All stories by Jonathan Baz on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Jonathan Baz’s 2017 Diamond Dozen by Jonathan Baz

In what has been another full and stimulating year of reviewing countless revivals and some occasionally excellent new writing, below are the twelve productions that have impressed me the mo…

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SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – Paris ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Fittingly, the reviewing year has ended in the grandest of styles at Paris’ Grand Palais to where the city’s illustrious Theatre du Châtelet have temporarily decamped, reviving their 20…

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Friday, January 5, 2018

‘Witty, gothic & enchanting’: Matthew Bourne’s CINDERELLA – Sadler’s Wells & touring ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Matthew Bourne’s Second World War staging was first aired in 1997, before a revival in 2010 leading to this 2017 slightly re-worked reprise and it makes for an uncompromising interpretatio…

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

THE CHRISTMASAURUS LIVE ONSTAGE – Eventim Apollo ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

“This is not a musical. This is not a concert. This is not a panto, or a play, or anything I can compare it to,” so proclaims Tom Fletcher in the show notes. And he is quite right. While…

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

‘It’s all so damn miserable’: SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW – Royal Festival Hall ★★ by Jonathan Baz

When a family-friendly Christmas clown show seems more akin to Waiting For Godot rather than an act from a big top, three-ring circus, something’s gone wrong.

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‘Gloriously gruesome’: TITUS ANDRONICUS – Barbican Theatre (RSC) ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Headed up with an engaging performance from RSC stalwart David Troughton as the frail but somehow still intimidating Titus Andronicus, the play is quite the ride with humour kept firmly at t…

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Monday, December 18, 2017

‘Biggest, boldest, glitziest panto in London’: DICK WHITTINGTON – West End ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Following critical and commercial success with last year’s Cinderella, QDOS Entertainment has again invested millions to make Dick Whittington the biggest, boldest and glitziest pantomime …

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Friday, December 15, 2017

‘Sumptuous’: A CHRISTMAS CAROL – London Musical Theatre Orchestra ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Reprising his 2016 creation, Robert Lindsay is a gnarled and grizzled Ebenezer Scrooge, blossoming as he journeys to discover compassion and kindness.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

MIRACLE ON 34th STREET – Bridge House Theatre ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Miracle on 34th Street is a sparkling, joyful and heartwarming spectacle. For a very merry Christmas, this is just the ticket.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Stratford-upon-Avon (RSC) ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

This year's seasonal offering in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a grand affair as David Edgar (it was he who famously adapted Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby for the company back in 1980) tac…

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

ANIMUS – Laban Theatre ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

In what is the second collaboration from British writing team Webborn and Finn, Animus delivers a cleverly constructed plot including complex characters and a chilling mystery that keeps one…

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… West End Producer by Jonathan Baz

Many years ago Winston Churchill famously described the Russians as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma". Well, London's theatre scene has a similar riddle.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: A Christmas Carol (narrated by Simon Callow) ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Much like a luxuriously fruited and brandy drenched Christmas pudding, Simon Callow’s voice (surely a national treasure in itself) serves up the festive fable in a recording that lasts a t…

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

‘One of the finest night’s entertainment on London’s fringe’ – PRIVATES ON PARADE – Union Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

With the festive panto season finally on the horizon, why not consider skipping the traditional fairy-tale dames and instead head towards the Union Theatre for a snatch of Simon Green's take…

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

SCROOGE THE MUSICAL – Leicester ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

It all makes for classic festive fayre with Leslie Bricusse’s original work, last seen some 15 years ago, being subtly re-engineered for this revival. Jasper Britton heads the cast in the …

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Friday, November 24, 2017

THE SECONDARY VICTIM – Park Theatre ★★ by Jonathan Baz

In what seems a lengthy two and a half hours, Campling takes us through not only Ali’s own marital strains with husband Victor (Gary Webster), but also her counselling of another client wh…

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST – Jack Studio Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

As one of Oscar Wilde’s most famous plays, one wonders if The Importance of Being Earnest's aged humour and possibly outdated social values will stand the test of time. Thankfully, here, i…

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

CORIOLANUS – Barbican Theatre (RSC) ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

The evening’s star performance comes from Haydn Gwynne who brings a strength and elegance to Volumnia. Playing the ever loving yet overbearing mother of Coriolanus, she dreams of success a…

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Friday, November 10, 2017

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS – West End ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Camel coated Christian Slater (who bears more than a hint of Tony Blair in his appearance) is Ricky Roma, the alpha-male of the pack. Canny and mercenary, Roma’s senses and reflexes are ra…

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

MOTHER COURAGE & HER CHILDREN – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Josie Lawrence is an absolute triumph, embracing the audience on her journey from cocky tradeswoman to a woman that Mother Courage would be ashamed of, so downtrodden is her outlook and situ…

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#HappyHalloween: Clare Louise Connolly talks about playing Regan in The Exorcist by Jonathan Baz

We worked a few scenes during the audition run, including the iconic movie moment where Regan spins her head around. I made sure I told our director Sean Mathias that my neck was extremely f…

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Monday, October 30, 2017

IMAGINE THIS – Union Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Harry Blumenau’s production at the Union manages to shed the show’s previous blunders, succeeding in telling a harrowing and touching story with tenderness and care in a production that …

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TRYST – Tabard Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

The script is beautifully crafted, moving at a pace that flits between thundering forward to reflect the fast passage of time and pulling back to uncover a multitude of truths.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN – West End ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Like The Producers before it, Young Frankenstein hails from a Brooks movie of some 40 years earlier with the veteran writer/director reframing the comedy-horror flick around his own composit…

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

KING LEAR – Chichester ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

King Lear is the jewel in the crown of Daniel Evans’ opening year as Chichester’s Artistic Director. Ian McKellen is every inch a king in Jonathan Munby’s production that is currently …

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LUCKY STIFF – Union Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

There’s a charming treatment of Ahrens and Flaherty’s Lucky Stiff, currently playing at the Union Theatre. The musical is a short slight piece, set in a minimalist stage design, but with…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

31 HOURS – Bunker Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Bleak statistics show that a person commits suicide on Britain’s rail network every 31 hours and, as we learn in the play, for every fatality there are another three people who attempt to …

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

HAIR – The Vaults ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Transferring down from Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre, Jonathan O’Boyle’s production of Hair is an exciting revival of a show that was to define so much of the 1960s.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Album Review: Broadway Melodies ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

It is a delight to review Dan Burton’s debut album Broadway Melodies. As choreographer Stephen Mear has long known, Burton is currently amongst the finest of musical theatre “triple thre…

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… The Toxic Avenger’s (& Bon Jovi’s) David Bryan by Jonathan Baz

As The Toxic Avenger returns to London's Arts Theatre, Jonathan Baz spoke with composer and Bon Jovi keyboards ace, David Bryan. David , what attracted you to write The Toxic Avenger...

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

BILLIE & ME: PATTI BOULAYE LIVE – Zedel ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

It's nigh on forty years since this reviewer first clapped eyes on Patti Boulaye. Her braided hair in tight plaits, Boulaye lit up our TV screens on a Saturday evening.

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