Month: April 2014

Tony Award Nominees 2014

The nominees for the 68th annual Tony Awards 2014 have been announced today! Hosted by Hugh Jackman, the event will be spectacular as ever. Here is a full list of the nominees, with a few YouTube clips thrown in to help you decide who you think should win.

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical:

Ramin Karimloo – Les Miserables: http://youtu.be/kAp-V-Sb85w

Neil Patrick Harris -Hedwig and the Angry Inch: http://youtu.be/7y7X6_GVsUw

Andy Karl – Rocky: http://youtu.be/Gymga2GZs2M

Jefferson Mays & Bryce Pinkham – Both nominated for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder: http://youtu.be/Ih_leBr6DlE

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical:

Mary Bridget Davies – A Night with Janis Joplin:

Sutton Foster – Violet:

Idina Menzel – If/Then:

Jessie Mueller – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical: http://youtu.be/w4NKI8wEhyc

Kelli O’Hara – The Bridges of Madison County:

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play:

Samuel Barnett – Twelfth Night
Bryan Cranston – All the Way
Chris O’Dowd – Of Mice and Men
Mark Rylance – Richard III
Tony Shalhoub – Act One

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play:

Tyne Daly – Mothers and sons
LaTanya Richardson-Jackson – A Raisin in the Sun
Cherry Jones – The Glass Menagerie
Audra McDonald – Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
Estelle Parsons – The Velocity of Autumn

Best revival of a play:

The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Glass Menagerie
A Raisin in the Sun
Twelfth Night

Best revival of a musical:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Violet
Les Miserables

Best play:

Act One
All the Way
Casa Valentina
Mothers and Sons
Outside Mullingar

Best Musical:

After Midnight
Aladdin
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Best book of a musical:

Chad Beguelin – Aladdin
Douglas McGrath – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Woody Allen – Bullets Over Broadway
Robert L Freedman – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre:

Aladdin (Music: Alan Menken, Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin.
The Bridges of Madison County (Music and lyrics: Jason Robert Brown.)
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Music: Steven Lutvak, Lyrics: Robert L Freedman and Steven Lutvak.)
If/Then (Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Brian Yorkey.)

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play:

Reed Birney – Casa Valentina
Paul Chahidi – Twelfth Night
Stephen Fry – Twelfth Night
Mark Rylance – Twelfth Night
Brian J Smith – The Glass Menagerie

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play:

Sarah Greene – The Cripple of Inishmaan
Celia Keenan-Bolger – The Glass Menagerie
Sophie Okonedo – A Raisin in the Sun
Anika Noni Rose – A Raisin in the Sun
Mare Winningham – Casa Valentina

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical:

Danny Burstein – Cabaret
Nick Cordero – Bullets Over Broadway
Joshua Henry – Violet
James Monroe Iglehart – Aladdin
Jarrod Spector – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical:

Linda Emond – Cabaret
Lena Hall – Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Anika Larsen – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox – After Midnight
Lauren Worsham – A Gentleman’s guide to Love and Murder

Best scenic design of a play:

Act One
The Glass Menagerie
Machinal
The Cripple of Inishmaan

Best scenic design of a musical:

Rocky
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Bullets Over Broadway
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Bullets Over Broadway

Best costume design of a play:

Act One
Machinal
Casa Valentina
Twelfth Night

Best costume design of a musical:

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Bullets Over Broadway
After Midnight
Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best lighting design of a play:

The Cripple of Inishmaan
Machinal
Of Mice and Men
The Glass Menagerie

Best lighting design of a musical:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Rocky
After Midnight
The Bridges of Madison County

Best sound design of a play:

The Cripple of Inishmaan
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
Act One
Machinal

Best sound design of a musical:

After Midnight
Les Miserables
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Best direction of a play:

Tim Carroll – Twelfth Night
Michael Grandage – The Cripple of Inishmaan
Kenny Leon – A Raisin in the Sun
John Tiffany – The Glass Menagerie

Best direction of a musical:

Warren Carlyle – After Midnight
Michael Mayer – Headwig and the Angry Inch
Leigh Silverman – Violet
Darko Tresnjak – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Best choreography:

Rocky
Aladdin
Bullets Over Broadway
After Midnight

Best Orchestrations:

Bullets Over Broadway
The Bridges of Madison County
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Lifetime achievement in the theatre:
Jane Greenwood

Regional Theatre award:
Signature Theatre, New York

Isabelle Stevenson Award:
Rosie O’Donnell

Tony honours for excellence in the theatre:
Joseph P Benincasa
Joan Marcus
Charlotte Wilcox.

