It’s true – I’ve finally seen Hamilton! After years of wanting to see this phenomenon musical on Broadway, I didn’t even have to travel out of my city to see the show. We booked tickets all the way back in January 2017, and after a lot of stress when our performance was cancelled and we were allocated new tickets, we finally got to see this show on Tuesday 19th December 2017 at the Victoria Palace Theatre. This was the penultimate preview before the show officially opened on Thursday 21st.
Dreamgirls the Musical has caught the eye of London’s West End, and much of the attention has been due to the leading lady. Amber Riley is best known for her role in Glee, where she admitted that the script writers mostly got her to come on at the end and belt out the big number to wrap up to episode. She’s certainly getting to do a lot of belting in Dreamgirls – not that I’ve got to see her yet.
The main role of Effie White is hugely demanding vocally, and it has meant that an alternate has played the role on many occasions. In fact, I’ve been to see the show twice, both on days when Amber was scheduled to perform, and I’ve now seen both of the alternates.
There’s no need for concern if you’re coming to see the show, though. Both of the Effie’s that I’ve seen have been amazing. My favourite is Marisha Wallace, who has perfect comic timing and can belt out ‘And I’m Telling You’ like it’s no-one’s business.
The music – and vocals – are definitely why I will keep coming back to this show. Think Elphaba’s Defying Gravity riffs are good in Wicked? Come to Dreamgirls and prepare to get your head knocked off. These women give it everything on stage with performances so powerful and captivating that it’s impossible to not feel the emotion. There is a lot of deep emotional moments in this show, too. Singing about rejection, loves and friendships that are lost, and being true to yourself are all key moments.
I think I might have a new musical obsession, and it’s come from a more unlikely source. I saw Half a Sixpence at the Noel Coward theatre for the second time on Saturday and I am now officially hooked. The soundtrack has been brightening up my commute ever since. I’m not the only person to fall for this show – it just won two big ‘What’s On Stage’ awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Both are very well deserved!
Read on to find out what I thought of this musical and why I think you should book your tickets soon.
I’ve had some great theatre experiences in my life, from seeing Newsies on Broadway to sitting on the front row for Miss Saigon and Wicked. But this one night in a tiny off-West End theatre in Kings Cross was probably better than all of them. Thanks to my theatre-nerd friend Carrie, I ended up with a ticket to see the last ever London performance of In The Heights. Yes, we had bad seats right at the side, but the atmosphere was everything. To top it all off, composer of both In The Heights and Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda (aka my idol) showed up and I could not handle it.
Since moving to London just over a year ago, I’ve seen 16 musicals. It’s fair to say that I’m a little bit obsessed!
Now that people are starting to realise just how often I head to the theatre, I’ve had a fair few people asking me to recommend a show for them. It’s always tough, especially because different shows will suit very different people. I’ve decided to try to answer this questions through a handy blog post of my top 10 favourite shows ever. Not all of them are still showing in London but a lot of them are.
I’ve also ranked them in order. The top four are practically all my favourites, but I’ve managed to put them into a hierarchy. What do you think will claim the top spot?