Death Note, The Musical in Concert. Review by Barbara Lewis. The Japanese manga Death Note has sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling mangas yet. Whether the musical version can be as successful in our straitened times remains to be seen. Judging by the London run, it’s conceivable.
Annie Get Your Gun. Review by Barbara Lewis. Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” is the perfect opening for a show and especially for the inaugural show at the Lavender Theatre on Epsom Downs.
The Mikado, Wilton’s Music Hall. Review by Barbara Lewis. In 1885, when the Mikado began delighting audiences, it was expedient to set the splendidly silly light opera in Japan to give it maximum freedom to satirise British institutions. Director Sasha Regan travels in time not space to send up a 1950s public school camping trip, in its way as exotic as imperial Japan.
Gypsy, The Mill at Sonning. Review by Barbara Lewis. “Mothers out!” roars the vaudeville maestro Uncle Jocky at the start of what has been fondly dubbed “the mother of all musicals”. But Gypsy Rose Lee is one mother who is staying right beside the daughters she is determined to thrust on the stage for the career she might have had had she not been born too soon or started too late.
Love Goddess. Review by Barbara Lewis. Rita Hayworth was considered one of the most beautiful women of her day, was Fred Astaire’s favourite dance partner, and was married five times, including to Orson Welles, the man she is believed to have truly loved. She also suffered from Alzheimer’s for two decades before being diagnosed.
Love’s Labour’s Lost. Review by Barbara Lewis. In our angst-ridden age, the thirst for the tonic of musical theatre seems almost unquenchable. In a production that acknowledges so vividly the follies of the supposedly scholarly elite, the rustics dazzle.
My Fair Lady. English National Opera. Review by Julia Pascal. My Fair Lady, the musical version of George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion is staged at the English National Opera this summer.
Anyone Can Whistle. Southwark Playhouse. Review by Barbara Lewis. Anyone Can Whistle opened on Broadway in April 1964 to mixed reviews and closed shortly afterwards. Nearly 60 years on, this Southwark revival deserves to run and run as Georgie Rankcom’s inspired direction does justice to Sondheim’s genius, even when in its early phase, to make musicals from the most unlikely material.
West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg In the new West Side Story Leonard Bernstein’s magnificent music and Stephen Sondheim’s incisive and witty lyrics have all been preserved and bring as much pleasure as before.