Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Madalena Alberto. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Madalena Alberto. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday 9 December 2017

Evita (UK Tour), Palace Theatre Manchester | Review

Evita (UK Tour) 
Palace Theatre, Manchester 
Reviewed on Thursday 7th December 2017 by Jeni Skirrow 

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber have written some truly captivating, catchy musicals and Evita is of course iconic and no exception to this. An ever popular rags-to-riches type of story based on the life and demise of Eva Peron, wife of Argentine president, Juan Peron. The plot follows her rise to iconic status heralding her as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’, heroine of the Argentine people, and of course her untimely premature demise.

Straight from the West End, Manchester was privileged to be the first stop in the new twelve month tour of Bill Kenwright’s production. Eva Peron’s role is a demanding performance and Madalena Alberto is mesmerisingly magnificent, with not just unfalteringly consistent vocals, but how beautifully she captures the fledgling radio star’s glamour, seduction, hope and steely desperation. 'Don’t Cry For Me Argentina' is undoubtedly the most highly anticipated song in the show and Madalena’s performance did not fail to give me goose bumps- exquisite. “As for fortune and for fame, I never invited them in”... until the final curtain there’s something very dubious about this statement.

The narrator Che deserves a mention, heroic Gian Marco Schiaretti’s presence (and biceps) were suitably foreshadowing- he is perfect for the role. His strong and versatile performance was a joy to watch.

Each scene was beautifully realised through expert choreography, cleverly slick staging and continual costume changes for Eva, telling a story within itself. This production was everything I hoped it would be and more. Emotional, beautiful and inspiring it was an ideal theatrical experience.

Evita is a moving story, with a mixture of up-beat, high intensity numbers as well as slower, more emotionally moving pieces. This balance and contrast makes it flow smoothly and provides a wonderful night out at the theatre. With beautiful music, great staging and fabulous performances all round, I implore you to get along to this show if you can.

Photo credit: Keith Pattison

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Evita (UK Tour), Storyhouse | Review

Evita (UK Tour)
Reviewed on Tuesday 17th April 2018 by Becca Cromwell

Set mostly in 1940s Argentina, Evita focuses on the life and death of Argentinian actress turned political figure Eva Perón. Eva Duarte is a budding actress who tries her luck in Buenos Aires and ends up dating and eventually marrying Juan Perón. The first act of the show tells the tale of the Peróns’ rise to power in Argentina, with the focus on Juan Perón’s election as president and Eva becoming the First Lady of Argentina. In the second act, we see the aftermath of Eva’s ‘Rainbow Tour’ of Europe, which ends in her health declining, and eventually her death. 

From the beginning, I was captivated by the sheer talent on the stage. The entire cast gave an utterly heartbreaking and incredibly moving performance, which will take me a long time to forget. As with a lot of Bill Kenwright’s productions, the set was minimalistic, but it worked. Although there were a few technical issues, which are expected from the first night, the show ran smoothly. The ensemble and child cast were astounding, with all of them giving great performances. The dance sequences were mesmerising and the harmonies were more than impressive. 

Eva Perón was played by Madalena Alberto, who made it look completely effortless. Madalena is known for playing Eva in the Dominion Theatre and London Palladium productions and on a previous UK Tour of Evita. From the beginning she gave an impressive performance, even managing to keep her vocals flawless as she was crying. 

Che, played by Gian Marco Schiaretti, is the narrator of the show. He spends most of the show observing and narrating the public’s view of what is happening, which brings depth to the story and the characters. Known for playing this role in previous productions, Gian gave a convincing performance and hit the high notes flawlessly. 

Perón himself is played by none other than Jeremy Secomb, who is most known for his impressive list of West End credits, including hit roles such as Javert and Sweeney Todd. Jeremy gave a vocally fantastic performance, and exuded raw emotion throughout. He brought the part to life and made us really feel for him towards the end of the show. 

Evita is definitely not a show to miss, and the UK Tour continues until June. Grab your tickets whilst you can.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Tuesday 22 October 2019

On Your Feet! (UK Tour), Wales Millennium Centre | Review

On Your Feet!
Wales Millennium Centre
Reviewed on Monday 21st October 2019 by Elisha Harris

On Your Feet! tells the story of the legendary Gloria Estefan's beautifully tragic life; how she and her husband Emilio Estefan combined dance with a Latin soul sound and took over the music scene. 

