Tag Archives: Melanie La Barrie

Unlimited: The Songs Of Stephen Schwartz

★★★★

Online via Thespie

Unlimited: The Songs Of Stephen Schwartz

Unlimited: The Songs Of Stephen Schwartz

Online via Thespie

Reviewed – 13th December 2020

★★★★

 

“All nine performers deliver fantastic performances that are a testament to their infectious love of musical theatre.”

 

The concert begins with Stephen Schwartz himself, singing at a piano. He introduces this evening of his songs, and says how much he misses live theatre. This sets the tone for an hour that is a true ode to theatre and to musical theatre more specifically. The cast sing songs from across his canon of musicals, duets, trios and solos. Each performer has been part of the Wicked cast at some point over the years it has run. The songs are interspersed by moments where the cast interview each other, reminiscing about favourite roles and songs to sing, and sharing what the theatre means to them.

In a wonderfully grand venue, eight of them sit socially distanced with pianist and Musical Director Nick Barstow sitting behind a grand piano, ready to accompany them! It is such a joy to see so many fantastic singers and performers together. I mean this both in the sense of seeing them sing together, the soaring duets and powerful trios. But also in the sense of seeing them sit together, watching each other perform, supporting and appreciating each other. Community is something that comes up as a theme in the interviews and this feels like a visual representation of the community that theatre offers and creates.

The videography and editing by Jake Waby and Christian Abad for JW Productions is an example of how to produce digital content right. Sarah Sendell’s sound design is equally strong and we are able to enjoy the strength of all these singers in perfect quality.

The concert begins with a trio from the musical ‘Pippin’, and Alexia Khadime sings the first solo number of the evening – a stunning rendition of ‘I Guess I’ll Miss the Man’. Alice Fearn and Liam Tamne come together to sing a beautiful duet from ‘Pocahontas’, and their ranges compliment each other flawlessly.

Dianne Pilkington sings a compelling solo, and Melanie La Barrie’s performance from the bar is wonderful. ‘For Good’ from Wicked is an emotional end to the concert, sung by Nikki Bentley, Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Alexia Khadime and Dianne Pilkington.

All nine performers deliver fantastic performances that are a testament to their infectious love of musical theatre.

 

Reviewed by Amelia Brown

Photography by Aimie Atkinson 

 


Unlimited: The Songs Of Stephen Schwartz

Online via Thespie

 

Recently reviewed by Amelia:
I Will Still Be Whole (When You Rip Me In Half) | ★★★★ | The Bunker | November 2019
My White Best Friend And Even More Letters Best Left Unsaid | ★★★★ | The Bunker | November 2019
Potted Panto | ★★★★ | Southwark Playhouse | December 2019
The Girl With Glitter in Her Eye | ★★½ | The Bunker | January 2020
Essence | ★★½ | The Vaults | February 2020
Flights | ★★★½ | Omnibus Theatre | February 2020
Maliphantworks3 | ★★★★★ | The Coronet Theatre | February 2020
Globaleyes | ★★★★ | Online | September 2020
First Date | ★★★ | Online | October 2020
A Christmas Carol | ★★★★ | Watermill Theatre Newbury | December 2020

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews

 

Wicked! New Cast

WICKED, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to announce that Alice Fearn (Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Jack Lansbury (Boq) and Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) will head the new London cast from Monday 24 July 2017, joining current cast members Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

Sophie Evans & Alice Fearn – Photo by Darren Bell

Alice Fearn (Elphaba) originally joined the London production of WICKED in 2016, as Standby for Elphaba, and will now assume the role. Her previous West End appearances include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek The Musical, Into The Woods, Les Misérables (also the film version) and The Woman in White.

Sophie Evans (Glinda) was the acclaimed runner-up in the BBC talent show ‘Over the Rainbow’ and subsequently played ‘Dorothy Gale’ in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.

Bradley Jaden (Fiyero) is currently starring as ‘Fiyero’ on the international tour of WICKED. He previously starred as ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre; Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible) is currently part of the acclaimed Everyman Company at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Her West End roles have included ‘Mrs Phelps’ in the original cast of Matilda, ‘Mme Thénardier’ in Les Misérables and ‘Mrs Corry’ in the original cast of Mary Poppins; Andy Hockley (The Wizard) has enjoyed a long association with The Phantom of the Opera, playing ‘Monsieur Firmin’ at London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as on the UK & Ireland Tour for over 1000 performances. He most recently played ‘Grandpa Potts’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse and on the UK & Ireland Tour; Jack Lansbury (Boq) is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and will be making his West End debut in WICKED; Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) appeared in The Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, covering and playing ‘Maria von Trapp’. Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda) all continue in their current roles.

Current cast members Willemijn Verkaik (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Sue Kelvin (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard) and Idriss Kargbo (Boq) will all play their final performances on Saturday 22 July 2017.

From Monday 24 July 2017, the London production will star Alice Fearn (Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose), Jack Lansbury (Boq), Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba), Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda) and Jennie Abbotts, Ashley Birchall, Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimée Fisher, Joseph Fletcher, Alexandra Grierson, Katy Hanna, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Olivia Kate Holding, Claudia Kariuki, Will Lucas, James McHugh, Danny Michaels, Ellie Mitchell, Rosa O’Reilly, Matt Parsons, Alex Pinder, Sam Robinson, Paulo Teixeira, Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts.

Acclaimed as “one of the West End’s true modern classics” (Metro), WICKED is now in its 11th smash hit year at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is already the 17th longest running show in West End theatre history. The “hugely popular show” (The Times) is a three-time winner of the theatregoer-voted WhatsOnStage Award for ‘Best West End Show’ and a two-time winner of the Olivier Audience Award. The critically acclaimed and multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour returns from 31 January 2018, visiting Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Dublin, Sunderland, Southampton, Cardiff and Manchester.

Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
WICKED has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Disney’s Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted and, for DreamWorks, The Prince of Egypt) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life). Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.
WICKED is produced around the world by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

 

www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk

 

 

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