Something Good! ITV's THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE and the history of the classic R&H musical

America's TV network NBC were, until recently, the only television network that broadcasted live performances of family favourite musicals. With The Sound of Music in 2013 and Peter Pan in 2014 both falling short and proving to the world that maybe the concept isn't a good idea, it was up to The Wiz earlier this month to show the World that it is indeed an okay idea and land well it did.

Shaun's Jukebox #3: Rap, Rock & Raw Beauty

To ease back into this long-forgotten series, I thought I'd spend today talking about three shows that are taking Broadway by storm at the moment: the destined-to-be Tony-winning Best Musical of 2016 'Hamilton', ALW's stage musical adaptation of one of my favourite films of all time (which you'd know if you follow me on Twitter) 'School of Rock: The Musical', and the original cast recording and what might just be the most intimate and beautiful historical musical ever: 'The Color Purple'.

Ease on Down The Road! NBC's THE WIZ LIVE! and the history of this classic Broadway show

Let's be totally honest here: NBC's previous live broadcasts of The Sound of Music in 2013 and Peter Pan in 2014 were absolutely awful. There was something about The Sound of Music that made it too boring to be worthy of praise and Christopher Walken as Captain Hook in Peter Pan might beat Marti Pellow as the worst actor in a musical I have ever had the misfortune of seeing.

I'm Changing My Major to Joan! FUN HOME at the Circle In The Square, NYC

After literally months and months of not writing my notes for this review into a proper post for absolutely no reason at all, I finally bring you my review on FUN HOME, which is playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway. I went and saw the show on my trip to New York in June and was lucky enough to see the entire Original Broadway cast a week after their big wins.

Why I Live For Live Theatre (#LoveTheatreDay)

I think it's pretty apparent that I really do love live theatre; live theatre is literally my favourite thing in the entire world and I've been lucky enough to experience it with such frequency for as long as I can remember. My career as a West End frequenter though didn't occur until August 2008 when I went and saw my first West End musical Hairspray (more on that here).

Explained: The Hype surrounding Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II

I really love Harry Potter. I've loved it for as long as I can remember: I grew up watching the films and reading the books to death, I went to the Studio Tour at Leavesden the year before last, I'm an active Pottermore member (Gryffindor, baby!), and I even managed to catch the final two films at midnight premiere screenings at the local cinema.

This show is amazing? No Me Diga! IN THE HEIGHTS at the King's Cross Theatre

I adore anything that Lin-Manuel Miranda puts his mind to, much like the vast majority of the theatre loving community: I am head-over-heels obsessed with the Hamilton cast album and I can't wait for the new Disney movie scores to come from his as well because we all know how much I love Disney and especially how excited I am for Moana anyway. But before all of this magical work came from that man's genius brain, along came the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In The Heights.

Why THRILLER LIVE! (UK Tour) is really not what I'm looking for in a 'musical'

If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably already know that I walked out of the theatre the other night feeling thoroughly disappointed in what I'd just seen. The show in question was of course the Michael Jackson-inspired 'musical' THRILLER LIVE! that's been playing in London for over 6 years now and recently embarked on its second national tour since its permanent West End settlement.

Catch It Before It Goes: MEMPHIS at the Shaftesbury Theatre (Final Weeks!)

It's really rare that it takes me this long to get around to seeing a show: Memphis celebrated one year on the West End a fortnight ago and it was only last night that I finally got around to seeing it. I've had the cast recording playing for a good few years now and the London cast recording replaced that earlier this year when it was released, so it's pretty safe to say I was ready to finally put bum to seat this time around - but was the show really all I thought it was cracked up to be?

4 Shows I Want To Come Over from Broadway

Let's get real here: there are a lot more than 4 shows that I want to see make their West End debut, of course because I am a stupidly obsessed theatre fanatic who unfortunately doesn't have the funds to be able to regularly hop across the pond or to travel back in time and see shows that ran before I was born, but when I put pen to paper and made a list, these four were the first four that came to mind.

Theatre History: LES MIZ and the affect it has had on the theatre industry in the past 30 years

It seemed apt to talk about the 30th Anniversary of Les Miz today and the massive affect it has had on modern musical theatre; not only because of the history that I can remind you all of on this momentous day, but also because I started blogging thanks to the release of the film adaptation of the stage show. You can read the review here and even though it's awful, I created my blog in the first place just so I could share my love for the musical I'd geeked out over for as long as I can remember.

Oh, What a Night! JERSEY BOYS, UK Tour

There is a tiny, tiny list of shows that are currently playing in London's West End that I haven't gotten around to seeing and two of those shows I am tackling in the next week. The first of which is JERSEY BOYS: a musical that took Broadway by storm over a decade ago and has played in London for almost a decade as well. The show tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and how they came to fame and inevitably died out as well.

Absolutely Glorious! BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: THE MUSICAL at the Phoenix Theatre

I remember Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical being announced like it was yesterday, so sitting in the Phoenix Theatre the other night felt somewhat surreal; I seriously couldn't believe how fast time has passed from this show being announced, to artwork and flyers being released, to opening and finally, to me getting to see the show.

