Saturday, 1 November 2014

Monthly Theatre Obsessions: October

Happy Birthday Wicked!

The most fantasmical show in London, Wicked, turned 11 years old on October 30th 2014. It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth first took to the stage as the famous Witches of Oz. Congratulotions Wicked on a sensational 11 years!

The West End production is now being led by the epic Jennifer DiNoia, who made her debut on October 27th, and the stunningly beautiful Savannah Stevenson as Glinda.

Who are your favourite Elphaba and Glinda pairing of all time? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Special: Miss Saigon BBC Radio 2, 25th Anniversary Concert broadcast

This 25th anniversary recording was broadcast at the end of September and I am so beyond glad I discovered how to Sky+ a radio show! When I say I have listened to Miss Saigon every single day since the broadcast, I am not exaggerating. The current cast are simply extraordinary. Eva Noblezada is sublime as Kim, and has a wonderful tone to her voice which I cannot get enough of. Alistair Brammer is one of the West End’s sexiest leading men at the moment and he brings such soul and later on, such pain to Chris, particularly during “The Confrontation”, that it breaks my heart. Hugh Maynard, as discussed last month, is a total star, and I still love him. A killer ensemble featuring the stunningly talented Rachelle Ann Go makes this production an absolute winner. For those who didn’t hear the broadcast, you missed a very special finale indeed with performances from some of the original 1989 cast including theatre goddess Lea Salonga. I hope there’s a DVD….

Album of the Month: Oklahoma! 1998 National Theatre Cast Recording
I recently re-discovered an absolute gem on Spotify, which is the Oklahoma! 1998 National Theatre Cast Recording.

This production takes us back to pre-Wolverine Hugh Jackman as the oh-what-a-beautiful-leading-man Curly. Can we please all take a moment to remember how sexy and insanely talented he’s always been *sigh*?

The production also featured theatre legend Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller, the timeless Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey Williams, and Olivier award winner Shuler Hensley as the infamous Jud Fry. This production, directed by Trevor Nunn, has a stellar cast filled with massive voices, fantastic personalities, and stunning vocals. If you’ve never really been a fan of ‘Oklahoma!’, I would strongly recommend this album to you. Let people say I’m in love – this album is a classic!

YouTuber of the Month: Carrie Hope Fletcher / @CarrieHFletcher / ItsWayPastMyBedTime

We don’t even need to explain how fantastic Carrie Fletcher is on social media, because everyone who knows theatre, already knows she is the YouTube and Twitter Queen! This month, not only has she been treating us to Book-Tober; a celebration of her favourite books for the month of October, but also, a hugely popular new mini-series “Letters to Autumn”.

Through a short video of less than 2 minutes a day, and Carrie’s post-edited narrations, we see glimpses of her life and how she sees Autumn each day. These “Dear Diary” style videos are short, simple and sweet and help remind you of what is good in each day. Go watch them now! They’re gorgeous.

Performer of the month: Kerry Ellis as Elphaba

October saw the end of Queen Kerry’s run as the green girl, Elphaba in Wicked in London. With my Twitter timeline in meltdown on the night of her last ever show as Elphaba, I was shocked when she replied to someone who had called it so with  “Never say never!”. Maybe this isn’t the end of her signature growls and riffs? We will happily welcome her back, I’m sure!

Kerry has also been on tour around the UK this month singing West End and Broadway hits as well as songs from her new self-titled album, so she’s been a very busy bee! With her tour concluding at Cadogan Hall in London on Sunday 26th October, I’m sure she’ll be welcoming some much needed rest time in November.

Don’t go too far Kerry – we’ll miss you too much!

Snapchat account of the month: The Book Of Mormon (US Cast) @ “bomsnaps”

The Snapchat game just changed. The BOM cast from Broadway bring us hilarious new stories every day with different cast members, not only from backstage, but from movies, the middle of shopping malls, and sometimes even from Elder Price’s favourite place, Orlando! Seaworld! Disney! Putt-Putt Golfing!

For a minute of giggles every day, add “bomsnaps” to your snapchat now!

Next Month I can’t wait for: Emma Stone’s Broadway Debut

I realise most of our readers are UK based, however, The Amazing Spiderman and Easy A star Emma Stone will be making her broadway debut as Sally in ‘Cabaret’ next month on November 11th, and I for one, cannot wait to see what this superstar brings to the show. It’s not the first time a screen star has transferred to the stage to work on a new craft, so I hope she wows the critics and audiences alike with fantastic performances. Miss Stone has said “I’m not doing ‘Cabaret’ because I’m trying to reinvent myself or because I have some crazy idea that I’ve earned it…Trust me, I’m not walking around deluding myself… I’m just glad the chance came around again to earn my stripes as Sally.”

Article by Harriet Langdown 
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