Starting my post-Take That theatre marathon with a trip to the Gielgud might not have been the most sensible thing I’ve done recently, but it turned out not to be quite as terrible an idea as I first thought. Of course it brought back a lot of memories, from catching sight of Mr. Stage Door Man on my pre-show wander, to the squeaky bin lid in the stalls level Ladies that always reminds me of the beginning of the Aquarius recording, to that seat from which I gave Steelicious my number. Still, I adore this theatre specifically because of all the wonderful memories and I love coming back, no matter what the show. I’d also forgotten quite how much I love an all singing, all dancing, feel good musical. It’s been months since I last saw a musical and even longer since I saw a cheeful one. I left with the post-tour blues quieted, at least for the moment, and a real desire to sort out all the millions of other shows I want to see in the near future.
Lend Me A Tenor didn’t start off quite as wonderfully as one might have hoped. The opening number, in my opinion at least, was a bit of a non-starter, but fortunately that was not a hint of what was to come. Once the opening scene was over and done with, the show picked up rapidly. The cast were fabulous, the music catchy and the story, though a tad predictable, highly amusing and enjoyable. Unfortunately, it closes on Saturday (yet another victim of the Gielgud undeserved early closure curse), but if you get a chance, pop along and see it before then. It’s well worth a visit.
Cassidy Janson as Maggie Saunders was the first to show how good the show was about to become with an early solo number that greatly impressed. Sophie-Louise Dann as soprano Diane DiVane was also phenomenal and her mish-mash of opera arias in the second act was absolutely breathtaking. Matthew Kelly was surprisingly good, especially since I didn’t even know he could sing. Michael Matus played Italian tenor Tito Merelli, with a breathtaking voice and engaging performance. Joanna Riding was also superb as his wife Maria. Damian Humbley, however, as Max Garber, was without doubt the star. His voice was simply incredible and forcibly reminded me why I love musicals quite so much. His duet with Merelli and subsequent reprises of ‘Be Yourself’ were just fantastic and I consider myself honoured to have heard this cast performing it live.
The stage door afterwards was also a trip down memory lane and despite the lack of hippie hyperness, it was still a highly enjoyable one. The cast were all incredibly friendly and perfectly happy to sign autographs and pose for photos, even though they all seemed to have plenty of industry friends there to see them. I actually recognised one guy, but couldn’t for the life of me work out where from. I briefly ended up talking to him and he said he’d been in Phantom, Les Mis, A Little Night Music and various concerts. While it’s possible I saw him in Phantom, I doubt that’s where I recognise him from. My best guess is either one of the concerts I’ve been to or something else that he didn’t mention. At the time I thought it might have been the Kissing Dance, but now I’m wondering if perhaps it was the Perfect Pitch concert. Either way, he told me I should come to the Dress Circle Benefit on Sunday and I’m already kicking myself for not booking yet. I just hope there are some cheap tickets left as I really don’t want to miss it!
Anyhoo, while I’m writing and on the subject of other shows, I just realised I never mentioned Carlos Acosta’s Premieres Plus that I impulse bought a ticket for last week. Honestly, I wasn’t overly impressed, but I think it was my own mistake for being seduced by his name. He’s a wonderful dancer, of course, but I’m not really a fan of modern dance and I’d really rather watch him in a ballet. The show was short and not particularly cheap, though it’s the first time I’ve been to the Coliseum, at least since I’ve been old enough to be aware of it, and I very much enjoyed my visit. It’s a beautiful theatre and I’d love to go back and see something a little more to my taste. The show was split into several short sections and only one particularly caught my fancy, which seemed to be the shortest of the lot. I’ve forgotten what it was called, but it was some sort of interpretation of the passionate nature of relationships, which was very much up my street. The one type of modern dance (or any kind of dance, really) that I always enjoy is the romantic and/or passionate kind.
So anyways, walking through Theatre Land after the show, I could barely keep the smile off of my face – from walking past the Queens Theatre and seeing the crowd at the stage door that I will be one of in a few days time to catching a brief but satisfying glimpse of the delectable Oliver Thornton at the Palace stage door. I still want to see all the various plays and opera house shows on my list, but I’m definitely going to need to organise some more musicals for the near future. With no Take That, Adam Lambert’s new album still a way off (though he premiered a new track ‘Outlaw of Love’ on Friday which is gorgeously awesome – see below) and Harry Potter 7.2 finally out, I need to get back in touch with one of my other loves, the musical. Speaking of musicals, I’m dying to head back to Broadway again, though I know I can’t any time soon. Other than the fact that it’s still killing me that the tribe are back on Broadway and I’m not there to see it, it seems as though DanRad finishes his ‘How To Succeed in Business’ run in January and will be replaced, at least for a few weeks, by none other than Darren Criss. I’m absolutely delighted for him, but I have to admit I’m gutted that I won’t get the chance to see him. Fingers crossed he makes it over the Atlantic one day, or that I manage to make it back to New York while he’s in something.
And so I shall leave you with a beautiful reminder of exactly why I love Adam Lambert quite so much. He’s stunning, his music is gorgeous and his voice is just out of this world…
Peace, loVe loVe and happiness,