Tag Archives: Singing in the rain

2012 – A look back

31 Dec

With 2012 coming to an end I thought it was time to look back at the past 12 months and sum up my theatre related highlights of the year. And what a year this has been! I have had the opportunity to discover new shows, keep re-visiting my favourite shows, spend time with some amazing people, travel to places I haven’t been to before and – thanks to this blog – share my views on shows and theatre in general with all you guys.

It’s impossible to name each and every fantastic theatre moment – there are just way too many. But I want to mention a few that have had a special impact for various reasons. Lets start with my show highlights.

First of all one of my all time favourites is still going strong: Jersey Boys. That show has been a huge part of my theatre life since 2008 and I’m happy I got to visit the boys and girls in Jersey a lot during 2012. Obviously I have my favourites in every part but all in all the whole cast of this show is doing such an amazing job. They are the reason I will never get bored of the show. A special thank you goes out to Ryan Molloy (you are totally mad but I love you for it), Jon Boydon, Ben Wheeler, Mike Conway, Matt Wycliffe, Eugene McCoy, Mark Isherwood and TeeJaye. You guys are amazing!

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Another show that has had a huge impact on my 2012 is Les Miserables. Thank’s to (mainly) Ramin Karimloo I ended up seeing that show around 25 times between January and March 2012. Ramin’s Jean Valjean was quite simply one of the most stunning things I have ever seen in a show – breathtakingly fantastic all around. And his final show is definitely in the top three of my favourite theatre performances of 2012.

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Next up is a show I wish I could have seen more often than just twice. But sadly a limited run (clashing with the Olympics as well) prevented me from that. It is, of course, Mack and Mabel which was staged at the Southwark Playhouse this summer. This show was such a perfect production, from set and choreography right through to the cast (led by the wonderful Norman Bowman and Laura Pitt-Pulford).

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A show that restored my faith in musical theatre was Singin’ in the rain at the Palace Theatre. Shows like this are the reason I fell in love with musical theatre in the first place – from the dancing to the story to the amazingly talented cast, there’s no weak link in this production. I adore that show and it’s on my list of shows to see a lot more often in 2013.

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One of the smallest yet most enjoyable shows I have seen this year is Boy meets Boy at Jermyn Street Theatre. My reason to book tickets was Stephen Ashfield who I always enjoy to see on stage. I ended up loving this gem of a musical and would be thrilled to see it get another run sometime in the future.

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There were so many other shows I enjoyed (and still enjoy) watching. I can’t name them all but if you’ve been reading my blog and maybe even follow me on Twitter you probably have a basic idea anyway.

I’ll go on with some gig highlights of 2012.

The ones that had the biggest impact on me (and my travel diary) are Ramin Karimloo’s Road to find out concerts in May 2012. Without this tour I would never have ended up visiting cities like Newcastle, Cardiff and Birmingham. The tour consisted of 10 concerts and I am proud to say I managed to attend 7 of them – not bad considering I was flying over from Germany all the time. Was it worth it you may ask? Oh yes! I had a brilliant time. It was wonderful to see Ramin explore this new chapter in his career and I hope he continues to be successful with what he enjoys so much – making music.

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Some slightly smaller but still memorable concerts were the Bloomfield Avenue gigs at Roadhouse, Covent Garden on various Sundays throughout 2012. If you haven’t heard of that band I urge you to check them out: http://www.bloomfieldavenueband.co.uk/. They are currently looking for a new London venue for 2013 so watch out for any upcoming gigs.

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And finally some personal highlights that will remain a special memory of 2012 for me.

I still remember how thrilled I was when Dean Chisnall was promoted to playing the lead in Shrek the musical. I have known Dean for several years and I am proud to call such a wonderful and talented person my friend. And trust me when I say: Dean is by far the most dedicated performer you will ever meet. He so deserved to have a lead part in a big West End show and this year he finally achieved just that. It fills me with joy to see Dean on stage in such an iconic theatre as Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Here’s to more fantastic parts in great shows in the future!

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Tim Howar taking over as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages is yet another highlight of 2012. I first saw Tim on stage in Tonight’s the night (the Rod Stewart musical – some of you may remember it) in 2003 and fell in love with his voice straight away. Tim has to be one of the kindest people on this planet. I feel privileged to know him and I’m beyond happy that he is back on stage in the West End where he belongs.

