Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Christine Allado. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Christine Allado. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday 23 May 2016

Hamilton Dream Cast

My Hamilton obsession has been out in full force recently and the prospect of it coming to the West End in 2017 has got me ridiculously excited and kind of nervous. I'm praying that I'll get tickets and that I won't have to sell a body part to pay for them! 

So with all the Hamilton fever going around, I wanted to do my own dream cast for the show (I was inspired by this post.) Before I start I want to say that I basically want the whole of the In The Heights cast to become the Hamilton cast so there's going to be a lot of them in this....! 

Thursday 27 February 2020

The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre | Review

The Prince of Egypt
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 27th February 2020 by Olivia Mitchell

In 1998, The Prince of Egypt became an animated sensation, bagging an Oscar and much critical acclaim. Since then it's been on a long journey to the London stage. Originally beginning in California in 2017, many changes have been made across the world to bring this current, reimagined production to life.

The plot is made up of the Exodus story, following the child of a Hebrew slave, Moses, who is found in the river and adopted by Pharaoh's family. All grown up, Moses discovers his real heritage and flees the palace to discover his true purpose in life. It's in the vast desert that a case of divine visitation via a burning bush, shows Moses his true mission to free the enslaved Hebrews and take them to the promised land. 

Musically Stephen Schwartz's score is beautiful, with sweeping melodies and evocative patterns, but frequently, the lyrics don't match up in terms of power; often just pointing out the action, rather than developing it. However, it's the choral moments which really soar, with Deliver Us providing so much power. Almost operatic at times the ensemble do an outstanding job of coming together to perform tight harmonies that fill the cavernous Dominion Theatre.

It's the 'telling' aspect of this musical which makes it fall somewhat flat. Philip LaZebnik's dialogue is cumbersome, with very little character or narrative development. There are many moments, which although wonderfully performed, do not develop the plot or characters and feel unnecessary, and whilst some moments are over explained by the dialogue or music, others feel undeveloped. Namely the plagues which are projected in rapid succession but are unclear.

It's safe to say subtlety does not feature in this show and the first act especially feels considerably pantomimic, with the one liners from the film not transferring to stage as effectively. There are also pacing issues, which are resolved a little in act two but do make the musical drag.

However, aside from these issues, there's no denying that this is a spectacularly well performed musical. Amongst the main plot, there's a huge focus on the rivalry of Moses and Pharaoh's birth son, Ramses, which is brought to life excellently by Luke Brady and Liam Tamne. Both actors give their everything to the limited dialogue and create characters which we feel for and are both vocal powerhouses. Christine Allado and Alexia Khadime are accomplished in their performances and perform the Oscar winning song When You Believe brilliantly. With Allado giving a particularly strong performance as the headstrong Tzipporah; it's wonderful to see a woman on stage motivated not only by the man in her life.

As Jethro, Gary Wilmot is underused but excellent in the time he's given. Credit must also be given to Debbie Kurup, Mercedesz Csampai, Simbi Akande and Jessica Lee who stand out throughout. Mia Lakha is also brilliant in her various young roles and is certainly an up and coming star of stage.

Visually this show is a treat. Kevin Depinet's hanging set wraps around the auditorium and cleverly makes the vast space feels more enclosed and welcoming. The simplistic design makes use of many projections by Jon Driscoll which are effective at transforming the space feeling grand, lavish and imposing despite not physically being there. The money moments, such as the parting of the red sea and the building of the pyramids are extremely well done.

It's Sean Cheesman's choreography which is the real star of The Prince of Egypt. Sharp and so so energetic it's amazing to watch. The ensemble come together to create various scenes, materials and emotions which tire you out just watching. Even in tableau moments, the precision is clear to see and this has got to be one of the strongest and most energetic ensembles around.

For spectacle and energy, The Prince of Egypt is worth a visit. It's not going to change your life but it'll provide a fun few hours of superfluous theatricality that looks and sounds very pretty.

