REVIEW: Sondheim on Sondheim, Royal Festival Hall ✭✭✭✭✭

Sondheim on Sondheim Royal Festival Hall

Mark Ludmon reviews the new London production of the Sondheim on Sondheim revue at the Royal Festival Hall Sondheim on Sondheim Royal Festival Hall 16 March 2018 Five stars Even the most lavish musical productions in the West End may stretch to only 20 musicians, with most having far fewer, so a one-off staging of Broadway hit Sondheim on Sondheim with the BBC Concert Orchestra was a rare opportunity to hear Stephen Sondheim’s music in all its richly orchestrated splendour. Add to this six of the best musical theatre performers around, and you have a captivating evening of Sondheim songs ranging from something familiar to something peculiar. This is a symphonic version of the Sondheim on Sondheim revue that premiered in New York City in 2010, which was immortalised in a superb cast recording. It slightly trims the original show but retains most of the video interviews and clips that reveal candid … Read more

REVIEW: A Christmas Carol, Lyceum Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

London Musical Theatre Orchestra A Christmas Carol Lyceum Theatre

A Christmas Carol London Musical Theatre Orchestra Lyceum Theatre, 11th December 2017 5 Stars Book Tickets Seeing this sprawling, grand, majestic musical entertainment again in the once splendid surroundings of Bertie Crewe’s opulently spacious rococo interior (behind Beazley’s proudly neo-classical facade), with the full resources of the LMTO massed on stage, complete with a chorus and a line up of superb soloists, all in evening dress, flanked by a brace of sparkling Christmas trees, and beneath the trademark red banners of this specialist orchestra, in this melodramatic, sentimental story of vice and redemption, it is easy to think that there is rather more of nineteenth century French grande-opera about it than the conventional trappings and concerns of Broadway showbiz.  Hearing Alan Menken’s stunning score, given lush and vivid life in Michael Starobin’s gorgeous orchestrations, it is easy to imagine oneself back in the world of Meyerbeer, Gounod and Berlioz, where … Read more

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