A musical revue about the highs and lows of life, in it’s simplest form Closer Than Ever is about people. Though the songs were written in the 1980s, a time before iPhones, twitter and all other modern impediments the stories are easily relatable today as I can only imagine they were over twenty years ago. Lyricist and Director Richard Maltby Jr has revisited the show directing a joyous and slick production at the Jermyn Street Theatre proving that the trials and tribulations of life are truly timeless.
Nathan Martin provides wonderful musical direction (along with A-J Brinkman on Bass) for an animated and pitch perfect cast consisting of Graham Bickley, Sophie-Louise Dann, Arvid Larsen and Issy Van Randwyck.
Bickley provided one of the standout performances of the evening with a beautiful take on ‘One Of The Good Guys’ and Randwyck had the audience in stitches with her pin point performance of ‘Miss Byrd’. The full company provided a wonderful moment in Act 1 with a truthful number about the ups and downs of dating suitably titled ‘Dating Again’
The second half of the show brought us a steadier and more contemplative act with another standout performance from Bickley entitled ‘Father of Fathers’ and Larsens touching take on If I Sing, both males treating us to simply beautiful vocals. One must also mention the beautiful vocals of the delightful Sophie Louise Dann who I would have liked to have seen in one or two more solo moments, her powerful rendition of ‘Patterns’ reminding us why she it one of todays prominent leading ladies.
The production is well supported with a simple yet effective set design by John Yap which doesn’t steal your eye from Kurt Stamms choreography (reproduced in London by Emily Maltby).
If you fancy an evening out reminiscing about the days gone by or fancy an insight as to what’s to come in life, you can catch Closer Than Ever at the Jermyn Street Theatre until the 7th of June.
Review by John-Webb Carter
Closer Than Ever is a roller-coaster ride of modern day manners with a focus on the ups and downs of love. From unrequited adoration to aging, from just-mates to marriage rites, from parenting to passing, each song is a different story told by a different character, a journey into the mind of an individual as he or she faces what it is to be human, to love, to lose, to triumph and to love again, all set to tuneful music and smart lyrics.
Starring: Graham Bickley, Sophie-Louise Dann, Arvid Larsen, Issy Van Randwyck. Choreographed by Emily Maltby, Musical Director Nathan Martin and directed by Richard Maltby Jr.
6th May to 7th June 2014
Jermyn Street Theatre
Winner of the Off-Broadway Alliance Award
Best Musical Revival 2012
Friday 9th May 2014