Shaun's Jukebox #2: Equality, Wedding Comedy, Musical History & Positivity

I did the first one of these posts a few weeks back (link here) and it was so much of a success that I thought I'd bring the series back for another issue this evening. In this series, I take a selection of new or current favourite cast recordings from West End and Broadway shows and review them for you as well as giving you my top three picks from each album. So, without any further ado...

It'll Be Perfect! IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, NYC

Even though It Shoulda Been You is closing on the Great White Way next Sunday, let's take a moment to appreciate how much I enjoyed this show that I knew next to nothing about going in. I chose to see this show whilst in New York actually and I got my ticket the night before the show at the box office, all because the plans my Dad and I had fell through so I thought I'd spend my night on Broadway instead and it was the best decision I made on the entire trip.

All Aboard! ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY at the American Airlines Theatre, NYC

For most, their favourite kinds of musicals are the funny ones. For me? My favourite kind of shows are the almost sung through operettas that exuberate classic Broadway musical theatre, and On The Twentieth Century is exactly one of those shows. It was originally produced on Broadway back in the 70s and verges on being an operetta with a score by Cy Coleman.

It's Hard to Be The Bard! SOMETHING ROTTEN! at the St. James Theatre, NYC

I love all types of musicals, of course I do, but funny musicals are the ones that I am most picky about. If I don't find the premise of the show funny or I just find the show generally corny then I'll find it hard to like the music as well and generally, the show will fall off of my radar. I saw Spamalot on tour a few months back and though I didn't despise the show by the end of it, it's definitely no where near the best I've ever seen and I doubt very much that I would go and see the show again.

Try and Tear Her Down! HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at the Belasco Theatre, NYC

I know the music from Hedwig, but I wouldn't say I totally understood the foundation of the story until I saw the show. I automatically assumed it was just a series of snippets of her life pulled together to tell her story, but the actual final product is so creative and moving, yet hilarious that it took me aback; I fell in love with it even more than I thought I was going to anyway.

Shaun's Jukebox #1: The New Momma Rose, Funeral Homes & A Parisian Ingenue

I love to catch a show live on stage as you know, but there is also a very special thing behind getting to listen to the music of the show on the cast recording for weeks and months afterwards. Sometimes, it's the only way I can take a listen to the music from that show; I'm never going to be able to see the original Broadway production of Pippin for example because it was produced before my birth, so a cast recording is a fantastic way of capturing the magic of a show even if you can't attend it.

Worth The Hype? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

There are usually three reasons I'm late to seeing a show: I don't feel a yearning to see the show, I was busy when the show first opened so it slipped off my radar or (in this case), the price tag on a ticket is so ridiculously expensive that I've had to wait for a weekday matinee in term time to come around to get a fairly priced ticket. And yes, it really has taken me the two years since this show first opened for a day like that to arrive.

My 2015 Tony Awards Predictions

I made a post like this around 11 months ago a week or so before the Tony Awards aired, but this year I thought I'd do it on the day the nominations were announced. The Tony's excite me possibly even more than the Olivier's do and I was beyond excited to see some fantastic performances I've read about and watched clips of myself be nominated for awards this year.

Totally Triumphant: Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre

My best friend Kyle and I have loved Gypsy since we first met many moons ago and I can distinctively remember him always impersonating Baby June's 'Let Me Entertain You' with some serious hilarity on a very regular basis; Bette Midler's movie recording was our favourite. We loved the Bette Midler movie purely because we had no way of seeing the show that we loved so much.

Let's Talk: The Olivier Awards 2015

Last year, my friend Jess and I decided to spend the (very sunny) day of the Olivier Awards down in Covent Garden enjoying the live performances from many nominated shows and then watching the full screening of the awards on the big screens in the evening which is the only place you can watch the awards in full (more on that later). It was one of the most magical nights of theatre I can think of ever having: it was the first time I could experience this.

Jukebox Musicals Done Right: Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych

I actively follow Broadway theatre just as much as I do West End theatre, but the only problem is that the sea between me and Broadway means I can't see any shows playing there (obviously).  So when Beautiful - The Carole King Musical was announced and then started performances at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York, I was more than envious of all of the people that got to see the show.

The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales

I'm pretty sure I've said it more than enough times now that I love nothing more than a totally original and new musical, so it's no surprise that The Book of Mormon has been a hilarious part of my life since it first opened on Broadway back in March 2011; I bought the soundtrack as soon as it was released and listened to the music religiously (how ironic) and slowly fell in love with the idea of this hilarious Broadway musical that was so openly rude yet so widely accepted.

Catch It Before It Goes: Made in Dagenham

If you've followed me on Twitter for a long while (and if you haven't then why not!? You can do so here) then you'd know how truly excited I was when the news that Made in Dagenham the Musical was coming to the West End was announced... and then when opening night hit... and then when I saw the show... and so on; I'd been so excited for this show to hit the West End because of how much I adore the original British movie and how the topics it touched on.

Into The Woods: The movie that you've been missing all your life, and you didn't even know it

Into The Woods has played a role in my life for the past seven or so years when I first started to link Sondheim's works together and fall deeply in love with his masterpieces. I've been head over heels in love with fairy tales all my life and to discover this new twist on those tales with music by one of the greatest composers who has ever lived was pretty damn awesome.