Disney’s The Lion King has an enduring popularity amongst theatregoers in the West End, playing at the Lyceum Theatre since 1999, and on Broadway since 1997. Before that, of course, there was the 1994 animated motion picture and now in 2019 a ‘live action’ remake has done very well at the movie box office. It is, perhaps inevitably, a chance to rethink and shake … [Read more...]
Reviews of Cast Recordings, Soundtracks from Musicals & Music
Reviews of music from performers from the stage, cast recordings, soundtracks from stage productions, albums etc...
London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s debut album GIRLFRIENDS
With such a talented cast, it’s difficult to single out stand-out performances. But the ones that stick in my mind are Bronté Barbé’s rendering of ‘The Chances Are’, a heartfelt number about the sitting and hoping that goes on when one’s partner is out to war, and Rob Houchen’s tenor voice is perfectly suited to the soaring melodies in this musical. It’s not often that a new recording of a musical with an orchestra as large as the LMTO is released these days. Rather longer than most cast recordings, coming in at just under two hours, this is set to be the go-to album for Girlfriends, a hearty and passionate listening experience.
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It’s a title that almost screams ‘First World Problems’: Girl In A Crisis. Flic (Lorna Want) is really a young lady rather than the dictionary definition of ‘girl’ (that is, ‘a female child’), and though her problems are indeed, as it transpires, rather negligible on a global scale, they are at least amusing to listen to in their absurdity in this cast recording. Flic … [Read more...]
With even the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization going for alternative takes on showtunes from that era (in the form of a series of videos under the umbrella heading ‘R&H Goes Pop!’ on YouTube), and so many other radical reinterpretations of musical theatre numbers out there, experiencing a show like Musicality - Stars From The West End is rather like coming … [Read more...]
There’s a living room ambience to this recording, which goes well with its first incarnation as a production at the Jack Studio Theatre in south-east London, a fifty-seat venue. This cast recording immediately draws the listener in during the opening number ‘The Oaken Barrel’, and while some of melodies may be more than a tad repetitive, the same could be said for … [Read more...]
These days, one of the most notable things about Neil Diamond’s extraordinary career is the continuing success of his 1969 hit Sweet Caroline. You hear it everywhere, not just coming from bar room wall speakers but from the throats of enormous stadium crowds at sporting events. This gives rise to the strange phenomenon of tens of thousands of men and women singing … [Read more...]
The ‘2019 live action version’ of Aladdin (to distinguish from the 1992 animated motion picture), is not the first remake that the Walt Disney Company has embarked on, and the chances are they have yet more in the pipeline. A remake is, of course, an opportunity to revise, reshape and re-orchestrate, and they’ve done a pretty good job on those scores here. There will … [Read more...]
Hearing orchestral versions of songs made popular by The Beatles isn’t a brand-new phenomenon. Later in 2019, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will also tour, providing orchestral renderings of the Fab Four’s back catalogue, and the London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has previously released an album called Symphonic Sgt. Pepper, which does what it … [Read more...]
I went along to this concert version of Girlfriends towards the end of 2018 and I must confess I wasn’t exactly blown away – the actors were in fine form, but it felt to me as though this fairly subtle musical would have been better played by a chamber orchestra rather than a full one, and I was most grateful for the spoken narration, by Group Captain Victoria Gosling … [Read more...]
There aren’t very many albums like this one out there. Behind the Curtain: Broadway Composers & Lyricists Sing Their Songs, does exactly what the title suggests – a number of songwriters introduce and sing songs they have written. Each song is also introduced by the person who sings it, to give it some background. On the whole, these nuggets of information were … [Read more...]