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

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Lucie Jones, Live at Zedel | Review


Lucie Jones (Concert) 
Crazy Coqs, Zedel
Reviewed on Friday 12th October 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

One of my first ever reviews on Rewrite This Story, was of Lucie Jones' cabaret at Waterloo East where I completely fell in love with her insane voice and magnetic personality. In the two years since that concert, Lucie has  starred as Elle Woods in the UK tour of Legally Blonde, wowed as Maureen in Rent and was the UK's entry in the Eurovision contest... I guess you could say it's been a pretty quiet time for her?! I have been lucky enough to see Lucie in her various roles, but there's always something special about a solo concert.

The Zedel consistently provides the perfect atmosphere for a cosy, intimate night and allows the sole focus to be on the outstanding vocals of whoever is performing, so seeing such a talented vocalist take the stage there was a real treat. From the get-go Lucie commands the space and welcomes us into, what feels like, the inner circle. Her bouncy humour and infectious personality puts us completely in the palm of her hand and allows us to experience a carefree night of laughs and joy, whilst our attention never wavers. In my experience of musical theatre cabarets, there are only a number of performers who are able to capture a crowd so effortlessly and remain natural and unforced throughout, Lucie has truly mastered this and it's clear why she has so many loyal fans.

Despite only having about 24 hours to put this concert together, the entire thing felt sleek and polished. MD for the concert was the outstandingly wonderful, Sarah Travis who looked and sounded as if she was born to play the piano. The banter between the pair is hilarious and they work together so well, that even moments which go slightly wrong, almost feel as if they're scripted.


I would talk about each song on the set list, but every single one was a highlight. From the opening The Winner Takes it All to the closing Eurovision song, Never Give Up On You, Lucie showcased her incredibly well supported vocals  and ability to act through song. Particularly impressive, is the control in Lucie's voice; her well-honed technique is evident through her smooth mix of straight tone and vibrato, as well as her effortless mix and belt. A stand out moment for me was the mesmerising If I Loved You, where we got to see a more nuanced, gentler side to Lucie. She truly is a masterful performer and the hard work she puts into her craft is clear in every second she is on stage.

Although every song was outstanding, I will fangirl a bit more and mention a few of my other favourites... As a huge Anastasia fan, I adored the lyrical, Disney-esque rendition of Journey To The Past; the intensely beautiful, Nothing Stops Another Day pulled at my heart and That's Life is made for Lucie's voice. Alongside stellar vocals, Lucie provides some cracking anecdotes and ad libs which could be a comedy show of their own!

We were also treated to two special guests: Danny Mac and Rebecca Stenhouse. Rebecca Joined Lucie as they channeled Cady and Janis in the Mean Girls jam, Apex Predator, before Rebecca performed a fantastic version of Hopelessly Devoted To You, which she made feel contemporary with some added riffs and option ups. Danny took on the role of Dr. Pomatter in a sickly sweet performance of It Only Takes a Taste from Waitress and brought a beautiful stillness to the Zedel with his performance of It All Fades Away.

I could rave about Lucie's voice for approximately the next 400 hours but I'll wrap it up here and say that if you turn down the chance to see Lucie in any future performances, you are missing out big time. If you want to see a truthful artist who is so giving in her performance and able to magnetise a crowd toward her, then go and witness the star that is, Lucie Jones.

photo credit: Olivia Mitchell

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Champagne for Clementine, Live at Zedel | Review


Champagne for Clementine
Live at Zedel: The Crazy Coqs
Reviewed on Wednesday 4th July 2018 by Nicola Louise 
★★★★★

When I stepped into the theatre bar, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I was guided to my seat and received table service straight away- so far so good. I am of course, talking about Live at Zedel where I was lucky enough to enjoy the Clementine Show... think Barbie on broadway.

The night consisted of Clementine the living doll, her dresser, Bobby Pin (Mark Esaias), Yvette the Usher, (Ruth Calkin) and a range of puppets. 

The cast worked well together, bringing comedy, puppetry and broadway together under one roof. There were special appearances from Ricky the Rooster, who, if sitting in the front row, gets a bit flirty! I should know, I was in the firing zone.

Clementine was great at the over dramatisation of songs she was ‘singing’ too, the over the top performance added to the charm of the whole thing.


During the show, Bobby and Yvette got the chance to show their thing as well. This show loves and thrives on audience participation that works wonderfully well.

