Christina Bianco

15/9/16

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A concert tonight, starring the great American impressionist Christina Bianco, now this lady maybe small in stature, bordering on the tiny but she has a MASSIVE voice. You can check out her talent on YouTube where she has her mash-ups where she can perform one song as up to 20 different performers.

The theatre has been revamped since my last visit, see photos of the foyer at the top of this post. The stage, was a basic concert set up there was a live band and the lady herself.

There are songs from musicals, pop singers, and you know the old phrase “she could sing the phonebook and be good” well she doesn’t quite do that but she does read a intereior design book i the voice of it’s writer Barbra Streisand!

As a little prize after a fun competition amongst the audience she recorded a voice mail message in the voice of any performer they wanted.

A great nigths entertainment, and a lady I would definately go back to see again.

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All Shook Up

13/9/16

This was an amateur production of a musical based on the Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, featuring the music of Elvis Presley.

The story is of Chad and Natalie, a recently released prisoner making a living as a roustabout, and a mechanic (at her father’s garage) in the 1950s.

Although the scale was smaller and obviously the budget a fraction of touring productions, this was a spirited and fun show, the cast giving it their all and thoroughly enjoying their time in the spotlight, an enjoyment that was contageous for the audience too.

I have seen a previous production of this company (Tredegar Operatic Society) and will definately be returning for future shows.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

4/8/16

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Well if your reading this I assume you know Chitty, it’s the musical based on the book by Ian Fleming (yea he of Bond James Bond fame). In between the book and the live show came of course the movie.

Featuring songs like: Hushabye Mountain, Me Ol’ Bamboo, Truly Scrumptious and of course Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I booked to see what is primarily a kids show due to one cast member Carrie Hope Fletcher, playing Truly. She is a blogger and West End star, and someone who’s vlogs I follow. Also in the cast were Lee Meade, Shaun Williamson, Claire Sweeney.

This for me was the show that proved touring productions don’t have to be reduced or “light” versions of their West End parent, in fact I felt the flying effects (come on who shouted SPOILERS … you MUST have known the Car flies!) were more effective in this production than when I saw it at the Palladium in London years ago.

OMG!

2/06/16

OMG! is an original play written by Anthony Bunko and Paul O’Sullivan, and is directed by a friend of mine Neil Maidman.

It tells a story of sex, betrayal, sex, the beginning of time and … more sex! Features Adam and Eve, deities and some people who live in Merthyr!

The cast are primarily local people and most were in the last original performance The Wizard of Gurnwah (a re-telling of the Wizard of Oz set in Merthyr)

This is a great show, but is the epitome of “contains words, themes and performances that may offend” i.e. a great night out.

This locally written, produced, performed show allowed me to address my snobbery about theatre, I really delayed going to see the original show, as I was thinking “how could anything created and cast in my town be as good as the West End” well although they may not have the money they certainly have the talent and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this new venue Theater Soar, a renovated chapel.

 

The Knight’s of Music

21/4/16

The Knight’s of Music is a concert performance hosted by the old Silver Fox himself Philip Schofield.

It features a live band and a cast of West End performers, who sing songs from people who have been knighted (Sir Tom Jones, Sir Mick Jagger … now your wondering why this is on a theatre website … Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber) amongst others, oh and the ladies do get a look in too with Dame Shirley Bassey amongst others.

This was the first night of the first tour, and it was not confirmed (although many hoped) if Philip may actually sing, well he did. Performing songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat.

A great night out, brilliant atmosphere AND they performed a song from Miss Saigon, so they had me right away!

Tom – The Tom Jones Musical

10/3/16

Well a new show this time, the last few theatre experiences being re-visiting favourites. I’m at the Wales Millenium Centre

Strangely enough Tom – The Tom Jones Musical tells the story of the legend that is Sir Tom Jones, the boy from Pontypridd (under 20 miles from my home town) done good.

It actually tells of his early life from meeting and marrying the love of his life Linda as a teenager until “It’s not Unusual” is released.

It features some classic Rock and Roll songs to tell the story of the start of the career of a legend. Starring Kit Orton as Tommy Woodward (Tom Jones real name)  the cast do a great job, the story is interesting, if a little simplistic, check out Tom Jones autobiography for the full story. All in all a good night out.

Final Flight – Miss Saigon

27/2/16

Well if you’d read the about me page of this blog you would have seen me say I only update my main site when I visit London, well this is a visit to London I didn’t put a review about, mainly as it was just one show up and home in 1 day, driving over 340 miles, what show was this for …

Well for anyone who knows me it will come as no suprise, and for those observant amongst you, it’s in the title of this post 🙂

MISS SAIGON

What’s happening, well the restaging of my favourite show is  closing (all too soon for me) after 760 performances. Not wanting to miss out I drive from South Wales to London and see both performances, matinee and evening. Something I did for the initial run at Drury Lane (although I stayed in London for that one).

The show tells the story of Kim (a young girl from the country who becomes a bar girl in Saigon) and Chris a young American G.I.

What can I say, this is the show that started it all for me, seeing an 18 year old Lea Salonga on the Wogan TV show back in the 80’s I decided I must see the show, and i’ve been going to shows ever since.

“The Final Flight”  was how they promoted the final performances in London. Both performances were for me: moving, spectacular, unforgettable and performed with a level of skill and professionalism that you’d be hard to match.

The one bit of good news was Cameron Mackintosh announcing that the 25th Anniversay performance that took place the year before would be released to Cinemas, and onto DVD, also that the show was opening on Broadway and would tour the UK in 2017. Finally making a cryptic hint that “The movie may not only be in my mind too much longer” giving us die hard fans the hope of a cinematic version similar to Les Miserables.

First Show of 2016 – Avenue Q (tour)

28/01/16

Well here I am at the New theatre Cardiff for my first theatrical event of 2016, it’s a tour of a show I saw a few years ago in London during it’s initial run.

Avenue Q tells the story of Princeton who is looking for somewhere to live in New York after graduating college, he starts looking at Avenue A and gets to Avenue Q before he finds somewhere he can afford.

When he moves in he meets Kate  (the girl next door) who he instantly falls for, Rod, Trekkie and Lucy the Slut, okay okay guessing by now (especially after the last two names) you may have guessed there is something different about this show, well …. yes …

It’s all told with puppets!

Oh and it’s brilliant, funny, heartwarming and has some great songs, including: Fine fine line, the Internet is for porn, Mix tape and Fantasies come true.

When I saw it the cast were great, i didn’t see any visible ‘downsizing’ for the touring version, and I had a great time. Check it out if / when it tours again.