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A CurtainUp London Review
This is definitely the show for those who are up to date with London musical theatre but many of the jokes are also accessible for all. Les Miserables gets the usual lampooning, here a victim of its longevity as they sing "Ten Years More", a new lyric to one of the five repeated wonderful tunes from that hit musical. The recreation of the revolving stage on a stage that doesn't revolve has to be seen to be believed. I still smile whenever I remember it. We see Eponine, the Thenardiers' daughter (Anna-Jane) singing "On my phone" instead of "On My Own" as she grapples to pass the lonely time waiting for her big song by texting her friends behind the scenes.
Your favourite shows will not escape the satire. Characters from The Lion King tell of their experiences with the osteopath after wearing the giant animal headdresses "Can you feel the pain tonight?". Miss Saigon is set in Viet Numb, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's stuck elevator (from the less artistically inventive Chocolate Factory than the Menier and the less successful Roald Dahl musical than Matilda) and "the chaos that is Once" do not escape lightly. There is the unforgettable lyric"Once is Enough"and I found myself agreeing with Forbidden Broadway's critical assessment of these three shows.
Cameron Mackintosh, the theatre impresario gets his own number "The Americans Cream" and the final number talks about corporate sponsorship as we face the financial realities of the West End and Broadway. This song "Broadway Belongs to Me" is the Nazi anthem from Cabaret. Ticket touts offer to squeeze us into "The Pajama Game"with huge irony. There are sketches which work less well in London: for my money, the Minelli, Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin, and Hugh Jackman's Broadway solo show but these misses fade into insignificance compared to the many delightful, titillating moments of sheer laughter. Forbidden Broadway is an absolute must for fans of musical theatre and a jolly good evening for everyone else!
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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