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 things up a bit, and there are just as inevitably people who are going to be dismissive of what they see as unnecessary changes or … [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 is an actress who hasn’t trodden the boards for some time and is thus working in the hospitality and catering industry - or, as … [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 full circle. These were faithful renderings of well-loved showtunes, without too many embellishments, riffs that weren’t there … [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 quite a few musicals out there. For the uninitiated, Queen of the Mist tells the story of Anna Edson Taylor (1838-1921) (Trudi … [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 along to an exuberant love ballad minutes before two terrifying heavyweight boxers step into the ring with the aim of knocking … [Read more...]