The Prince of Egypt is currently booking at the Dominion Theatre until 31 October 2020

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Monday 21 October 2019

Cinderella, Cadogan Hall | Review

Cadogan Hall
Reviewed on Sunday 20th October 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 

Yesterday, Cadogan Hall played host for a one-night-only staged concert of the much loved musical, Cinderella. Written in the 50s by Rodgers and Hammerstein for television, the musical has since been adapted for various stage productions but until now, hasn't been seen in London. Thanks to the exceptional London Musical Theatre Orchestra and stellar cast, that changed last night and those in attendance were treated to a sparkling night of magic.

Upon entering the auditorium bathed in purple light, the mystical scene was set and as the cast stepped out we were transported to a kingdom where kindness wins and anything is possible. Directed by Jonathan O'Boyle, this really was a stunning production which hopefully paves the way for future Cinderella-filled magic in the West End.

Thanks to the LMTO under the baton of Freddie Tapner, the sumptuous score was really the star of the night. Evoking fairytale vibes, causing laughter and creating a romantic atmosphere even before the stellar performers joined in, the performance just reminded us how excellently sumptuous Rodgers and Hammerstein's work is.

The semi-staged concert was brought to life by George Reeve's projections which fit the space exceptionally and looked as though they were drawn straight from a long lost storybook. They transported us from setting to setting and breathed life into moments which would be grand spectacles in a fully staged production.

With a group of some of the biggest names in the West End, it was expected that the performers would be top notch and boy they did not disappoint. The stunning cast took us on a romantic journey filled with socially relevant comments and a boat load of whimsy. Mazz Murray was fantastically malicious and biting as the evil stepmother, whilst Dianne Pilkington was her contrast and the crazy but magical and airy fairy godmother. Zoe Rainey gave a sweet performance as Ella's "kind" stepsister Gabrielle, and Jodie Jacobs completely blew everyone away with her killer vocals and fantastically characterised portrayal of Ella's other sister Charlotte. 

As our leading lady for the night, Christine Allado gave a beautifully strong performance. With a grace and elegance any Princess would be proud of, Allado was a joy to watch on stage and her pristinely clear vocals filled Cadogan Hall with ease, power and wonder. In the role of the royal suitor Jack Yarrow was perfection. With an absolutely astounding voice, it's clear why he has begun taking the West End by storm.

This production of Cinderella is very much for a modern audience as it showcases the need for kindness alongside social reform. Ella's alertness to injustices outside those she faces in her family home is moving to see and works well alongside the romantic plot that is not all roses and chocolates. The political slant feels highly relevant, as well as allowing for extra comedic moments and I don't doubt this show would have a welcome place in the West End.

photo credit: Darren Bell

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

Saturday 10 June 2023

We Will Rock You at the London Coliseum review: Still Has 'A Kind Of Magic'

We Will Rock You
London Coliseum

After a ten year absence from the West End, the ‘show must go on’ for We Will Rock You (WWRY) as it takes up its summer residency at the London Coliseum. Set on the iPlanet, a corporate cyberspace where live music is forbidden, this iconic musical follows a group of rebellious bohemians in their search to rediscover the legendary art of rock and roll.

Unfortunately, jukebox musicals have come a long way since WWRY last graced the West End. Unlike newer examples such as &Juliet which prioritise cohesive and earnest story-telling, Ben Elton’s book is inarguably weak. It’s tiring to watch several scenes cynically shoehorned in to allow for a fan-favourites to feature in the show. Musical numbers often feel bookended awkwardly between immature dialogue, rather than moving the narrative along through song. However, these criticisms have been levelled at the show since its first inception, so no surprises there!

This production is clunky and cringeworthy at times. Scenes at GlobalSoft, Gaga High and Gaga Mall are cheapened by dated, distracting graphics and garish costumes. While clearly a deliberate aesthetic, for a show set decades from now it presents a futuristic vision that is firmly rooted in past. Fortunately, the overall design improves greatly when we’re invited into the rebel stronghold at Heartbreak Hotel. The set, designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects, becomes warm and inviting, with miscellaneous scraps and festoon lights cluttering the stage.