When I get the opportunity to experience a show I don’t know much about I make sure to go into it completely blind. I went in having not known much about the story, didn’t know many of the songs and didn’t even see if I recognised any of the cast to add to the experience. Fantastically, this production was mesmerising from start to finish. The incredible cast grasped the audience’s attention instantly and continued to wow until the very last moment. 

Philippa Stefani shook the auditorium with her power house voice playing Gloria Estefan. Her transition from a shy, closeted song writer to a captivating and compelling lead lady was deeply authentic. Having seen Stefani in previous productions I had high standards, but she went above and beyond what I was expecting. Philippa was born to play this part, hands down. 

George Ioannides played a perfect portrayal of Emilio Estefan. The chemistry between both Gloria and Emilio was so believable, such a power couple which was brought to life by two brilliant actors. 

Special mention to Madalena Alberto and Laura Friedrich Tejero. These lovely ladies played Gloria Fajardo and Consuelo. Both voices were mesmerising, Laura in particular truly blew me away as her comical timing was on point. 

The energy from the entire cast was captivating. Every single person looked like they were having a brilliant time- I just wanted to join them on stage! 

Overall it was a brilliant performance, one I wish was here for much longer than a week! I truly recommend seeing this show before it leaves. 

On You Feet! runs at the Wales Millennium Centre until October 26th before continuing its tour 

Tuesday 25 February 2020

On Your Feet! (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

On Your Feet (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 24th February 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 

Currently embarking on a UK tour after a summer stint at the London Coliseum, On Your Feet! is a celebration of Gloria Estefan continually thriving in the face of adversity. The musical has a flawed book, but there's heart in spades, glorious music and a real life story of endurance that is enough to warm your heart.

Transporting us from Gloria's childhood in Cuba, to her recording career and near fatal accident, it's truly inspiring to see how she rebuilt herself after physical trauma as well as always remaining true to what she believes in, even under the pressures of the music industry. The fairly small cast do an excellent job of filling every inch of the stage and perform with the energy and enthusiasm you could expect to see on the streets of Cuba. Consistently full out and precise in their movements, the cast are very impressive in their performance of Sergio Trujillo's intense choreography. 

It's the pacing of this musical that is the biggest downfall. Of course it's based on real life events, but Alexander Dinelaris' book often lacks development and therefore depth. The main focus is on the lighthearted moments, meaning the more intense scenes are sometimes glossed over quickly. Act two packs much more of a punch in terms of emotional impact, with Gloria's scenes with her mother proving particularly moving. Again, this is a musical which reminds up to stick up for our values and beliefs. This idea is woven throughout but is especially effective in the scenes where the Estefans are at odds with their record producer (played excellently and humourously by Robert Oliver).

As the Miami diva herself, Philippa Stefani excels, bringing Gloria to life with a truthful performance. She engages the audience and never falters in energy or performance. Stefani's transition from shy teenager to commanding performer is masterful to watch and really showcases her as an actress. More so than anyone, Stefani uses the limited book hugely to her advantage and performs as though she really is on a huge, sell-out headline tour.

Stefani's chemistry with George Ioannides as Emilio Estefan is believable and romantic. Since seeing the show at the Coliseum, it seems George has really grown into the role as he gives a suave, vocally assured performance. Vocal powerhouse and legend of the stage, Madalena Alberto gives an exceptionally strong performance as she simmers ready to bubble over in anger or despair at any time. Vocally she is fantastic and her interactions which every character, especially her daughter, are truly enjoyable to watch. 

The set design by David Rockwell is effective as it allows the action to transition from Cuba, to the USA and from kitchen to tourbus in a very simplistic but effective way. Quite a lot is left up to the imagination which, alongside having the band visible on stage, allows the true focus to be on the music. Like the ensemble, the band are full of an energy which fills the theatre and transmits amongst the audience. Kenneth Posner's bold lighting and Emilio Soso's bright costumes bring a carnival feel to the whole production which engages and entertains.

There are flaws to this musical for sure, but it's an uplifting piece of theatre which brings a little bit of Cuban sunshine to the streets of Wimbledon. For fans of Gloria Estefan this is a must-see, and for everyone else, it's a chance to tap your feet and imagine you're basking in the Miami sun. For a celebration of music, life and heritage, get On Your Feet and conga your way to see this tour.

On Your Feet! plays at the New Wimbledon theatre until 29 February and then continues its tour

Tuesday 26 September 2017

West End Live Lounge: Woman, The Other Palace Studio | Review

West End Live Lounge: Woman
The Other Palace Studio
Reviewed on Sunday September 24th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell

If you're a frequent reader of Rewrite This Story (which I hope you are) then you will know that I have been to the previous two West End Live Lounges and raved about them to no end, so it's no surprise that last night's concert completely blew me away too. As always this will probably be a pretty long review because I want to praise as many people as I can, so go grab your drink of choice and get ready to relive an amazing night, or cry because you missed it!