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Urinetown: The Soundtrack

I recently made a list of musical soundtracks I want to listen to and number one on that list was, you guessed it, Urinetown.

Basically, Urinetown is a musical which is about pee. Winner of three Tony Awards, the musical is a tale of love, greed, sacrifice and revolution. The show is set in a town going through a drought which has lasted 20 years, where water has become so rare that private toilets no longer exist. One corporation owns and manages the public amenities, and they believe it is a “privilege to pee”. The citizens have to pay taxes just so they can use the lavatory. And if they haven’t got the cash, you are sent to Urinetown, a fate feared by everyone. But then, Bobby Strong decides to lead his fellow citizens in a revolution to change the town, and give everyone the chance to pee. Touching, funny and full of thought provoking twists in the tale, this musical really is quite something.

I would love to see this musical in the West End, but until then I can make do with the soundtrack.

Track list:
1. Urinetown
2. Too Much Exposition
3. It’s a Privilege to Pee
4. Mr Cladwell
5. Cop Song
6. Follow your Heart
7. Look at the Sky
8. Don’t be the Bunny
9. Act one Finale

10. What is Urinetown?
11. Snuff that Girl
12. Run, Freedom, Run!
13. Why did I Listen to that Man?
14. Tell Her I Love Her
15. We’re not Sorry
16. We’re not Sorry Reprise
17. I See a River

With music by Mark Hollmann, and lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, I have fallen in love with this soundtrack! From the more moving tracks to the uplifting ‘Run, Freedom, Run!’ I cannot stop listening to it. A lot of the story is cleverly explained in the songs, as in most musicals, so if you are seeing the show and don’t want any spoilers then perhaps purchase the soundtrack after you have seen the performance.

The cast in the recording are amazing, and even the harmonies in the chorus give me chills! I really hope this musical gets the success it deserves in the UK, so that it can have a longer run in the West End and I can get the opportunity to see it. Also I want it to succeed because it is a fantastic musical, and I feel that it is a great asset to London theatre.

My favourite songs that I highly recommend:
Urinetown
Follow your Heart
Look at the Sky
Run, Freedom, Run!
Tell her I Love her
I see a River.

So if you fancy seeing a new addition to the West End, it is on at the St James Theatre in London. I have read countless rave reviews about the show, and I look forward to reviewing it properly when I see it.

The next musical I am going to see is Thriller Live, the Michael Jackson musical which I am, excuse the pun, thrilled about! I will be reviewing the show and I cannot wait to see it, so watch this space.

The winner takes it all

I’ve already been so thankful to the Olivier Awards this year, but a few days ago I was scrolling through Twitter and I realised I’d won a competition! I won an exclusive bottle of Nails Inc Olivier nail varnish, which may not seem that exciting to some people, but it really was the icing on the cake! I did not win the prize on my Justamusicalgal account, but on a different one, so the Olivier Awards do follow me, but on a different Twitter
account which is also great. Here is a picture of the product I won:

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Also I noticed I forgot to mention something in my Olivier blog posts. While I was in Covent Garden I was greeted by a lovely MasterCard employee who persuaded my Mum to sign up for Priceless MasterCard, which I’m sure will really benefit us. She also gave us a box of gorgeous macaroons which thought was nice, so it’s been a successful month.

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I understand this may possibly be the most pointless and boring blog post in the universe, but please stick with me as I just felt I needed to share my luck and the kindness of MasterCard.

I’ve got a little something coming up about Urinetown soon, so watch this space!

Frozen The Musical?