The cast and crew for this show did an amazing job for such a small room, in a short space of time, it’s a perfect show to take in before a night out, it’s upbeat, fun and funny, I left the theatre singing and feeling uplifted. 

I highly recommend this show, grab some dinner first at Brasserie Zeldel then head on through the foyer into the bar for the Cabaret show you won’t regret seeing.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical, Live at Zedel | Review


I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical
Live at Zedel: The Crazy Coqs 
Reviewed on Tuesday 10th April 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★

If you've ever wanted to be a musical theatre performer– you might want to see this funny and exaggerated show about landing a role, that highlights the many, many hardships you will face.

With music and lyrics by Alexander S. Barmange, this show, although highlighting truths, is a parody of the musical theatre world which cleverly mixes in famous melodies and lyrics whilst taking us on the journey of a drama school graduate, to a theatrical diva.

The songs are not masterpieces but are well written to exemplify things musical theatre performers and fans experience. The performers do a wonderful job of bringing them to life and showcasing their stellar vocals. My personal favourite was Suzie Mather who's stunning soprano voice, alongside her bubbly personality made her solo performances really stand out. Her song I Love to Sing was especially humourous. I can definitely imagine her being the MirandaSings of the Musical Theatre world!

Liam Tamne's smooth, buttery voice worked well in both his solo and ensemble numbers and his funny but truthful song about being an understudy was particularly memorable.

The ever dapper Oliver Savile was also wonderful, namely in A Serious Actor where he discusses the perils of being typecast in musicals and his number with Suzie about a crazy stalker fan!

Diana Vickers performed her songs well but did seem to struggle at times, especially in the more delicate parts of the songs. She gave a nice performance though and My Leading Man was very relatable!!

At only 75 minutes, I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical is entertaining and somewhat insightful into the musical theatre world but at times it did feel repetitive and a little try-hard. However, for something fun and light-hearted, especially for those wanting to break into the theatre world, it's worth a view!

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical runs at the Zedel until April 17th.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Rachel Tucker, Live at Zedel | Review


Rachel Tucker (concert)
Crazy Coqs, Zedel
Reviewed on Tuesday June 6th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

Rachel Tucker is a superstar of the stage and is currently on a long awaited tour around the UK before heading to New York for a stint at the iconic, 54 Below. Now I knew Rachel's voice was good from the I'd Do Anything days, videos online and of course from seeing her in Wicked but I was completely blown away when I saw her solo performance last night. Rachel's voice is powerful, emotive, beautiful and her overall stage presence is that of a true star.

Rachel's set consisted of a number of upbeat songs to more balladic slow pieces with the flow from jubilation to tears completely smooth and seamless. The whole concert seemed so well put together and like a huge amount of thought had gone into each song and placement, it was really a night of everything. Opening the show with "Miss Otis Regrets", Rachel immediately created a bond with the audience and won over the room with her huge presence and personality.

Moving wonderfully into a rendition of "Candyman", Rachel kept the atmosphere bright and warm and set the stage for an evening of glorious entertainment. The segway into each song was done flawlessly, a sign of Rachel's stage training from a young age. The transition from "Waving Through a Window" (beautiful) to "Climbing Uphill" was particularly entertaining with Rachel reenacting a bad audition before giving a hilarious performance of the Jason Robert Brown classic.

As her special guest for the night, Rachel introduced Samantha Barks (who we all know I love) at the end of act one for a rendition of "Nowadays/All That Jazz" from Chicago. This was a particular treat for us Londoners who didn't get to see Samantha as Velma Kelly in Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl and it was a marvellous end to the first half.

The second half of the concert was just as seamless and brilliant as the first, with little anecdotes sprinkled throughout and an absolutely hilarious tribute to Tina Turner which Rachel explained was her unique selling point when she used to perform with her dad.  Needless to say, the audience loved the ridiculously fantastic and energetic performance of "Proud Mary/River Deep Mountain High".

Samantha and Rachel joined forces again with a beautiful, heartfelt rendition of Wicked's "For Good" which was lovely to hear and joyous to see the two friends performing such a beautiful song in the intimate setting of the Crazy Coqs, Zedel.

