Home » London Theatre Reviews » The Seth Concert Series – Sierra Boggess | Review

The Seth Concert Series – Sierra Boggess | Review

Sierra Boggess
Sierra Boggess

London audiences have some familiarity with Broadway actress Sierra Boggess, having appeared at least twice at the Royal Albert Hall, for the Rodgers and Hammerstein Prom in 2010 and then the 25th-anniversary concerts of The Phantom of the Opera, as well as being in the original company of Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre in 2010-11, and the Shaftesbury Avenue production of Les Misérables in 2012-13. More recently she returned to London to perform her own concerts at Cadogan Hall in February 2020.

Then, as in this concert, the big highlight for me was a mash-up of ‘Think of Me’ from Phantom, sung firstly in the style of Britney Spears (Boggess having performed the role of Christine at the Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas), then in Japanese, to honour the international appeal of the show, which has been produced at least twenty-seven countries, then in French, as a tribute to a run in Paris that never actually opened because the Mogador Theatre was damaged by fire prior to the first preview, and then as she performed the song on Broadway.

Being a ninety-minute, no-interval performance, conversation was wholly kept on-topic, and there were ultimately no surprises about there being multiple callbacks for roles Boggess had auditioned for. But the devil is in the detail, so to speak, and it’s always fascinating to hear stories about what goes on in the audition process, and indeed beyond – I hadn’t appreciated, for instance, that ‘Turning’ in Les Misérables is a difficult number to sing for the actors who perform it, because by that point in the show, most of the many deaths in the show have taken place and everyone is supposed to be so sad and weepy. But it is difficult to maintain this level of sadness for three hours at a time, eight times a week.

While many of the tunes in this concert are recognisable to musical theatre fans, at least Boggess has good reason to sing, for instance, ‘Part of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid, a tune I’ve heard many people perform (it’s apparently commonly heard at open auditions too) – but there is only one person who made her Broadway debut originating the role of Ariel in that show, and it happens to be Sierra Boggess. There is something of a Disney princess in her natural disposition, in that there’s a broad smile and positivity combined with a beautifully clear and highly versatile soprano voice that glides through ‘I Have Confidence’ from The Sound of Music as easily as it tackles ‘Stars’ (as well as ‘I Dreamed A Dream’) from Les Misérables.

There were some lesser-known musical numbers in the mix, including a number from the short-lived 2015 Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You. The title song from Love Never Dies, which Boggess sings so well, was missing from the set-list here, but this was nonetheless a delightful online experience.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Mark Cortale Presents
Sunday, August 30th at 8PM EST
Monday, August 31st at 3PM EST

Sunday, September 6th at 8PM EST
Monday, September 7th at 3PM EST

Sunday, September 13th at 8PM EST
Monday, September 14th at 3PM EST

All tickets available at www.thesethconcertseries.com



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