Yes some of you may have already heard about this, but I wanted to research and find out the latest developments on this story.

But for those of you who do not know, the new much loved Disney film Frozen is going to become a Broadway musical! I am thrilled at this news as I think the film is fantastic, and the soundtrack is beautiful.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, The film made more money in it’s debut weekend than the first showings of any other Disney animations, so it seems a musical would also prove very popular.

The cast of Frozen includes Idina Menzel, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff, who are all Broadway stars, so in theory they already have a talented cast. Kristen Bell, who played the voice of Anna, has said she is hoping to make her Broadway debut in this musical, if she is asked to join the cast, which could be very likely.

The film won a Golden Globe for best animated film, so it really has been a huge hit. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger revealed the plans for this new show, but as of yet there is no creative team or timeframe set in stone.

But will this be a good move for Disney? They had so much success with the Broadway show The Lion King, which is spectacular and if you ever get the chance to see it then do! So will Frozen the musical ever be as successful? Will the casting directors ever be able to find an Elsa as talented as Idina Menzel? Or anyone who can sing Let it Go flawlessly in eight shows a week? How are they going to bring Sven and Olaf to the stage? We shall see.

I would love it if Frozen was a success on Broadway so it could transfer here into the West End, so fingers crossed!

No matter how long the creative process takes I think there is hope that this musical will become a reality, as they announced the news in January 2014 so some plans may be circulating soon!

Also Disney have created a website where you can sign up to receive emails about news of the show, so I will help you out with a link: http://www.frozenthemusical.com

The Frozen soundtrack, composed by Christophe Beck, is what really makes this film special in my opinion. The orchestral pieces are fantastic, and the songs I find to be very uplifting, almost like a ready made musical score!

But there has been talk that if the cast of the movie are asked to join the show, they need to solve the “Jonathon Groff problem”. The problem is that Jonathan’s character kristoff only has one very short song in the film – Reindeers are better than people. So if Frozen the musical does become a reality, another song will have to be written for his character, which could be risky as the current songs have been so well received.

So to conclude, here are my top 5 frozen songs:
5. Love is an open door (track 4)
4. In summer (track 7)
3. For the first time in forever (track 3)
2. Fixer Upper (track 9)
1. Let it go – Idina Menzel version (track 5).

The Musical Theatre Tag (edited version)

So this is the musical theatre tag! I have edited it slightly, as some of the questions didn’t apply to me, or I wouldn’t have been able to give a good answer. It is a list of questions about how musical theatre relates to me, so that my blog gets my views across as well as the facts.

1. Plays or musicals?
I love plays a lot, but I think it would have to be musicals. Purely because I love hearing an amazing chorus harmony, and seeing all the dancers performing flawless routines in perfect time! Also I love the way musicals combine acting, singing and dancing and still manage to tell the story. The plot lines that the musicals are based on are always great too, and seeing talented triple threats perform is really uplifting, even if the musical is sad or tragic. In a way that just makes musicals more powerful, as they evoke emotion not only through speech but through music and choreography.

2. When did you start liking the performing arts?
I started ballet classes when I was two and a half years old, and I fell in love with dance. So when I discovered I could do acting and singing too I was amazed and I discovered how much passion I had for the performing arts! My family are musical lovers too, so I’ve always listened to show soundtracks and been taken to see musicals, plays and ballets so I have been aware of the arts and loved the theatre all my life.

3. Ever been in a musical?
I have been in a lot of musical productions, plays and shows so far in my life, but none of them have been amateur and not professional. The latest one was this year and I starred as Dorothy in an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, which was a dream come true! I’ve also taken part in competitions in dance, singing and acting, so I have had a lot of experience which will hopefully prove helpful in the future.

4. What was the first musical you saw in the West End?
I had seen a lot of productions up until I was 7 years old, but none of them had been in the West End. Until finally I saw Disney’s The Lion King in London which was incredible! The cast all had such powerful voices and I really felt uplifted and moved by the performance. It really made me more determined to have a career in musical theatre, and I’m glad my first West End experience was as magical as it was.