Not only is Rachel's singing top notch, but her acting and interpretation of music is outstanding. Able to go from elation to heartbreaking sincerity in a matter of bars. Act two saw Rachel perform "The Man That Got Away" which was just phenomenal and left the audience in pin-drop silent awe. Rachel closed the show with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and the Ed Sheeran favourite, "Castle on a Hill" which really summed up the evening and gave the audience the whole spectrum of emotions once again and gave Rachel her third and final standing ovation of the evening.

Rachel is just a sensational performer and last nights concert was completely faultless. I honestly couldn't have asked for anything more from Rachel or Samantha except for them to sing more and serenade me for the rest of my life! Rachel is truly remarkable, a joy to watch and a brilliant inspiration for anyone wanting to perform. If you get the chance to see Rachel in concert, or in any other show then 100000% take the opportunity as you do not want to miss the chance to be blessed be her performance of dreams and pipes from heaven!

Read my interview with Rachel here: https://goo.gl/FyfrTy

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Christina Bennington, Live at Zedel | Review


Christina Bennington (Concert) 
Crazy Coqs, Zedel 
Reviewed on Monday 7th January 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

The wounds are still fresh for Bat Out of Hell fans, who had to wave goodbye to their beloved show at the Dominion Theatre just two days ago; but the Bat love was still strong as Christina Bennington took to the stage in a one night only couple of concerts. As usual, the Zedel provided a cosy and relaxed backdrop for a night of pure vocal entertainment and we felt welcomed into the songbook of Christina's life and career.

After performing Jim Steinman's huge musical numbers for the last couple of years, it was enthralling and refreshing to hear Christina show off the other shades of her voice, with her lilting soprano contrasted wonderfully against her powerful belt and buoyant performance. Some stand out numbers included Green Finch and Linnet Bird, I'm With You and Salley Gardens which each showed a different aspect to the vast range Ms Bennington beholds. Act One closer, Raven was another highlight as Christina's voice soared over the audience and enchanted us all through the power of a beautiful song. 


Alongside sweet anecdotes we also heard from two guest performers: Danielle Steers and Dan Buckley. Good Girls Go To Heaven performed by Danielle and Christina was met with elation from the audience who were wrapped around the performers fingers, whilst, Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy illustrated the friendship between the duo and how their voices complement each other so well. Daniel played the Disney Princes in the pairs mini Disney mash-up and reminded us of just how much talent is on offer in the West End with his beautiful rendition of You Matter To Me from Waitress; it's lovely to see two friends really seeming to have fun on stage.

Superbly talented Musical Director Noam Galperin took charge of the nights musical proceedings, leading his outstanding band with musical fluidity and providing some unique and interesting arrangements of well known songs. 

It's interesting to see Christina outside of the rock musical format not only as a showcase of her versatile vocals but also her depth as a performer. Christina's comedic choices, especially during Stupid With Love from Mean Girls were highly entertaining. Equally her performance of Princess was immensely moving. The way Christina physically embodies a song is truly wonderful to see and it's clear why they say "the eyes are the key to the soul" as she conveys a single emotion or thought with a mere twitch of her eyes. 

Closing the show with Heaven Can Wait and All Coming Back to Me Now was a wonderful way of rounding off, what must have been a whirlwind few years for Christina, and felt like a fitting way to put Raven away for now, and open doors for new ventures.

If you want to witness a master of acting through song and a beautiful songbird, don't miss Christina Bennington's future performances as she is sure to shine and astound.

photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Liza Pulman Sings Streisand (UK Tour), Live at Zedel | Review


Liza Pulman Sings Streisand (Concert) 
Live at Zedel: The Crazy Coqs 
Reviewed on Monday 26th March 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

One-third of cabaret group, Fascinating Aida, Liza Pulman is on the road once again with her show that celebrates and honours the icon, Barbra Streisand. 

Liza and her phenomenal band The Stardust Ensemble, have created a vibrant 90-minute set which showcases Ms Streisand's fantastic career and musical style. Liza takes pieces from from Barbra's remarkable 6 decade's of music and weaves them into an entertaining show which fuses wit and personal anecdotes to tell the story of Barbra Streisand.

Streisand has a huge catalog of songs so of course they can't all be performed, but Liza brings together a variety of well and lesser-known pieces to draw together Barbra's vast career whilst making each and every one, iconically Liza. Whilst taking influence from Barbra's vocal technique and attitude to music, Liza is not a tribute act, instead she shows off her own vocal range and musicality through the stunning music Barbra has performed.

