Shaun's Jukebox #4: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Edition

To bring Andrew Lloyd Webber week on Shaun's Musical Musings to a close, I thought there'd be nothing better than a special edition of Shaun's Jukebox to get us in the spirit for the weekend. Andrew Lloyd Webber isn't my favourite composer ever, but I most definitely adore a fair few of his shows so today, I thought I'd take you through a couple of them (and picking was hard - I had to avoid shows like Phantom and Cats and Starlight Express!)

Let The Memory Live Again! The History of 'CATS'

There's one musical in my favourites of all time that surprises people every time I tell them of how much I love it: Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 hit musical CATS. Oh yes, I really do have a massive passion for the show that divides opinion, a sung-through dance-based musical where all of the actors are dressed as feline animals, but I really do find it incredibly enjoyable and have done for as long as I can remember - and that's not even just because cats are my favourite animal!

Gone, But Never Forgotten! 'STARLIGHT EXPRESS'

Call me strange but as I sat around thinking this morning, my mind very randomly went to one thing only: the fact that the world seems to have forgotten that people played trains and skated around the Apollo Victoria Theatre on roller skaters for over a decade long before our favourite wicked witch made her way to Shiz. Oh yes, I am officially in panic mode because I truly believe that we are forgetting how tragically beautiful Starlight Express really is.

World, She's Coming Back! The History of 'HELLO, DOLLY!'

I have made it very clear before that my favourite kind of musicals are the classics, and especially ones that started their life on Broadway. Well, if and when I get myself down to Broadway next year, Bette Midler will be playing one of musical theatre's most iconic roles: Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! To celebrate this absolutely amazing news, today I thought I'd take you all through the history of this iconic-yet-sometimes-overlooked Broadway classic.

The Life and Times of Queen Audra McDonald

I know for a fact that I am not alone in saying that Audra McDonald is one of my absolute favourite musical theatre actresses and inspirations (in my eyes, it's Audra and Sutton Foster who never cease to amaze me) and I know that it is fact when I say that McDonald is one of the most successful and most prolific Broadway actresses of both this generation and in history in general.

Guest Review: THE COLOR PURPLE at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre

 
I told my friend Maria that I really wanted her to do a review of the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple after she saw it over the Christmas break. "That's super cool - I'd love to!" she said to me when I shared the idea, so a few days later when we're sitting together in a free study period at school, I turn to her and remind her that we're going to do this interview-style review of the show. 

Haunting Drama & Joyous Comedy: Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's HARLEQUINADE / ALL ON HER OWN at the Garrick

After going to see a live screening of the first play in Kenneth Branagh's 'Plays at the Garrick' season being shown in cinemas last week due to me not being able to get my paws on a ticket to the sold out show (The Winter's Tale starring Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh himself, that is), my friend Chaya and I took our next step through the season by going to see the Terrence Rattigan double bill that is sharing the Garrick with The Winter's Tale: Harlequinade & All On Her Own. 

Re-review: The perfection that is BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM at the Phoenix Theatre

It's extremely rare that I ever review shows twice (in fact, I actually think that this might well be my first time of ever doing it) but I genuinely love Bend It Like Beckham so much, and had such a wonderful evening once again at the Phoenix Theatre, that I thought it would be silly to not channel that passion into a review for you. This show is incredible and it's deserving of being reviewed twice.

Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's THE WINTER'S TALE at the Garrick (#NTLive)

It's very hard for me to critique a show that is written by an actual legend and considering William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest playwright in history, I can't exactly sit here and start arguing with his original text. What I can talk about though are the artistic choices made for this revival of The Winter's Tale, a relatively lesser-known Shakespeare play, and the affects that those choices had upon me.