Each West End Live Lounge raises money, with all proceeds from ticket sales and collections going to a specific charity, in last night's case, Women's Aid which helps women who are in/have been in abusive relationships; a cause which i'm sure we all agree is super important. So not only do you have an amazing night hearing some of the best the theatre world has to offer but you get to support a fantastic cause!

Last night's incredible line up was made up of: George Ure, Marcus Ayton, Brady Isaacs Pearce, Marisha Wallace, Liisi LaFontaine, Rob Houchen, Natalie Green, Matthew Harvey, Paul Wilkins, Rachel John, Kelly Agbowu, Sabrina Aloueche, Jodie Steele, Carolyn Maitland, Laura TebbuttMadalena Alberto, Emma Lindars, Lauren Ingram and Sapphire Soul.

Our compere for the evening was the ridiculously hilarious Samuel J Holmes who delivered gag after gag and was his own stand up act between performers.

Sapphire Soul were flawless as usual when they opened with a medley of classic Bond songs- the ladies, as their name suggests are full of soul and are just powerhouse vocalists which they proved again in act 2 with Bang Bang. From then on the energy was high and the first act flew by with some dazzling performances. Lauren Ingram's version of Crazy in Love was slowed down and sexy; Marcus Ayton's I Who Have Nothing was heart-wrenchingly beautiful as was Matthew Harvey's, Gravity.

Brady Isaacs Pearce was stunning as always with her emotive and heartfelt rendition of Jessie J's Big White Room; her clear, smooth voice is just so stunning to listen to and as I always say, she needs to be in a West End show NOW! Natalie Green as usual was fantastic, with her performance of If I Ain't Got You giving me chills!

The final trio of act one could not have been better; Rob Houchen had the whole audience in the palm of his hand with his insanely brilliant performance of I'd Rather Go Blind. I knew he could sing but man he's good! Kelly Agbowu then owned the belter One Moment in Time before Rachel John sent the whole audience to church with her Take My Hand/You've Got a Friend mash up. Needless to say, by the interval everyone was truly on a music induced high.

Act 2 was equally as good, if not better with banger and banger being delivered flawlessly by each and every person. Emma Lindars delivered Rolling in the Deep perfectly, with some added audience harmonies. Rachel John again wowed with My Kind of Love followed by Carolyn Maitland exquisitely performing Sia's Chandelier which could only have been made better if Maddie Ziegler was there to perform her iconic dance routine.

This act featured two impeccable duets; firstly Sabrina Aloueche and Matt Harvey with Girl Just Wanna Have Fun and secondly Paul Wilkins and Rob Houchen with Field of Gold. Both of which featured perfect harmonies and left me breathless. Kelly Agbowu's Chains was perfect and Jodie Steele's scarily relevant cover of Dear Mr President was beautifully, sincerely and emotively performed.

Liisi LaFontaine and Marisha Wallace are the definition of powerhouses, their vocals, stage presence and overall auras are just impeccable. Marisha along with her own back up singers brought the audience to their feet with her faultless Whitney Houston medley as she sang her heart out to the gods and slayed the entire audience. Liisi slayed equally with her stunning performance of Uninvited but it was their closing number, Listen which absolutely blew the roof off of The Other Palace Studio. Now I've heard Listen several times when I've seen Dreamgirls but this performance was just mind blowing and proved why these ladies are getting all the hype and praise they are at the moment. Absolutely sensational!

So yes, this was an incredible concert. Shaun McCourt is a saint for putting so much time and energy into this impeccable concert for a wonderful cause and I hope the West End Live Lounges continue for a long time to come. If you want a night of hilarity, fun and vocal perfection then get yourself along to the next one and help out some wonderful charities!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter for details of future concerts:

Vlog of West End Live Lounge

Previous West End Live Lounge reviews:

Saturday 29 June 2019

On Your Feet!, London Coliseum | Review

On Your Feet
London Coliseum
Reviewed on Thursday 27th July 2019 by Olivia Mitchell

The long summer nights are here and it's the perfect time for a fun, high energy musical that will have you tapping your toes and feeling good. Thankfully On Your Feet! is here to provide just that. Despite a flimsy plot, there's fun to be had, lights to dazzle and latin sounds to ensure you leave the theatre smiling.