The night is opened with a pacy version of Don't Rain on my Parade from Funny Girl to which Liza added a jazzy, swung feel and set the tone for the night ahead. Throughout the night Liza is witty as she tells the story of Barbra's life alongside her own personal anecdotes which wind the two together as if Liza is channeling Barbra. 



A personal favourite moment for me came a few songs in with an expressive and energetic rendition of Miss Marmelstein. Delving into the story Liza explained that Barbra has only actually been in two Broadway musicals (perhaps due to her self confessed fear of performing), the first being I Can Get It for You Wholesale. The show received lukewarm reactions until Ms Streisand stepped out in act two to perform this song, received an instant mid-show ovation and was catapulted to fame! Liza shows off her humourous side in this fantastic lament about no one calling her by her first name. Ironically, when this song was released by Columbia Records, Barbra's name was spelt wrong!

Accompanied by Andy Taylor's beautiful guitar playing, Liza gave a moving performance of Sleeping Bee before shining with New York State of Mind. After a brief interval for a costume change, Liza showed of her's and Barbra's diversity with an emotional performance of You Don't Bring Me Flowers. The Stardust Ensemble led by MD Joseph Atkins were stellar throughout and seemed to love performing alongside Liza. Their chemistry is evident and it's really lovely to watch.

The night ended with two of Barbra's most iconic songs, Happy Days Are Here Again and People, both of which were performed astoundingly by Liza who's vocal range and stability is impeccable. Her charisma and natural stage presence draws the audience in and her knowledge and love for Barbra Streisand helps the night flow in an entertaining but sincere way. I don't doubt that Barbra would be honoured to hear and see Liza's fantastic celebration of her music and career.

Liza Pulman sings Barbra Streisand is touring round the UK

Sunday, 4 June 2017

In Conversation With... Rachel Tucker | UK Tour | Interview

Rachel Tucker is basically theatrical royalty, with a an impressive resume, an incredible voice and an extremely dedicated following. Currently touring the UK and about to start her second stint at the Zedel in London, Rachel was lovely enough to discuss what we can expect in her concerts, how she stays motivated, her dream role and much more... 


What are some of your career highlights so far?


Wicked on Broadway, it was my absolute dream. The I'd Do Anything programme was a highlight, I loved it, it was great. Oh Wicked 10 is definitely the most recent highlight, it was amazing and a great night.


What keeps you motivated to keep working even when you're knocked down?

I guess the belief in myself, I know I can do it. I think people get confused with not getting the job, they think that it's a personal thing and 99% of the time it's not. It's just you're not right for them or at that particular time or moment for whatever their reasons are. But it's about remembering that it's not me, it's them. I mean not them, but their choice, not because I'm bad but because they don't want me.


Elphaba is obviously a very iconic role. How do you add your own spin on such well known songs and characters?

I try and approach it with a fresh look at it and as close to Rachel as I can because I think it's important to not copy and not be what everybody else thinks you should be and also because it's boring to do it the way someone else has done it when you're not being true to yourself. I'm a very honest person and I think it's very important to be honest with everything you think and how you approach the music and songs and interpret it as close to yourself as you possibly can.


You have a lot of repertoire, so what can people expect when they come and see you perform your solo concerts?

I like an eclectic collection of songs. I've grown up with old school musicals and entertainers and also love very current stuff like Ed Sheeran and I love standards, like some jazz standards. I also love modern musical theatre as well as the old stuff. So yeah, a real mixed bag. A real collection... and a few surprises thrown in for good measure!


If you could bring any guest star on stage with you, dead or alive, who would you pick?

Sammy Davis Jr, Bette Midler and Sting. Oh and probably Beyonce!


You've performed in a variety of venues both in shows and on tour. Do you prefer the bigger, elaborate ones or the smaller, more intimate ones?

They're all different, each of them brings a different thing. The intimate ones I think will be good to start out for me because they're more informal and I love that. You know, I'm not a formal girl, I love being casual and being able to see people and their reactions so that'll be nice. But I also love the big theatres where you have to look up to the balcony and get people joining in and singing along. So I like both.


You're taking this tour to Broadway with 54 Below, but would you ever consider touring it over there?

I think maybe in time, I mean it's taken ten years for me to be able to realistically tour the UK and these things I think take time so I think it'll be a little while longer before doing anything like that in America.


What's one talent you wish you could have?

I wish I could read music or play an instrument. Specifically the piano!


