Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Tania Azevedo. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Tania Azevedo. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, New Wimbledon Studio | Review

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical
New Wimbledon Studio
Reviewed on Monday September 3rd 2017 by Olivia Mitchell

The New Wimbledon Studio is currently playing host to the UK premiere of Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical; a two-person musical written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. The production, gloriously directed by Tania Azevedo, gives insight to the hardships and trials that singer/actress Rosemary Clooney faced in her extensive career, and the lengths she went to in order to hide her struggles from the world.

Ms. Clooney's life was non-stop from her youth and although to the public she seemed to have it all- the money, fame and famous friends- in reality she was heading down a dark road of intense pain and loneliness which led her to become addicted to pills. This addiction led to a breakdown during a performance at Harold's Club in Reno, Nevada which prompted her to be admitted into hospital to see a psychiatrist. It's at this point that the musical picks up, with Rosemary telling her life story to her therapist during her treatment. This is done in the form of flashbacks with the doctor transforming to play a number of other characters in Rosemary's life.

We are given the opportunity to get to know Rosemary herself, as well as her wonderful music. Each song is placed seamlessly into the story and although it is a jukebox musical, it doesn't feel like it's been written purely because the music is popular. Instead each song really adds something to the story and helps it flow. The music is performed emotively by the onstage band under the direction of Simon Holt.

The cast is made up of just two people, Katie Ray as Rosemary and Fed Zanni as the doctor (and others). Both pull off the roles with sincerity, humour and elegance. Katie Ray embodies Rosemary perfectly with a fierce and emotional performance that's truly outstanding. Her facial expressions and movement throughout are delightful as are her wonderful vocals. Ray's voice is powerful and filled with with emotion. Whilst she is wonderful at all times, the breakdown in act two is especially mesmerising and heart-wrenching.

Fed Zanni transforms into a number of characters including Rosemary's mother, sister and uncle, as well as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. He transitions very smoothly and gives a believable performance. At times he is hilarious and at others extremely serious but manages to flow and differentiate the various people well. His voice is also wonderful and perfect for the delightful music of Rosemary Clooney.

The lighting is crucial to this production as it symbolises when we are in the present therapy room or part of a flashback. Ali Hunter has done a wonderful job of making this clear whilst being quite subtle at the same time. Particularly effective was when the house lights slowly come up during Ms. Clooney's breakdown.

Whilst I wouldn't say that, Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical is a groundbreaking piece of theatre, it does do exactly what you want a show to do: tells a  wonderful story with beautiful music. The performances are outstanding and whilst I did feel the show dragged marginally at times, the pace was kept up by the stellar performances. Tenderly is definitely worth making the trip to see and certainly provides a fun, roller coaster night out.

Tenderly runs at the New Wimbledon Studio until September 25th

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Full Cast Announced For But I'm a Cheerleader

Full cast has been announced for the world premiere of But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical, running at the Turbine Theatre from mid February.

Alice Croft (Soapdish at MTFest, she/her) will take on the role of Megan, the cheerleader who is sent by her parents to a rehabilitation camp.

Also in the cast are Oliver Brooks (he/him) as Dad/Larry, Edward Chitticks (he/him) as Jared/Rock, Damon Gould (he/him) as André, Tiffany Graves (she/her) as Mary Brown, Jodie Jacobs (she/they) as Mom/Lloyd, Lemuel Knights (he/him) as Mike, Evie Rose Lane (she/her) as Graham, Harry Singh (he/him) as Jalal, Jodie Steele (she/her) as Kimberly/Hilary, Aaron Teoh (he/him) as Dolph and Kia-Paris Walcott (she/her) as Sinead.

The musical is based on the cult classic Lionsgate motion picture, directed and story by Jamie Babbit and screenplay by Brian Wayne Peterson.

This stage version, seen at the Turbine as part of the venue's MTFestUK in 2019, has book and lyrics by Bill Augustin (he/him), music by Andrew Abrams (he/him) and direction by Tania Azevedo (she/her).

Musical direction and orchestration by Josh Sood (he/him) with choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento (she/her) and set and costume design by David Shields (he/him). Lighting by Martha Godfrey (they/them) and sound design by Christ Whybrow (he/him).

photo credit: Mark Senior

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

It's Only Life, Union Theatre | Review

It's Only Life
Union Theatre 
Reviewed on Saturday 16th June 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

American lyricist and composer John Bucchino isn't very well known in the UK but this sweet revue certainly makes me want me to delve into his backlog and discover his other gems. 

John Bucchino and Daisy Prince's musical, It's Only Life features songs which wittily face the struggles of modern life, especially in terms of romance. Although the songs link together somewhat, they are more individual pieces which come together to form a narrative of people as a whole, rather than separate stories. The song cycle therefore feels universal and there's certainly an emotion, lyric or feeling for everyone to relate to.

The five person strong cast are vocally wonderful, working well both individually and when they join for glorious ensemble moments. Jordan Shaw gives vocal perfection throughout, especially with his smooth rendition of If I Ever Say I'm Over You which is a definite stand out. Recent graduates, Will Carey and Sammy Graham  show off their vocals as well as comedic timing. Will's cheeky performance of On My Bedside Table is brilliant and Sammy's diction and technique are faultless from start to end. Jennifer Harding feels right at home with the music and gives a very truthful performance. Noel Sullivan shows off his strong belt whilst retaining a vulnerability and sweetness, something which is in fact embodied by the entire cast who always keep the heart of the story at the centre rather than trying to out-sing one another. 

Justin Williams' set design is intriguing from the first time we lay eyes on it. A simple white background is cleverly highlighted with pastel pinks, oranges, greens and blues which allows us to move from location to location without any flashiness or clumsiness. The props that are used are used well and again, don't detract from the core of the show- the songs. Tania Azevedo has done a wonderful job of bringing the stories to life with simplicity.

It's Only Life represents both the diversity of Britain as well as the ways we're all connected. With great vocals, memorably moving songs and a fantastic cast, there's no reason not to love this show. This is an intimate piece of theatre which flows with an intensity that keeps you invested throughout.

It's Only Life runs at the Union Theatre until 7th July

photo credit: Pamela Raith