Friday, 26 October 2018

REVIEW: With One Look at the Union Theatre

With One Look’ is Gregory Hazels one man show as his drag character, Vivienne De Vil. The show is set in her living room and as the evening goes on we hear all her stories about her friends (some of the most famous Broadway divas) and Vivienne takes us on a journey to look back at some of the greatest female musical theatre numbers and greats of our time. 

This show is truly a celebration of these fabulous women who have shaped and moulded what it is to be a Broadway star. From Judy Garland to Lea Salonga, we go through a huge repertoire of songs filled with interesting stories about each and every superstar. 

This is every stageys dream, a glamorous drag queen and some of the campest and best musical theatre numbers? You’ve certainly sold me!

As Vivienne De Vil, Gregory Hazel provides stunning vocals and has a presence that would make any Broadway Diva shiver in her stilettos. He knows his character inside out and from the moment Vivienne walks on stage you know you’re in safe hands for the evening.

The band, led by Henry Brennan, were fabulous. They managed to make it feel intimate and classy but this wouldn’t be out of place of a much larger stage without any adjusting. The compositions were beautiful, especially the mix of ‘I’d Give My Life For You’ and ‘On My Own’. That was one of the best moments in the show and when the show gets more of a run, which it should, I’d love to see more of these creative touches that really make it unique and special. 

The only thing I feel that was missing from this was the connection with the audience; yes of course Hazel had us all on his side and we’d all fallen in love with De Vil by the end, but it was the tiny mistakes and comments that made it more real, witty and comfortable. First night nerves could have meant this was lacking some what but when we got those elements of personality from the performance, that was when Vivienne became a true star. 

I must give it to Gregory Hazel however, packing in all those facts and information whilst still trying to maintain the character was so well balanced and very impressive. 

This show is a true celebration of the greatest women in our industry and the challenges they’ve faced in their career. Hazel manages to bring the classic Hollywood style into the modern world and with this show, its beautiful mix. 

Review by Mark Swale

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Unreserved | Price of Ticket: £15
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