What are some funny moments you had either on stage or off stage?

Oh wow.... funny moments. I'm trying to think what ones I can tell you!  At one point when I first did Wicked, I came back from holiday and I completely left out the whole bit of why Elphaba snatches the green bottle before 'Popular'. I literally couldn't remember a word of it and poor Gina Beck had to prompt me and say "was it because your mum was.....?" and she had to literally recite the whole paragraph and I just agreed with her. It was very scary!


Have you ever sneezed or got the hiccups in a performance?

Oh yeah completely. When I did The Wizard of Oz in Belfast, someone sneezed to me and I couldn't finish my lines cause I was laughing so hard. So absolutely, yes.


If you had a magic wand, which show would you do next?

Ohhh which show would I do next? I'd probably do a new show, a brand new show to originate and create a new role, yeah.


If you could go back to any era, when would you go to?

I think I'd go back to the 60s or actually probably the Hollywood MGM era like 20s or 30s


What is your go to karaoke song?

I recently went with my friend and I did 'Simply The Best' by Tina Turner!


What's the best piece of advice you've received or would like to give to someone hoping to get into the performing industry?

You've got to absolutely know your worth, know how good you are and be realistic with yourself and whether you can hack this industry. And think seriously if there's something else you could do then you probably should go and do it because you know, there was nothing else I could do and I think you've got to be very dedicated and very driven and passionate and care a lot about it. And have patience, it takes years and years to get anywhere. It doesn't just happen over night!


A huge thank you to Rachel for taking the time to talk to me. All of Rachel's shows at the Zedel are currently sold out but you may be lucky and get a return! All information about her upcoming dates can be seen here.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Rachel Tucker with Stagebox Choir, Shoreditch Town Hall | Review


Rachel Tucker with Stagebox Choir (Concert) 
Shoreditch Town Hall 
Reviewed on Friday 17th November 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

If you're a regular reader of this site, you'll probably have twigged that I'm a huge fan of Wicked star, Rachel Tucker. Most recently I saw her perform as a special guest at Kristin Chenoweth's concert and previously in Wicked and her solo concerts at the Zedel; every single time she has completely blown me away with her effortless performances and last night was no exception.

Rachel is a masterful performer, both in terms of her faultless vocals and her ability to embody and live every song she sings.  She is magical in the way she transports the audience into her thoughts and make us feel the emotions she's portraying as if we're experiencing them ourselves. The way she interprets songs is unique, extremely moving and I find it incredibly impressive how she is able to switch so quickly from one mood to another. 


During act 2 Rachel came off the stage to perform an a capella folk song which had the audience in enraptured silence but within moments of finishing she snapped back to her larger-than-life, joyous self and had the audience laughing out loud. That ability to manipulate an audience's emotions is truly remarkable.

The set list for the night included something for everyone from theatre classics such as 'Children Will Listen' to pop songs and a personal favourite, her own composition 'I'm Falling' which always wows me. This varied programme meant the night flew by and by the time it came to her second encore we still wanted more! Other stand outs included 'The Man That Got Away' and Kris Rawlinson's stunning arrangement of 'No Good Deed' which brings new life to the Wicked classic. Kris and Rachel make the perfect duo, bouncing off one another both comedically and musically. Also great, were Jodie Steele and Amanda Coutts who doubled as stage managers and back up singers- 'Proud Mary' was brilliant and got the entire audience on their feet!

With a few ex-Elphaba's and Galinda's in attendance, it was Emma Hatton who took the stage as the special guest of the night. Dressed in a suitably emerald dress, Emma joined forces with Rachel to perform a jazzed up version of 'I'm Not That Girl' and a lively version of 'That's Life'; the two work wonderfully together and it's so enjoyable to see them having fun on stage together. Also joining Rachel were the Stagebox choir who helped out with a notably touching performance of 'You Will Be Found' from Dear Evan Hansen.


Overall it was just a joyous night of glorious music. Rachel is one of the most versatile performers I've seen; funny, relaxed and charming, her voice is like no other. Powering through every song with her own personal style- belting it out and emotionally reigning it in with equal skill and motivation. Rachel is at the top of her game- a master of her craft who continually delivers time and time again. This was billed as Rachel's 'biggest solo concert to date' but I sincerely hope things get bigger and bigger for her as she continues to charm and wow audiences around the world... but preferably mostly in London so I can be at them all!

Watch my vlog of the concert here