All stories by Jonathan Baz on BroadwayStars

Thursday, July 19, 2018

‘One of the most stimulating new plays this year’: END OF THE PIER – Park Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Offering two hours of compelling and arguably unmissable theatre combining humour and cliche together with many unpalatable home truths, End of the Pier is one of the most stimulating new pl…

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

‘In Sarah Louise Hughes, the director has unearthed a gem’: THE RISE & FALL OF LITTLE VOICE – Cirencester ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

The strengths of The Rise & Fall of Little Voice will always flow from the young woman playing LV and in Sarah Louise Hughes, director Michael Strassen has unearthed a gem.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

‘As beguiling as it is macabre’: IT HAPPENED IN KEY WEST – Charing Cross Theatre ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

It Happened In Key West takes risks which more often than not, pay off. As beguiling as it is macabre, this morbid musical comedy needs to be seen to be believed.

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Monday, July 16, 2018

‘An intelligent look behind the scenes of the American Dream’: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY – National Theatre ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

The Lehman Trilogy is an intelligent look behind the scenes of the American Dream and the smoke and mirrors of the corporate world, brought to light by Mendes’ astute direction and a stell…

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Friday, July 13, 2018

‘For a seaside festival of song & dance, there’s nothing finer in the country’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Me and My Girl’s politics may be of the dark ages – but its ability to put grins on faces and set toes tapping is the mark of a modern show that knows how to please its audience.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

‘Something wonderful indeed’: THE KING & I – West End ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Notwithstanding high expectations, together with The King & I’s difficult issues that are made even more complex in a modern world of evolving values, this transfer of the 2015 Broadw…

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

‘Moments of stunning talent shine through the gloom’: FOR KING & COUNTRY – Southwark Playhouse Review ★★ by Jonathan Baz

In the final tragic year of the Great War’s centenary, and 102 years (almost to the day) since the commencement of the Battle of the Somme, For King And Country reminds us of the mental de…

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

‘Sensational revival‘: GUYS & DOLLS – Kilworth ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

For the show to soar, all that is needed is a faultless cast – thus the greatest plaudits in this production belong to director/choreographer Nick Winston and his casting director Anne Vos…

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

‘A grand spectacle of musical theatre greatness’: A Musical Celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber – Royal Hospital Chelsea ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

As part of this year's open-air concert line-up Live At Chelsea, some of the biggest names in musical theatre were joined by the Royal Symphonic Concert Orchestra to celebrate the 70th Birth…

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

‘A show of two halves’: KISS ME, KATE – West End ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

With the World Cup tournament currently in play, football parlance seems appropriate in describing Opera North’s Kiss Me, Kate, arriving this week for a short stay at London’s Coliseum a…

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘A delightfully poignant evening’: IT’S ONLY LIFE – Union Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

What happens if you throw together 23 songs, five musical theatre performers, a pianist, and tons of colour? The answer is It’s Only Life, a musical revue based on several ‘orphan songs…

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

‘An evening of thought-provoking theatre’: JULIE – National Theatre ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Julie may well be far from a definitive interpretation of Strindberg's classic, but nonetheless makes for an evening of thought-provoking theatre.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

‘A grand night out’: RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET – Upstairs at the Gatehouse ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

In what is the first staging of Return To The Forbidden Planet since the death of its creator Bob Carlton, John Plews has put together a production that captures the show’s irreverent spir…

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Friday, June 8, 2018

‘Difficult to couch as either entertainment or art’: KILLER JOE – Trafalgar Studios ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Arguably, the revival of a 25-year-old script is done for one of two reasons; either its excellent writing simply entertains, or it is pertinent to today’s societal trends. With Killer Joe…

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Sunday, June 3, 2018

‘If you love musical theatre, it’s unmissable’: THE RINK – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Yet again, Southwark Playhouse is delivering an outstanding musical for a fraction of the price of a West End ticket. If you love the genre, it’s unmissable.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

‘The vibrant exploration of the beauty & challenges of language make it a play to catch’: TRANSLATIONS – National Theatre ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