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My charity auction in aid of The Brain Research Trust was by far the most challenging theatre related project this year. Lots of emails, walking around the West End collecting posters and programmes and generally a lot of organisational work – but it was all so worth it. I couldn’t have done it without all the support from various lovely people (thank you again – you know who you are). It was great to see what a wonderful community the theatre world really is.

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So, all that’s left now is a look out for what is to come in 2013. There are so many things I’m already looking forward to. In no particular order:

1. Once the musical
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
3. Book of Mormon
4. Seeing MiG Ayesa and Jenna Lee James in the We will rock you arena tour
5. Seeing my lovely friend Björn Klein play Emmett in Legally Blonde in Vienna
6. Seeing Peter Johansson as Stacee Jaxx in Stockholm
7. Finally seeing Ben Whishaw live on a theatre stage
9. Watching The Bodyguard again (slightly addicted I fear…)
10. Generally continuing to support my favourite performers

… the list goes on…

With that I will leave you for 2012. Thank you for sticking with me throughout the year. I really appreciate your support for my little blog. Hopefully I’ll manage to keep you entertained with more reviews and other theatre related posts in 2013 (watch out for my review of The Bodyguard which is coming up as soon as possible).

Happy new year everyone! I hope 2013 brings you all you ever wished for. Keep in touch – comment, tweet or email me. I love to hear from you guys. x

Singing in the rain – Palace Theatre, May 5 2012 (evening)

8 May

I don’t mention it enough these days but I am a huge fan of the classic American musical films. I remember watching all those wonderful Gene Kelly movies and admiring his dancing when I was younger (this makes me sound a lot older than I am). So to say I was looking forward to seeing Singing in the rain on stage is probably the understatement of the century. At the same time I was filled with a slight fear that this stage production wouldn’t do my memories of the movie justice.

I had chosen my seat carefully after reading reports about a drenched audience in the front rows. Row H in the stalls turned out to be perfect – close enough to appreciate every detail of the show and far enough to leave the theatre with dry clothes.

Did I have a good time? YES! From the first note right until the last drop of water had been splashed from the stage into the audience this production is a complete and utter delight. It may sound a bit exaggerated but Singing in a rain has somehow restored my faith in musicals. Shows like this are the reason why I adore musical theatre. With a great score, big dance numbers and a story that is full of romance and comedy and just warms your heart this show is heaven for musical theatre fans.

Adam Cooper leads the cast as Don Lockwood and he certainly does Gene Kelly justice. I have seen Adam in both Guys and Dolls and Shall we dance a few years ago and I have always adored his dancing skills. In this show he simply exceeds himself. His dancing is mesmerising. And while he may not be the greatest singer on the planet he does just fine in this role. Adam’s Don Lockwood oozes charm and his interaction with the rest of the cast is flawless.

Scarlett Strallen plays Kathy Seldon with such intensity and passion it’s hard to take your eyes off her. After thinking Don had betrayed her Scarlett’s Kathy appears so vulnerable it hurts to see her stand there with slumped shoulders, tears in her eyes. Her singing is nothing but wonderful and her and Adam are the perfect on stage match.

Daniel Crossley’s Cosmo Brown is witty, funny and all around likeable. His “Make ’em laugh” is one of the highlights in the show and had me laughing with both amazement and joy. For me Daniel is the secret star of the show and in combination with Adam and Scarlett this is a true triple treat.

The supporting cast does a brilliant job. I’d like to give a special mention to Katherine Kingsley as Lina Lamont who is hilariously funny without turning her character into a complete joke.
The whole ensemble fits together perfectly and delivers the big dance numbers with impressive energy.

“And what about the rain?” you may ask. It’s spectacular, simple as that. I’m not going to completely spoil the show for those who haven’t seen it by going into too much detail but let’s just say you will get soaked more than once if you’re sitting in the first 5-6 rows. On the night I attended the show the audience seemed to love being that close to the “action” so to speak. I was left wondering what happens on a matinee day though – surely the seats in the front must be rather wet at the end of the show so how do they dry them ready for the next performance just two hours later? Answers on a postcard please (or in a comment).

Singing in the rain is exactly what musical theatre should be like. It’s funny and romantic, it has the drama and the tears and it draws the audience into a world of song and dance. I left on a complete high, humming the songs along the way.

To sum it up: This show is a hit! Go see!

For more info and to book tickets visit http://www.singinintherain.co.uk.