Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Alex Lacamoire. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Alex Lacamoire. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

9 to 5 The Musical, Savoy Theatre | Review

9 to 5 The Musical
Savoy Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 12th March 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

Its almost forty years since Violet, Judy, Doralee and their misogynistic boss made their way to screens in the film 9 to 5. Musical adaptation by film creator, Patricia Resnick shows that whilst times have changed, unfortunately many of the issues are still prevalent and feel very relevant during the Trump Era and #MeToo movement. 

Despite what you may think, this is not a jukebox musical and apart from the world hit 9 to 5, many of the songs are forgettable although being pleasing to listen to at the time. The arrangements by Stephen Oremus, Alex Lacamoire and Mark Crossland are pretty and Lisa Stevens' buoyant choreography keeps the momentum of the show going but the music itself is not the highlight. 

However, Jeff Calhoun's West End production features a fantastic cast who perform Dolly Parton's score with vigour and drive.  Natalie McQueen completely shines as Dolly's character, Doralee Rhodes. Funny, feisty and a vocal powerhouse, Natalie brings life to the role and provides a memorable moment with Backwards Barbie. Amber Davies is charming as the naive Judy Bernly who finds herself throughout the show. Whilst her acting is somewhat lacking at times, Amber retains her charisma and gives a lovely performance of Get Out and Stay Out. 

Caroline Sheen brings a light to the show as the strong and capable, Violet Newstead. Together the three ladies are a  real force as they take drastic measures to stop their sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jnr. (played comedically by Brian Conley) from blackmailing them.  The real show stealer is Bonnie Langford as Hart's devoted assistant who is completely wonderful is her unrequited love for her CEO. Her high-kicking, leg-splitting performance of Heart to Hart is impressive beyond belief and utterly hilarious.

This is a crowd pleasing production that, with a second act of only 45 minutes, flies by with a flash of hair, power-suits and feminism. There's no denying that the principles are dated and it's more of a period piece  than a modern inspirational tale to live by, but it does provide a laugh. Whilst being set in the 80s, the various nods to 2019 allow it to feel more relatable. 9 to 5 is a feel-good show, helmed by powerful performers who allow you to ignore the shortcomings and enjoy it for what it is: a load of female led fun.

photo credit: Craig Sugden

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre | Review

Victoria Palace Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 21st December 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 

It's worth the hype.

Like many other musical theatre nerds, I jumped on the Hamilton bandwagon just over two years ago and haven't stepped off since. Swept up in the unique style of the show and the inclusivity of it, I fell in love and couldn't wait until I would finally see Lin Manuel Miranda's musical about the rise and fall of the USA's first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton.

During the past few months, while the show was being primped and preened for its arrival at the newly renovated Victoria Palace theatre, it has been receiving more press and excitement than Prince Harry's engagement! Even as a huge fan and supporter of the show, I was getting to the point where I thought there was no way it'd be worth it. Then I saw it...

Die-hard Hamilton fans are probably expecting everything to sound identical to Leslie Odom Jr.'s Burr, Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton or Philippa Soo's Eliza and we can't help but compare to what we're used to from the OBC recording but thanks to the power and brilliance of the London cast, all these comparisons fade away. The entire company pump in soul, heart and skill to the glorious narrative created by Miranda, musical supervisor Alex Lacamoire and director, Thomas Kail.

Giles Terera is charismatic and sharp as Aaron Burr, bouncing brilliantly off of the suave, likeable Jamael Westman as the titular, Alexander Hamilton. The two are perfect as the historical frenemies as Burr begins to resent Hamilton for rising in the ranks of office. Giles has some of the most iconic moments of the show with some truly show-stopping vocal sections, especially in the epic 'Wait For It' and jazzy, 'The Room Where It Happens'. Jamael tackles the huge role with skill and ease, showing his brash side in big rap numbers, as well as his more emotional, Shakespearean side towards the end in his final monologue and the heart-wrenching 'It's Quiet Uptown'.

Whilst these two talented men lead the cast, there is not a weak link anywhere. Powerhouse Rachel John is sassy and strong as the heartbroken Angelica; Rachelle Ann Go manages to be innocent but powerful at the same time in her performance of Eliza who falls for, is betrayed by and eventually forgives the man she loves. Christine Allado as "and Peggy" is particularly humourous as she bounds on stage with a childlike quality in the opening and is contrastingly seductive as Maria Reynolds in act 2 when she belts out 'Say No To This' with ease and drama.

West End newbie, Tarinn Callender is suave as Hercules Mulligan and full of dry humour as James Madison. Jason Pennycooke is frantic, hilarious and all round brilliant as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. His fast paced, faultless rap is perfectly balanced with his acting and smooth movement around the stage and he's certainly a stand out. Obioma Ugoala wows with his vocals as he belts 'One Last Time' and as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton, Cleve September is strong whilst maintaining his childlike quality. Michael Jibson as King George steals every scene he's in. When I say he's hilarious, I mean laugh out loud, unforgettable moments hilarious. Every movement is perfectly thought out and he milks each line with precision.

The ensemble are sharp and outstanding, with In The Heights alumni, Courtney-Mae Briggs capturing my attention throughout. The precise choreography is one of the ultimate parts of the show, it's sharp as sharp can be and mirrors the action to perfection. Like the music, each aspect of on stage drama is reflected by style. Hip-hop, operetta, lullaby's and more embelish the spirit of the moment.

