The O2 Arena has played host to some of the biggest and best names in the entertainment business over the years, including of course the star-studded line-up of performers for the 25th anniversary concert of long-running musical Les Miserables. IndigO2, the smaller in-house venue known as the O2’s little sister’, has also had some pretty impressive visitors on its stage too however, with the likes of Prince, The Saturdays, The Who and Usher having previously played there. That’s why it is rather exciting that American musical theatre composer Scott Alan is set to join their ranks.
The New York-based composer and lyricist’s one night only concert at the IndigO2, which holds a capacity of around 2,800 people, marks his biggest London performance to date. Those who find themselves in the IndigO2 on 4th August 2013 will be treated to an evening of Scot Alan’s music, brought to life courtesy of a 15-piece orchestra and some very special guest vocalists. A fantastic variety of Broadway and West End stars will be lending their voices to his unique compositions, with Shoshana Bean, Willemijn Verkaik, Siobhan Dillon, Ricardo Afonso, Nathan James, Greg Oliver, Jodie Jacobs, Chloe Hart, Richard Fleeshman, Ashleigh Gray, Katie Paine and Rachel Wooding already confirmed to perform. David Hunter was originally part of this line-up, but has since had to pull out due to his recent casting in hit West End musical Once (Hunter will be understudying the lead role of Guy in the show). Further guests were revealed on Monday (22nd July) via the social networking site Twitter however: Simon Bailey, Scott Garnham, Cynthia Erivo, Riccardo Greco, Julie Atherton and Sophia Thieren join the previously announced cast. More names will be announced with each coming Monday.
Featured on the night will be a selection of songs from Alan’s four acclaimed albums. Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan was his debut album and included performances from Broadway legends Shoshana Bean, Liz Callaway, Jonathan Groff and Stephanie J Block, to name a few. His follow-up album, Keys, featured a party of talent from both sides of the pond, such as Norm Lewis, Sutton Foster, Kerry Ellis and Hadley Fraser. Two years later, What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up was released with such singers as Patina Miller, Willemijn Verkaik and Darius de Haas performing its material. His most recent CD release was LIVE, a live recording of a performance of his music at NYC’s Birdland Jazz Club. It features more big names from the theatrical stage, including Lea Salonga, Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, Caissie Levy, Richard Fleeshman and many more. A special edition of the album was released later that same year with bonus tracks sung by West End talents Samantha Barks, Oliver Thompsett, Nathan James and David Hunter.
Scott Alan is one of the most promising up-and-coming musical theatre composers/lyricists in the industry right now. In addition to his album success, he is currently developing his original musical Home in conjunction with playwright Christy Hall, with plans for a Broadway production in full swing. He has also sold-out concerts all around the world, having performed his music in cities across the United States as well as in the UK, Germany and Australia. It’s no surprise that these events have proven so popular. I’ve followed Scott Alan’s work for a number of years now and have had the pleasure of seeing him perform here with a selection of his other vocally-blessed friends. He certainly has a penchant for the big ballads, which is right up my street. His songs are lyrically beautiful, written with such heartfelt emotion and honesty, and with each one giving the listener a deeper glimpse into the man who is Scott Alan. A truly gifted writer, Scott Alan produces music which is just a joy to experience and his concert is sure to be a night not to be missed.
Another reason for fans to go along on to the IndigO2 on 4th August is to be included in the opportunity to perform onstage with the man himself. A contest is currently open for just this chance, with fans asked to upload a video of themselves singing one of Alan’s songs. He will then choose the lucky winner, who will be invited on stage on the night to perform alongside him with the backing of the full orchestra. The contest deadline has been extended and now closes on 25th July 2013. Entrants must hold a ticket for the concert.
There are also VIP tickets available, which afford the holder access to the VIP lounge and a signed copy of his latest album as well as a meet and greet opportunity with Scott Alan and guests after the show.
Scott Alan has already landed on our shores, having flown in from New York yesterday. It isn’t very often that he performs here in the UK, so whether you’re an existing fan of his work or recently-converted one, it’s a rare opportunity and one I’d recommend to be seized with both hands. If you’re a musical theatre fan who has never heard of Scott Alan before, then this is the perfect occasion to acquaint yourself. New musical theatre writing is a vital part of the progression of the industry in the future and needs to be nourished as much as possible. When someone with his talent comes along, he should be supported wholeheartedly; I have no doubt that Scott Alan is going to do great things for musical theatre in the years to come.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Thursday 25th July 2013