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 The Theatreguide.London Reviews

Archive: MUSICALS 2000

For the archive, we have filed our reviews of several musicals from the year 2000 on this page. Scroll down for the one you want, or just browse.

The Car Man - Fosse - Hard Times - Hedwig And The Angry Inch - La Cava - Lautrec - Merrily We Roll Along - Personals - Spend Spend Spend


The Car Man Old Vic Autumn-Winter 2000; revived Sadler's Wells Summer 2007, Summer 2015

Subtitled 'An auto-erotic thriller', The Car Man is a raunchy dance adaptation of Bizet's opera classic Carmen set to fairly mainstream choreography. While not quite up to the impossibly high standards set by Carlos Saura's ripping flamenco version, this fine ensemble ensures that The Car Man is still firmly up there in the sizzle stakes.

Directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, creator of the wave-making all-male Swan Lake from a couple of years ago, and under the auspices of producers Adventures in Motion Pictures, this has turned out to be quite an event that should pack out the otherwise barn-like Old Vic.

In fact, there are several Carmen-like figures in this tale of fifties small-town USA, where a stranger creates more sexual tension than he should in a garage where he's just got a new job - he arouses the owner's jealousy by sleeping with his wife and then complicates things by shagging one of his new mates.

As passions rise to their various fateful conclusions, the interactions of the various characters are expertly represented in their movements. Although the flow sometimes sags when the narrational dance sequences detract from the energy of the chorus sections, you'll be gripped by such solo pieces as when the female and male lovers of the anti-hero dance dreamily side by side after he has had wild rampant sex with both - unbeknownst to them - on the same night.

The setting is unashamedly Marlon Brando-era The Wild One mixed up with the Skids and Jets from Bernstein's West Side Story - all grease-monkeys, autos and horny youngfolk looking for their kicks in small-town USA. But the surprise is that there is none of the sinister nihilism you'd normally associate with the films and novels of this genre. Despite the fatal jealousies and bloody ends of the plot, there's an exuberant, feelgood air that echoes Gene Kelly's An American In Paris.

The fusion of music with action is astonishing. Basically the original opera score has been snipped and reassembled into a Copeland-like soundtrack collage that is recognisably the same work but with more snap for modern audience and dance troupe alike. Tastefully restrained percussion brings out unexpected melodies while the liberal use of sound effects introduces a counterplay of humour to the gritty love drama.

For those of you not so turned on by dance, The Car Man carries like the best silence movies, and if silent movies don't turn you on, then you'll have to take my word that the show has all the narrational impact of a classy drama. The opera-lovers of you will have to judge for yourselves...

Nick Awde

Fosse Prince of Wales Theatre 2000-01

Fosse is great -- great choreography, great dancing, great entertainment. That's a given.

This salute to one of the best Broadway choreographers of the past 50 years is like a Greatest Hits album, one gem after another. Any evening that includes Steam Heat (from 1954's Pajama Game), Big Spender (From Sweet Charity, 1966) and Mein Herr (Cabaret, 1972) is worth the price of admission right there, with all the rest a rich bonus.

And, like the best Greatest Hits albums, Fosse lets you re-evaluate and redefine the artist. What we think of as the signature Bob Fosse style of choreography -- the angular, in-your-face sexuality of Cabaret and Chicago -- we can now see to be only one of several Fosse modes.

There's also the sinuous, slithery Fosse, in dances built on his own body, as in the brief excerpt from Kiss Me Kate (one of his first credits, 1953) and Dancin' Man (Dancin' 1978)

And there's the very eclectic Fosse, wittily borrowing vocabulary from ballet, as in Bye Bye Blackbird (1972) and Take Off With Us (1979), and classical modern dance, as in Percussion 4 (1978)

And the biggest discovery is how much of a minimalist Fosse was. Dance after dance is built on simple movements (strutting, swaying), slow motion, or absolute stillness. By having his dancers move only a hand, an arm or a shoulder, he taught us to focus on every movement, held and delighted by subtleties.

The show, recreated by Richard Maltby Jr, Chet Walker and Ann Reinking, with advice from Gwen Verdon, seems to have tightened up since its New York opening last year. There the big numbers were interspersed with brief interludes that were meant to be salutes to some of his minor shows, though you'd have to have your nose buried in the programme to know it. I can't swear to it, but there seem to be fewer of those now.

As with any Greatest Hits compilation, one could debate the selections. I was delighted to see one of my favourites, the Rich Man's Frug from Sweet Charity, one of the first times he (or anyone) choreographed for shoulder blades. Though not as mythic in stature as some, it is surely the most plagiarised dance number of the past 40 years (Fosse himself quotes from it repeatedly, just as he quotes From This Moment On in Steam Heat).