I could continue to rave about this show but I fear that could turn into a full dissertation so here's where I'll end. Hamilton is truly groundbreaking, it challenges the status-quo, brings a freshness to  the West End and breaks conformity by casting people of colour and challenging racial tensions. The show embodies representation in every way and is a spectacle to behold.

Hamilton lives up to the hype and is unforgettable. It's cool, unique and diverse as it subverts the typical language of storytelling. Find a way to get a ticket and see this show!

photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Stranger Things Star Gaten Matarazzo Will Return to Broadway in Dear Evan Hansen

Stranger Things
star Gaten Matarazzo will make his long-awaited return to Broadway as 'Jared Kleinman' in the Broadway company of Dear Evan Hansen, the Tony, Grammy and Oliver Award-winning musical now playing at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street), producer Stacey Mindich announced today. Matarazzo joins the Broadway cast on July 19, 2022. Also returning to the Dear Evan Hansen family on July 19 are Ann Sanders as 'Cynthia Murphy,' and from the show's North American tour, Noah Kieserman as 'Connor Murphy,' and Ciara Alyse Harris as 'Alana Beck.'

Words could never express how truly honored I am to be a part of this company," Matarazzo said. "This show has taught me so much about myself and to be able to participate in any capacity, let alone on Broadway, makes me want to melt. I am ecstatic to be back on stage and eternally grateful for the opportunity."

Best known for his portrayal of Dustin on Stranger Things, Matarazzo made his Broadway debut in 2011 in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (starring alongside Dear Evan Hansen's 'Heidi Hansen' Jessica Phillips), was part of the 2013 Godspell cast, and last appeared on Broadway in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables, a role he also played on the 25th Anniversary North American tour. He is a SAG Award-recipient and was recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 30 stars under the age of 30.

When he is not acting, the 19-year-old devotes his time to raising awareness about cleidocranial dysplasia - a condition that affects the development of bones and teeth. With the help of a Utah-based doctor, Gaten launched CCD Smiles, a Foundation built to help families pay their children's dental bills.

The current company of Dear Evan Hansen includes Zachary Noah Piser, Talia Simone Robinson, Jessica Phillips, Christiane Noll, David Jeffery, Manoel Felciano, Jared Goldsmith, and Phoebe Koyabe, and Linedy Genao, Nathan Levy, Mateo Lizcano, Dan Macke, Jane Pfitsch, D'Kaylah Unique Whitley, Asa Somers, Josh Strobl, and Nicole Van Giesen.

Dear Evan Hansen reopened its Broadway production on December 11, 2020 and currently has three productions running across the globe, with its Broadway, North American Tour and West End companies once again playing in tandem.

Dear Evan Hansen features choreography by Danny Mefford, scenic design by David Korins, projection design by Peter Nigrini, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, and hair design by David Brian Brown; Jennifer Lord is the Natural Hair Consultant. Music supervision, orchestrations and additional arrangements are by Alex Lacamoire. Ben Cohn is the Associate Music Supervisor. U.S. Casting by Tara Rubin Casting/Kevin Metzger-Timson. Vocal arrangements and additional arrangements are by Justin Paul. Danny Sharron is Senior Associate Director, Trey Ellett and Candis C. Jones are Associate Directors and Miranda Cornell is Assistant Director. Mark Myars is Senior Associate Choreographer and Jennifer Rias is Associate Choreographer. Judith Schoenfeld is the Production Supervisor. General Management by 101 Productions, Ltd.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

9 to 5 The Musical (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

9 to 5 The Musical (UK Tour) 
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th October by Olivia Mitchell

If a night of carefree fun is what you're after, look no further than the girl-power, 80s musical that is 9 to 5. Telling the tale of a group of women who are fed up of their misogynistic boss, the show is filled with tongue-in-cheek moments, high energy choreography and of course, the Queen of Country herself: Dolly.

Having seen this show in its various iterations, what's quite amazing is how it retains it's intensity and lavishness wherever it's situated. Musically, Dolly Parton's score pared with arrangements by Stephen OremusAlex Lacamoire and Mark Crossland is catchy and toe-tapping, whilst,  Lisa Stevens' buoyant choreography keeps the momentum of the show going and provides there's always action across the stage. Tom Rogers' design which consists mostly of screens which light up various colours and desks which come in and out, is very effective and adds to the upbeat feel of the entire production.

Jeff Calhoun's production features a fantastic cast who perform with vigour and drive. Stephanie Chandos completely shines as Dolly's character, Doralee Rhodes. Funny, feisty and instantly likeable, Stephanie brings warmth to the role and provides a wonderful moment with Backwards Barbie. Vivian Panka is charming as the naive Judy Bernly who becomes an independent woman and finds herself throughout the show. Her rendition of Get Out and Stay Out is a real highlight and her overall performance is top notch. Louise Redhnapp is entertaining and capable as long term office employee, Violet Newstead. Together the trio are a real force as they take drastic measures to show their sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jnr. (played with faultless comic timing by Sean Needham) who's really in charge.

It's almost forty years since Violet, Judy, Doralee and their misogynistic boss made their way to screens in the film 9 to 5. But book writer, Patricia Resnick shows that whilst times have changed, unfortunately many of the issues are still prevalent and this remains a strong and necessary advocator of workplace (and life) equality. With a second act of just 45 minutes, this is a crowd-pleasing-production which flies by and serves up female-led-feel-good-fun on a shining platter. 

photo credit: Pamela Raith