It is rare to find a show so good-natured and yet ominous and academic, all at the same time. Come for the raucous humour, stay for the dramatic, dirty colonialism and the lesson in the pros…

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

‘An intense, well-written and tightly directed drama’: RED – West End ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

This is not Yasmin Reza’s Art, rather it’s an intense, well-written and tightly directed drama that in 90 minutes provides a rare insight into a man whose work seems baffling to the untu…

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Monday, May 14, 2018

INTERVIEW: Shuler Hensley – An outstanding actor who brings humanity to dysfunctionality’ by Jonathan Baz

Shuler Hensley is an American actor who, outside of the theatre world and especially the musical theatre world, is little known in the UK. Currently, he can be found in the Theatre Royal Bat…

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

‘This might have been a good thing’: NIGHTFALL – Bridge Theatre ★★ by Jonathan Baz

There was a 15-minute delay to the commencement of Nightfall on the occasion of this review, with an actor delayed on public transport. Sadly that delay was all too short, as what followed w…

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Monday, May 7, 2018

‘Tries to say so much, but ultimately says very little’: GROTTY – Bunker Theatre ★★ by Jonathan Baz

Grotty is a dark, grimy, and vivid exploration of the subcultures of London’s lesbian scene. The end result is a play about nothing in particular. Much like its lead character, Grotty trie…

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

‘Masterful modern drama’: THE WHALE – Bath ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

There’s a lot to process in The Whale, sometimes too much, but make no mistake – this is masterful modern drama.

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

‘An evening of stunning musical theatre’: CHESS – West End ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

If you can get (or afford) a ticket, go and see Chess, if only because the score is unlikely to be played quite so sumptuously ever again. The whole production makes for an evening of stunni…

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

‘Much of its satire proves to be deliciously enjoyable’: CHICAGO – West End ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Chicago remains fine Fosseian musical theatre. Strong story, stylish dance, and Kander and Ebb’s brilliant songs. Class, indeed.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

INTERVIEW: Josefina Gabrielle is loving the ‘pure entertainment’ of the West End’s Chicago by Jonathan Baz

With Chicago returning to London, I spoke with Josefina Gabrielle who, as Velma, is sharing the show’s leading credits, about the piece and her career.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

OFF BROADWAY: Catching up with an ‘ingenious take’ on Sweeney Todd ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Visiting New York offers a chance to catch up with the trans-Atlantic transfer of Bill Buckhurst’s ingenious take on Sweeney Todd, sited in a replica of Harrington’s eponymous Tooting pi…

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Friday, April 27, 2018

ON BROADWAY: ‘A heart-warming tale of simple humanity’ in HELLO, DOLLY! ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

The story of Hello, Dolly! may be froth and frolics, but underneath the razzle-dazzle of Jerry Herman’s songs and Michael Stewart’s book, there beats a heart-warming tale of simple human…

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

‘Strallen & Labey are what this show is all about’: STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL — West End ★★★ by Jonathan Baz

The book and songs here may be dire, but the entertainment shines through in Strictly Ballroom’s dazzling dance. Drew McOnie choreographs the piece (he also directs, though thankfully with…

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

‘It was fabulous when it opened & it still is’: 42nd STREET – West End ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Revisiting 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – and it still remains the finest spectacle of dance to be found in the West End.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

‘A thing of beauty’: THE LAST SHIP – Touring ★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

For the most part, Sting’s The Last Ship is a thing of beauty. The Geordie songwriter/pop megastar has penned a well-crafted salute to the shipbuilders of his native Newcastle Upon Tyne an…

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

ON BROADWAY: ‘a heartbreakingly beautiful interpretation’ of Carousel ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

This is a heartbreakingly beautiful interpretation of probably the darkest musical to have emerged from Broadway’s Golden Years but, and not unlike The Starkeeper himself, Jack O’Brien h…

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

‘A timeless link to a beautiful history’: THE WIZARD OF OZ – London Palladium ★★★★★ by Jonathan Baz

Judy Garland et al may be captured, beautifully, in that flickering light beam and one may know the movie thoroughly, but Gabriele truly takes this score of The Wizard of Oz over the rainbow.

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