If the world of GlobalSoft is silly and contrived, then sadly so is their leader. A WWRY veteran, Brenda Edwards is vocally strong but her Killer Queen is more pantomime villain than ruthless technocrat. Lee Mead is woefully underused. He brings gravitas to his role as sidekick Commander Khashoggi and his performance of the Seven Seas of Rye is a great fun to watch as he peacocks across the stage with an air of gleeful sadism.

The show finally finds its heart when we meet the Bohemians, the first act belonging entirely to Christine Allado as Meat and her spellbinding delivery of No One But You. She is joined by the brilliant Adrian Hansel as hopeful believer Brit, creating a truly dynamic duo.

Elena Skye shines as Scaramouche. She’s feisty and spunky, with cracking comic timing and stellar vocals. Ian McIntosh gives an outstanding performance as the unsuspecting messiah of rock Galileo. He is an absolute vocal powerhouse, having the audience eating out the palm of his hand on more than one occasion. Together their chemistry is palpable and their bickering rendition of Hammer To Fall is a real treat.

Special mention must go to Ben Elton as rebel leader Pop. A singer he is not but he remains a joy to watch as he lives his best life in a world of his own creation.

At risk of being a relic of jukebox musicals past, WWRY still holds up as a night of rousing entertainment and the payoff is immense when it finally reaches its electric and euphoric finale of Queen’s greatest hits. Overall, it’s safe to say it still has ‘a kind of magic’ that will bring audiences back time and time again.

Reviewed on Friday 9th June 2023 by Hope Priddle
photo credit: Manuel Harlan

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Sondheim's Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre Review: A Magical Piece of Theatre History

Sondheim's Old Friends
Gielgud Theatre

Musical theatre is what it is today, in no small part thanks to the brilliance of Stephen Sondheim, and this musical revue gloriously celebrates that whilst also providing an amazing memorial of Stephen and his melodic legacy. Devised by Cameron Mackintosh, the show like opening a musical time capsule which whisks you back to a bygone era, and a theatrical peak; showcasing a selection of the well known and lesser known Sondheim pieces.

Every aspect of the show is like a trip down memory lane, capturing the essence of a glamorous past. Jill Parker's costumes are simplistic enough for the setting whilst really elevating the story telling necessary to truly do Sondheim's work justice. Particularly impressive are the wolf ensemble and Mrs Lovett's get up which both have a refreshing modern feel. Set wise, Matt Kinley's design cleverly uses the Les Miserables moving pieces to create visual interest and bring some real wow moments to the stage. The entire Sweeney Todd section is impeccable. Thanks to Matthew Bourne's staging and direction, you find yourself lost in the magic, engulfed in the nostalgic beauty of a time that lives on through this production.

The show features the creme de la creme of the musical theatre world, with Broadway royalty Lea Salonga and Bernadette Peters taking the helm, and proving why they are so beloved- it feels like an out of body experience seeing such wonders. The whole cast give standout performances and there are truly too many to name but mention must go to Bradley Jaden's Wolf, Joanna Riding's 'Not Getting Married Today' and Jeremy Secomb's Sweeney Todd. Christine Allado and Bonnie Langford, are also wonderful and the cast really doesn't have a weak link. Universally their voices, movements and energy are enchanting- conjuring a musical spell that leaves you mesmerised. Each song feels like a little piece of history, beautifully presented and cherished. Stephen Mear's choreography adds to this magical experience, bringing a further touch of grace and finesse to proceedings.

Conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo the orchestra are humungous aspect of the success of this show. Faultlessly performing every note, their music lingers long after the final bow.

Sondheim's Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre is a magical trip through musical history. It's a celebration of Sondheim's genius and the enchantment of the stage. If you're seeking a dose of wonder and a reminder of the magic that live performances bring, don't miss this truly magical experience.

Reviewed on Thursday 28th September 2023 by Olivia Mitchell
Photo Credit: Danny Kaan

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}