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Mad About The Musicals: Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Hear (Nearly) All The Hits From Broadway to the West End
As the 'songs from the shows' format goes, this is something both pretty special and spectacular. A whole host of musicals from the West and Broadway are given the Mad About The Musicals treatment during two hours of non-stop singing performances from the assembled vocal talent on display at the Lichfield Garrick theatre. Mad About The Musicals, which is currently enjoying a new UK tour that called in at Lichfield on October 23, is a wonderful musical tribute to the combined talents of the likes of Boublil & Schonberg, Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Jai McDowall
Britain's Got Talent winner Jai McDowall sings the musicals

This musical tribute, with songs taken from Oliver and Mary Poppins to Frozen and Avenue Q - and just about everything in between - is performed by a splendid group of four singers backed by a live four-piece band. The 2011 Britain's Got Talent winner Jai McDowall is joined by musical theatre performer and producer Michael Courtney, and fellow singers Kerry Whiteside and Rosanne Priest, to deliver an A-Z of musical greats from hit shows on both sides of the pond. The evening's entertainment opened in style with former Bonnie Tyler hit single 'Holding Out For A Hero', which now appears in Footloose: The Musical, followed by 'Don't Rain On My Parade' from Funny Girl. Rosanne and Michael, who also gave an amusing turn as compere, then combined well on 'Somewhere That's Green' and 'Suddenly Seymour' from the excellent Little Shop of Horrors.

Mad About The Musicals
Hit musical numbers from both sides of the pond

Other familiar musical favourites flowed thick and fast from then on, from Rosanne's stirring rendition of 'As Long As He Needs Me' from Oliver to Jai's equally splendid performance of Jekyll and Hyde's 'This Is The Moment' and Michael's showstopping 'I Am What I Am' from La Cage Aux Folles. Phantom of the Opera, which is the third highest grossing musical of all time behind The Lion King in first and Wicked in second, was given its own segment, before the first half closed with a medley ranging from Frozen to Oklahoma. The second half immediately picked up the pace with a medley from the ever popular Chicago, which was then followed by 'Oh What A Circus' and 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' from Evita, and Kerry's excellent 'Gravity' from Wicked. From then on we were treated to such delights as 'Anthem' from Chess, which Jai sang on the way to the Britain's Got Talent final, followed by the duet 'I Know Him So Well' from the same musical, previously made famous by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson. Other musical tributes ranged from The Man From La Mancha and Aspects of Love to the Avenue Q, with the four singers all carrying puppets on 'It Sucks To Be Me', before the show finished in style with a medley from none other than Les Miserables.

Lichfield Garrick
The Lichfield Garrick theatre

Rating: 5 out of 5

Forthcoming shows

Oct 25 Forum Theatre Billingham
Oct 26 Grand Theatre Swansea
Oct 27 Empire Theatre Consett
Oct 28 Ryan Centre Stranraer
Oct 29 Carnegie Theatre Workington
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Why? Hear The Songs From Many Of The Greatest Musicals Ever
When: 23 - 29 October 2017
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: Lichfield tickets £25 adults, £23 students
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by Tony Collins on 13/10/2017
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