Coleman worked in an era where Broadway was consistently part of the Top 10. Not every number presented as part of Rhythm Of Life deserved placement in the show, but audiences were left with no doubt that he was clearly a very talented composer with an ability to craft some surefire hits. A talented and versatile cast means that even a big spender would not come away disappointed.
Whatever your thoughts about Chenoweth, her performance in this musical is that one-of-a-kind, flat-out unbelievably extraordinary star turns that leaves you breathless and stunned by the power, ferocity and magnetism of the delivery, both vocal and physical, of the performance, desperate to immediately see her do it all over again and certain, quite quite certain, that, no matter how long you live, you will never see anyone play that role like that again.
Mikey Jay-Heath is superb as Tom Thumb and his big number, Bigger Isn’t Better, is wonderful in every way. Landi Oshinowa displays great vocal chops, twice. Her Joyce Heth number, Thank God I’m Old, is vocally aglow and her second Act number, Black and White, is a solid jazz/blues number. There are some terrific cameos from Nick Butcher and Edward Wade, both of whom are accomplished triple-threats with bright futures. But this is not Barnum at its best.
Following a season at the Chichester Festival in 2013, Cy Coleman’s much loved musical headed out on the road with Brian Conley in the role of Phineus Taylor Barnum, a role originally played by Michael Crawford when the show opened in London in 1981. Barnum is a musical biography of the great American showman, utilising circus acts to document the great mans life and highlight the struggles and conflicts that he encounters personally along the way. We caught up with Brian Conley during an afternoon session of wire-walking, a weekly rehearsal regimen that he maintains to keep in form as he tours with one of the toughest musicals currently on tour. “It is very demanding, it has to be one of the toughest roles in musical theatre” Brian said, “I started training six months before we started the tour. I went to circus school to learn how to walk on … Read more