5. If you could be any female character in any musical who would you be?
One of my main ambitions is to be in Les Mis, so probably Eponine, Fantine or Cosette. I would also love to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz! But for me if I am ever lucky enough to be in any musical I don’t mind which part I have, it would honestly just be a dream come true even if I’m at the back of the chorus.

6. Which male character?
Again I would love to be in Les Mis so Jean Valjean would be a fantastic role to play! Also Miss Trunchbull in Matilda would be fun, or Billy Elliot or one of the Jersey Boys, or Elder Price in the Book of Mormon.

7. Favorite musical song to sing in the shower?
I will sing any musical song in the shower, mainly I just sing whatever is in my head. Or if I’m about to see/ have just seen a show I will just sing anything from it’s soundtrack.

8. Who is your favorite theatre actress?
This is one of the hardest questions for me to answer as I have so many! Of course there are legends such as Judy Garland, Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson, but really I love any theatre actresses who I feel are amazingly talented. So I cannot really answer this question as the list would be too long and I’m sure no one would want to read that.

9. Actor?
Again this is very difficult, and I love Michael Ball, Robert Lyndsey, Ramin Karimloo, Tam Mutu and lots of other actors. Also there is of course a place in my heart for Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and all the other legends, so I simply do not know.

10. Favorite film adaptation of a musical?
I love musical films such as Grease and the Wizard of Oz, but I do not like a lot of the modern day film adaptations of musicals. I feel like they are just for celebrities who are trying to “sing”, just so more people will go and see the film and they will make a more sizeable profit. Although I do like the film version of Mamma Mia as almost the whole cast are very talented singers and I adore Meryl Streep!

11. What do you think is most overrated musical?
I personally think that West Side Story is overrated. Please don’t hate me. I love the musical and I think it is amazing, but I do not agree with the popular opinion that it is the best musical of all time. I do not think it is overrated because it is no good, because that is untrue, it is a wonderful musical and I recently saw
a production of it which was stunning! I just feel that it is not the best musical of all time, but only one of the best.

12.What musical made you cry?
I generally cry at every musical I see, even the happy ones. But of course the one that made me cry the most was Les Mis.

13.What musical made you laugh?
One of the things I love about musicals is the fact that every single one has lots of humour in it, even ones which are thought provoking or sad. But I have to say that Matilda, The Drowsy Chaperone and We Will Rock You were very funny and I found myself laughing frequently throughout the performance.

14.Are there any musicals you saw and hated?
Lucky, I have never seen a musical like this and I don’t think I ever will.

15.What musical do you want to see as a film?
Personally I think the less musicals that are made into films, the better.

16.Which musicals are you dying to see?
I am currently desperate to see:
Thriller Live
Once
The Book of Mormon
Jersey Boys
and The Phantom of the Opera.

17. What is your all time favorite musical?
I don’t think I have one all time favourite but I have three that I could narrow it down to, although even that was a difficult decision!
1. The Wizard of Oz
2. Les Miserables
3. Grease.

18. What would you do if theatre didn’t exist?
Nothing. I would have no plans for the future or anything that I was really passionate about, so thank goodness for theatre.

List of Olivier Award winners 2014

Awards for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios:
– Best actress, Lesley Manville.
– Best actor in a supporting role, Jack Lowden.
– Best revival.

Awards for Othello at the National Theatre:
– Best actor, Rory Kinnear.

Awards for The Amen Corner at the National Theatre:
– Best actress in a supporting role, Sharon D Clarke.

Awards for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and the Harold Pinter Theatre:
– American Airlines best new play.
– Best director, Lyndsey Turner.
– White light award for best lighting design, Tim Lutkin and Finn Ross.
– Best sound design – Carolyn Downing.
– XL video award for best set design, Es Devlin.

Awards for Jeeves & Wooster:
– Best new comedy.

Awards for Handbagged at the Tricycle Theatre:
– Outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre.

Awards for The Wind in the Willows at the Duchess Theatre:
– Best entertainment and family.

Dance Awards

Best new dance production:
– Eastman – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Sadler’s Wells for Puz/zle at Sadler’s Wells.

