing along in the shower! 

'The Dreams' are of course the stars of this show and the impeccable vocals from the three girls are fully shown off in this recording. Amber Riley's effortless belt and riffs are a joy to be heard at full volume through headphones, along with Liisi LaFontaine's beautiful smooth tones and Ibinabo Jack's huge voice and moments of complete hilarity. Overall they really are a Dream Team and it's clear to hear why the show is getting the rapturous praise that it is. Joe Aaron Reid (Curtis Taylor Jr), Tyrone Huntley (C.C. White), Lily Frazer (Michelle Morris)  and Adam J Bernard (Jimmy Early) are equally brilliant and provide fabulously dramatic vocal moments throughout. 

Personal highlights of the recording include 'It's All Over', 'Listen', 'Steppin' To The Bad Side', 'Ain't No Party' and 'Dreamgirls' which all pack a punch and a half. Each song is balanced well and comes across as it would on stage: with vibrance and emotion.

Overall the album provides a wonderful complement to seeing the stage show but is also brilliant in its own right. You can feel the energy and passion through your speakers and it's a really brilliant recording to add to any theatre lovers collection. The entire cast are faultless and the love for performing together really comes across. I will certainly be listening to this recording for more than One Night Only and highly urge you to download it and give it a Listen for yourself. If you haven't seen the show then definitely try and grab yourself a ticket because it's honestly one of the best things I've seen and this recording the best thing I've heard!


The Dreamgirls Original London Cast Recording is released Friday 12 May 2017.


Dreamgirls is currently booking at the Savoy Theatre until 21 October 2017.

Dreamgirls, Original London Cast Recording | Album Review

Thursday, 11 May 2017

West End Unplugged feat. Dreamgirls, W Hotel | Review


West End Unplugged feat. Dreamgirls

The W Hotel
Reviewed on Monday May 8th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

West End Unplugged is a new series of concerts taking place at the W Hotel in Piccadilly Circus inspired by the concept at the W Times Square: Broadway at the W. The idea is to gather together a whole group of West End performers and see them showcase their skills with a variety of songs and performances in an intimate, relaxed environment and to just have a good time. The first concert included the cast of Motown and for the second we were treated to the cast of Dreamgirls performing their hearts out flawlessly, even though they'd just finished a show! 

Marisha Wallace carried us through the evening of powerhouse performers singing songs of their choosing, with a few special guests and a whole load of energy and love. Throughout the night, every single performer went all out and gave nothing but their best, with every single one owning the stage and holding the audience in the palm of their hand.


The relaxed, stripped back setting of the W Hotel bar was perfect for the concert. With drinks flowing and comfy sofas all around, there was enough space to feel intimate whilst not feeling closed in. The acoustic set worked wonderfully in the space with it being the perfect mix of stripped back and club, party vibes.


I have to talk about Amber Riley singing 1+1' as my ultimate performance of the night. I mean, I knew she was talented but the runs and effortless belt had me open mouthed in awe and adoration,-what a superstar. Special mentions must also go to Joe Aaron Reid's 'I Lived', Marisha Wallace's 'My Funny Valentine' and Liisi La Fontaine's 'One Last Time' as the other stand out performances of the night, but there were absolutely no weak links and every single performance was outstanding. Additionally I have to quickly mention Tyrone Huntley who blew me away again with his rendition of 'Rock With You' which I recently heard at the West End Live Lounge, his voice is just angelic and so so effortless. Also to Sapphire Soul who are harmonic perfection. I want to talk about every performer individually but I'm afraid that would be a ridiculously long post so just know that the cast of Dreamgirls are freaking talented and deserve every bit of love and praise they get!


Our host for the night was the hilarious, talented and just all round brilliant, Marisha Wallace who is the current alternate for Effie White. Marisha kept us entertained between performances with jokes and anecdotes about her life and the other performers as well as providing back up vocals for a number of the acts and belting her way through some songs. Her overwhelmingly fabulous stage presence kept the audience engaged and laughing all the way through and created a glorious night which showcased one of the most talented casts on the West End. 


I can't wait to see more of these acoustic sets and hopefully more of each and every Dreamgirls cast member! West End Unplugged is a unique opportunity to hear the stars of the stage outside of their usual confinements and a brilliant chance to just enjoy talent and music. For an absolutely fantastic night out, be sure to attend one of their concerts. Who said Monday's have to be boring!?


Keep an eye out here for upcoming West End Unplugged concerts, you won't regret attending!