Taking us from her childhood in Cuba, through her recording career and her near fatal accident, On Your Feet! is a real celebration of Gloria Estefan's career and determination, and is a real reminder to always stand up for what we believe in. The cast are as enthusiastic and sharp as you would hope, and provide some highly exciting moments, especially when dancing Sergio Trujillo's fiery choreography. Particularly impressive is the sandal tap dance which really wows and creates a rousing wall of sound that is fantastic to see and hear.

The main downfall of the musical is certainly Alexander Dinelaris' book which lacks much depth or emotional drama. Many of the more intense emotional scenes are quickly brushed over and it's not until act two that we really become absorbed in the story. Of course this is real life and it's the music of Gloria Estefan that we are celebrating, but there are several moments where the pacing feels too slow and too little happens. However, the scenes where Gloria and her mother are at odds with one another and when there is conflict between the Estefans and their record producer, are great at highlighting Gloria and Emilio's grit and the limited book is all performed well.

The direction by Jerry Mitchell does feel basic at times and sometimes highlights the flaws in the book, but he rightly places the wonderful music of Gloria and Miami Sound Machine at the heart of the musical. The high energy songs, including the Conga and On Your Feet make the audience feel uplifted and energised. It's hard not to feel swept up by the glorious Latin rhythms that make you want to grab a cocktail and swirl around.

Leading lady Christie Prades is confident and engaging in her performance. She delivers a performance which never waivers in energy or commitment; and vocals which wow and engage. Prades' chemistry with George Ioannides as Emilio Estefan is wonderfully nuanced and believable. George also provides strong vocals, which falter at times but mostly maintain the suave Latin feel. Karen Mann as Conseulo is delightfully entertaining as she pushes Gloria to achieve her dreams in any way she can, even if that includes bribing a club owner with Empanadas! Meanwhile, Madalena Alberto is sharp (and a vocal powerhouse) as she portrays Gloria's mother who begrudges her daughter, but of course, loves her regardless. Ensemble standouts include Dawnita Smith and Francesca Lara Gordon who catch the eye as they perform each moment with power and perfection. Little Gloria Emily Perra is also fantastic, with a magnetic stage presence and beautiful vocals.

The onstage band bring every song to life with an enthusiasm which radiates off the stage. Emilio Soso's floaty, colourful costumes just add to the party feel of the piece, as does Kenneth Posner's bold, bright lighting. Both aspects are equally strong when they dim themselves to fit the more emotive, atmospheric moments.

Overall On Your Feet! is an entertaining delight of a show. The book is hugely lacking but for fans of Gloria Estefan it's a perfect portrayal of her life and music. Transport yourself to the Miami sun and take a journey through the lives of Gloria and Emilio.

On Your Feet! is booking at the London Coliseum until August 31st

photo credit: Johan Persson

Thursday 27 June 2019

On Your Feet!, London Coliseum | Review

On Your Feet
London Coliseum
Reviewed on Wednesday 26th July 2019 by Lucy Jardine

Last night at the Coliseum, on a glorious evening, On You Feet, brought some Cuba/Miami sound and spectacle to London.

Mostly, it was a triumph. Christie Prades was a delight as Gloria. It was a treat to hear the authentic American and Latino accents without them being massacred. Her voice, whilst not quite on Gloria's epic scale, carried us along with her. Madalena Alberto was probably the star of the show though - such a strong voice and utterly convincing as the mother who had been forced to give up her dreams and therefore resented her daughter wanting to follow hers. And Karen Mann as Consuela, Gloria's grandmother, although some of her dialogue and mannerisms were a little cliched, brought many a chuckle to the audience.

The ensemble treated us to some fast-paced, foot-tapping, booty-shimmying sets and at the end, yes, we were all on our feet, clapping and dancing along with the excellent band that transported us to the hot steamy nights of Miami. Sergio Trujillo's choreography was solid; the staging, through the use of large moving cloth panels and the projection of images, from clubs in Miami to original photos of the terrible traffic accident that Gloria was in, was well crafted.

The one significant disappointment was George Ioannides in the role of Emilio Estefan. Again, his accent was authentic and his acting good but, unfortunately, his voice could not carry the songs and a couple of the duets with Christie were, frankly, a little uncomfortable. This didn't seem to matter to the audience though. After a rousing encore, we all left with our hearts a little lighter and our smiles a little brighter. Not a bad thing in today's world.

Tickets for On Your Feet are available at

photo credit: Johan Persson