REVIEW: It’s Only A Play (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, NY)

First off, and unusually for me, there are a couple of real damning negatives that I need to get off my chest.

Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally did not appear tonight – the ensuing chaos outside the theatre in the freezing cold rain was, frankly, like the scene in Miss Saigon where everyone is scrambling for the helicopter out of Vietnam. It was absolute chaos. Theatre staff did absolutely nothing to control the situation, or indeed provide information to anyone, and they really should have asked people to wait to one side (I estimate a couple of hundred), rather than everyone pushing and shoving and getting in the way of the people who truly appreciate theatre, and know that you come for the show, and not the star.

In fact, the only time I was aware of the absences properly was when I opened my Playbill – that is how little they bothered to try and get information out to people. When you have the cheek to charge $165 (£105) plus fees for a second tier priced ticket, you do not treat your patrons with such contempt! Absolutely disgusting experience in my opinion – if you’re going to play with big name casting, at least know how to manage it, and I, for one, would like to have an explanation for the absences – we give our email addresses, surely there could have been a mail-out – it’s just common courtesy. As they didn’t bother to do this, I’m afraid that I am not prepared to accept any excuse from the theatre on how they mishandled the situation, as they, frankly, made a rod for their own back. Incompetents.

… and now on to the show…!

The show itself is cleverly written, with gags that can easily be interchanged based on current events etc.

In terms of the ‘celebrity’ casting, I had been really looking forward to Stockard Channing, and she absolutely didn’t disappoint. Everyone else was acceptable, Matthew Broderick without Nathan Lane is like Thanksgiving with no turkey (see what I did there??), the genius spark that comes to each when they’re bouncing off each other just didn’t ignite in his absence. In fact, Micah Stock (who is billed as a lowly ‘and’) was my favourite actor of the night, I have to say!

The show managed to keep my attention but it really did seem to be just a cash cow for the producers.

I’m surprised to say it, but I really cannot endorse this production.

ALBUM REVIEW: Bette Midler – ‘It’s The Girls!’ (2014)

You can tell that it’s nearly Christmas – every Monday there’s been either a diva album or features album released, and I’ve bought and reviewed them all!

Aretha Franklin | Annie Lennox | Queen

… and now Bette Midler with ‘It’s The Girls!‘ – essentially an intelligently selected mix of songs from the good old days.

The shoo-dwopping track-list is as shown below:

Bette - Tracklist

Her vocal is sublime on each track, and of all the albums that I’ve reviewed recently, this is the first not to disappoint and actually ‘work’ in concept.

I’d definitely recommend ‘It’s The Girls!‘- whether a cheeky Christmas buy for Mum / the other half.

With this awesome album, Bette easily proves that she’s still worthy of the title ‘the Devine Miss M’.

Even better news – with the release of this album, we’re getting a UK Tour in 2015 – Bette Midler hasn’t toured this country in 35 years (1979/1980) – essentially, she’s never even sang ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ in a UK Arena before!

BETTE MIDLER: 2015 UK TOUR

09 July  –  Birmingham  –  Barclaycard Arena

11 July   –  Manchester  –  Arena

13 July   –  Glasgow  –  SSE Hydro

15 July   –  Leeds  –  First Direct Arena

18 July   –  London  –  The O2

Tickets for Bette Midler go on sale Friday, 21 November at 9am from livenation.co.uk

Still my favourite ‘Bette':

Broadway bound – upcoming reviews!

So, I don’t know if you’ve heard me excitedly telling folk the past few months that I’m off to New York for Thanksgiving this year. Many who regularly keep in touch will be aware of my current ‘association’ with brain cancer – and going back to the Big Apple for a break was definitely one of the many things, along with food, water, Max, Family and ice-pops (long story!) that kept me going!

The last time I was in NY was 2007, and with Broadway as exciting as it is at the moment, I simply couldn’t stay away! Below are some YouTube spots for the shows I’m seeing whilst out there – you can bet that a review of each will be coming to this site shortly afterwards too! :D

Disney’s Aladdin

Michael C. Hall in Hedwig And The Angry Inch

Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally in It’s Only A Play

Radio City Hall Christmas Spectacular 2014

ALBUM REVIEW: Queen – Forever [2014 – Deluxe Edition]

If you’re someone who knows me then you will probably know that I am a Queen obsessive.

I have a poignant story for you on this one – I first heard that the album was coming whilst in an ambulance on the way to radiotherapy for my brain tumour. I confess, I was so excited, and at that point I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t still be here to hear the ‘new’ Queen tracks, and see this album released.

It’s definitely a ‘fan’ album, especially the deluxe version, you don’t get the mega-hit Bohemian Rhapsody, which in a way endears me to this album much more – it’s a celebration for the fan and not for the mainstream. This review from the Telegraph here in the UK highlights this ignorance magnificently.

The selection of ‘other’ tracks is fantastic and inspired, and I’m a massive fan of the three magical ‘new’ songs that the album has been promoted on.

An emotional listen for many reasons, some personal and others band related.

Don’t just plump for the standard, cheaper, version, some of my favourites oldies are on the second disc (feels odd saying this when I have a digital copy). Invest a few more pounds in Queen, I will personally guarantee that it’s worth it!

UK based musical theatre geek with a brain tumour!

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