West End Unplugged feat. Dreamgirls, W Hotel | Review

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Musical Marathon, The Other Palace | Review


The Musical Marathon
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Sunday April 16th 2017 by Grace English 
★★

The Musical Marathon at The Other Palace was held in support of Orchid a cause close to the hearts of far too many of us; that of fighting male cancer. Even at its most light-hearted and celebratory points neither the performers nor the audience lost sight of what we were there for, and this is what marks it as a truly spectacular and important evening.

Paul Taylor-Mills and Caroline Flack carried us through a maelstrom of powerhouse performers singing songs of their choosing, most of which are in some way anthems of ambition and resilience. Nathan Amzi opened the show with a heartfelt rendition of 'Titanium', and from there, not a single performer gave anything less than their absolute best, each one truly holding the audience completely in the moment. A special mention has to go to Kim Criswell's 'Look to the Rainbow/Over the Rainbow', as well as Emma Kingston's 'Listen' and Marisha Wallace's heart-wrenching 'Stay With Me' as the standout performances of the night, even amongst a group with no weak links whatsoever. In addition, Aimie Atkinson, Genesis Lynea and Stephanie Rojas closing Act One with an energised rendition of 'Lady Marmalade' was a true testament to girl power and their boundless talents as individuals.

Between the performances, Paul Taylor-Mills and Caroline Flack kept us entertained with jokes and anecdotes from their time working with the performers, and even hosted a form of 'karaoke bingo' that resulted in a hilarious improvisation of 'Don't Stop Believing' in the style of Meatloaf and Britney Spears. This allowed the night to easily overcome an issue facing any concert-esque shows; that of failing to engage the audience and thus loosing their attention about an hour in. In overcoming this, we get a sometimes hilarious, sometimes emotional, and constantly enjoyable night showcasing some of the best talent on the West End.

In spite of the fun, it should be remembered that this night was held in the interest of raising money for a serious and important cause which you can learn more about here: https://orchid-cancer.org.uk/

Photo credit: Claire Bilyard

The Musical Marathon, The Other Palace | Review

Monday, 17 April 2017

Monday, 20 March 2017

West End Live Lounge, Union Theatre | Review


West End Live Lounge
Union Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 19th March 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

When I say last night was a perfect Sunday evening, I am not exaggerating at all. With the amount of talent that was in the room it was hard not to have a brilliant time! The West End Live Lounge at the Union Theatre was the first of what I hope become many concerts created by Shaun McCourt and Leigh Lothian. The premise of the concerts is that as many West End stars as possible are brought together to perform incredible music with all proceeds going to charity. There are no musical theatre songs to be heard so all performers are able to step out of their usual boxes and really explore and show off their musicality.

The star studded line up included: Marisha Wallace, Gabriela Garcia, Arun Blair, Tyrone Huntley, Phoebe Street, Kelly Agbowu, Natalie Green, Leigh Lothian, Matthew-Seadon Young, Sejal Keshwala, Laura Tebbutt, Nicola Avino, Iain Mattley, Paul Wilkins, Laura Mansell, Brady Isaacs Pearce, Jamal Andreas, Jonny Howe, Katie Brayben, Marcus Ayton, Gary Wood, Lauren Ingram, Adam Bailey, Oliver Savile and Andrew Bateup.

There were a number of lovely duets and trios as well as fabulous solos and the performers also got to show off their other musical abilities such as piano playing which was very impressive. The intimate atmosphere of the Union Theatre in Southwark was the perfect setting for the evening with the whole evening having a warm, laid back, friendly feeling. The stage, complete with sofas and a table added to this vibe and the overall mood was perfect for a relaxed Sunday.

The overall quality of performances was extremely high and every member of the cast and ensemble were flawless with wonderful song choices and joyous performances. There were a number of particular standouts for me. Firstly, Gabriela Garcia and Arun Blair who did a lovely, sweet, and harmonious medley of Rihanna and Sam Smith with a cheeky bit of Into The Woods mixed in! Their chemistry was evident and their voices just work so well together that it's a joy to see and hear them perform. Tyrone Huntley and Marisha Wallace were other standouts and were a theme of my weekend having seen Dreamgirls on Saturday (review coming soon!)

Tyrone's dulcet tones were perfect for the Michael Jackson hit 'Rock With You' and Marisha brought the house down and earned a well deserved standing ovation with her insanely good rendition of 'Natural Woman'. Natalie Green sang Sam Smith's classic, 'Lay Me Down' which was truly stunning.

The whole night was full of joy, friendliness and sweet, sweet harmonies. It was so lovely to see so many people come together to perform and raise money for UNICEF and I really hope there will be many more West End Live Lounges to come! Make sure to keep and eye out on Twitter to make sure you don't miss the next event which is sure to be as incredible and inspiring as this one!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WElivelounge17


West End Live Lounge, Union Theatre | Review

Monday, 20 March 2017