Outstanding Achievement in dance:
– Michael Hulls for his lighting work including Ballet Boyz.

Opera Awards

Best new opera production:
– Les Vêpres Siciliennes at the Royal Opera House.

Outstanding Achievement in opera:
– English Touring Opera for it’s productions at the Linbury Studio Theatre.

Awards for The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre:
– Best actor in a musical, Gavin Creel.
– Best performance in a supporting role in a musical, Stephen Ashfield.
– MasterCard best new musical.
– Best theatre choreographer, Casey Nicholaw.

Awards for Once at the Phoenix Theatre:
– Best actress in a musical, Zrinka Cvitešić.
– Autograph sound award for outstanding achievement in music, Martin Lowe for arrangements and composition, and Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová for music and lyrics.

Awards for Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre:
– Best musical revival.
– Best sound design, Gareth Owen.

Awards for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane:
– White light award for best lighting design, Paul Pyant and Jon Driscoll.
– Best costume design, Mark Thompson.

Awards for Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre:
– BBC radio 2 audience award.

Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners, it was a spectacular event!

The Olivier Awards 2014

The 13th of April 2014 (yesterday) was the biggest night in British theatre. The Olivier awards ceremony.

I listen to the awards every year on the radio, but this year for the first time I was lucky enough to be theatre fan number 223, and stand beside the red carpet in Covent Garden leading up to The Royal Opera House! There were lots of stars there and fortunately I managed to get pictures with a few of them.

I cannot thank the Olivier Awards enough for the opportunity to meet some of my idols and actually have conversations with them, it was well worth the 5 hour wait.

I saw all of the theatre royalties walk down the red carpet in beautiful dresses and dashing suits, and being there and soaking up the atmosphere was indescribable.

I was there with my Mum Katie, who had actually surprised me by taking me to the event which I cannot thank her enough for! She is also a theatre lover and she had a great time asking for autographs. She even told Arlene Phillips that I was a dancer, to which Arlene smiled and said that she could tell. Also one of my idols Elaine Paige was of course walking down the red carpet, and my Mum proudly told her that we listen to her radio show on BBC Radio 2 every Sunday, and I possibly told her that I was a huge fan and I love her about 3 or 4 times…

It was a very difficult decision to stand by the red carpet, as there was also a stage in Covent Garden where extracts from current West End shows were being performed. But I’m glad we made the decision we made, even though the performances were incredible.

I took a lot of photographs of the event, so I would like to continue my experience by sharing them with you in part 2 of this tale. Of course I would go into more detail about how it felt to be at such an event, but as I mentioned earlier, it just cannot be put into words and done justice.

Olivier Awards 2014 part 2

As promised, here are a few photos of the red carpet event in Covent Garden.

The glamorous and talented Elaine Paige and I. This is my favourite photo of the day as she is a huge inspiration to me, and meeting her was a real honour.

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Tom Hiddleston was very popular, so I couldn’t get a better photo than this with him, but I did get his autograph.

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The fabulous Gok Wan who I adore and was lovely.

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The red carpet was buzzing with activity!

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The amazing Arlene Phillips.

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The lovely Lesley Garrett, who was possibly one of the nicest people I have ever met.

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Dame Judi Dench, what an honour it was to see her!

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Bjorn from ABBA! We got his autograph which my Mum was thrilled with, as she is a huge ABBA fan.

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One of the hilarious hosts of the evening, Stephen Mangan.

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The wonderful Samantha Barks and I.

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There were a number of legends at the event, and this is Brian May! He waved at us and seemed very nice, and it’s a shame is only got a picture of him from behind.

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I also managed to get an autograph from Martin Freeman himself!

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Alexandra Burke was also on the red carpet.

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The current star of Once the musical, and former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill.

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And here we have another star, Bernadette Peters! I never thought I would meet her.

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I somehow managed to get into an official Olivier Award Instagram photo! (I’m on the left).

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And finally here is a picture of me and my Mum next to the red carpet. I am still amazed at how close we were to the event! I suppose as a Les Mis fan I could say we were at the barricade.

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