And there are forgotten gems, like Crunchy Granola Suite, from Dancin', that are delightful rediscoveries.

That said, there's a little too much from Dancin' for my taste, and also too many pastiche numbers "in the Fosse style," especially when major shows like Pajama Game, Pippen and Chicago get only one number each, and several shows, like Damn Yankees, are ignored completely. (Incidentally, the staging of Razzle Dazzle here is different from, and significantly inferior to, Ann Reinking's recreation of the number in the current revival of Chicago.)

Worst, there is an enormous hole in the centre of the show, with the absence of any of the dances he created for Gwen Verdon, depriving us not only of a big chunk of his work, but also of another Fosse style, the perky, endearingly clunky gamin look.

Still, this is like complaining that there are no marshmallows on top of the whipped cream on the chocolate syrup on the ice cream on the strawberry shortcake. Too many riches might be unbearable, and as it stands Fosse is marvellous enough.

Gerald Berkowitz


Hard Times Haymarket Theatre Summer 2000

It shouldn't work, but it does. Hard Times is a thoroughly enjoyable musical, a classic 'good night out.'

The Dickens novel is one of his glummest, a bitter attack on the heartlessness of the industrial revolution. In a grimy mill town, a schoolmaster works to destroy every hint of imagination or humanity in his charges, so much so that his own daughter settles for a loveless marriage and his son becomes criminally amoral.

A circus plays a small but important role in the book, serving as a symbol of the charity and humanity the rest of the world lacks.

The creators of the musical, Christopher Tookey and Hugh Thomas, have turned the book inside out, viewing everything through the prism of the circus. Their premise is that Charles Dickens (Brian Blessed) collaborates with ringmaster Samuel Sleary (Roy Hudd) and his circus performers to stage a dramatic version of his novel.

The result instantly lightens everything, as the circus performers take on various roles - one of the minor baddies, for example, is played by a white-faced clown - and lets the musical numbers rise naturally out of the presentational mode, rather than out of the plot.

And it allows the two stars to employ their natural charm to the fullest. It would be hard to find two performers with more natural audience rapport on the same stage anywhere, and Blessed and Hudd seem at times to be in a charm-the-audience competition.

Brian Blessed has the advantage of actually being able to sing, while Roy Hudd croaks his way through his numbers. But Hudd has the variety performer's knack of playing directly to an audience, and since he serves as compere/ringmaster, it is his infectious good spirit that sets the tone.

But they're not alone in possessing a winning charm. Malcolm Rennie as the heartless mill owner is just a big teddy bear, and Peter Blake as a slimy seducer of any woman who passes has the irresistible nastiness of the moustachio-twirling villain. Susan Jane Tanner, as the prim Victorian widow just waiting to be asked again, adds to the fun.

The musical's focus on the more colourful characters reduces the younger generation of more serious figures to the background, though Helen Anker as the unhappy daughter and Russell Wilcox as a tragic mill-hand help provide a moral centre.

The music is very pleasant pop, and I wouldn't mind hearing Spring or One Of These Days picked up by some recording artist and made a hit. In keeping with the general tone, the comic numbers are the best, with a very funny deathbed song and dance and an equally comic seduction number.

Christopher Tookey's direction is sprightly, but loose enough to allow the two stars room to flirt with the audience. Craig Revel Horwood has choreographed some very clever dances, including a tapdance for fingernails, a number in which the dancers shape the alphabet with their bodies and, for no particular reason, a dancing camel.

I don't want to overpraise the show. Its pleasures are generally low-key, and it rarely really catches fire. And, as much as I liked the songs, writing this the morning after, I can't hum any of them.

But Hard Times is good, clean, happy fun. And it is loaded with charm.

Gerald Berkowitz


Hedwig And The Angry Inch Playhouse Theatre Autumn 2000

This show - half monologue, half rock concert, half drag act - is being marketed to the Rocky Horror Show crowd, who will probably find enough broad gender-bending humour in it to satisfy them, but also a lot they hadn't bargained for, as what starts out as camp gets fairly heavy and serious by the end.

This is ostensibly a rock concert by an East German transsexual and her band, with the humour and seriousness coming in her between-songs commentary. For the first two-thirds or so, her story is bizarrely comic, and full of Danny La Rue-type double and single entendres ("This business we call show... and this job we call blow").

She tells of growing up depressed in East Berlin, listening to American pop music with her head in the oven. Seduction by an American soldier brought the opportunity to escape to the West, but only if she first had a sex change (the operation only partly successful, hence that inconvenient inch) - ironically, months before the Wall came down and she could have walked out.

Deserted and stuck in trailer park Kansas, she befriended and mentored a talentless boy who, though a macabre twist of events, became a big rock star while she remains an "internationally ignored song stylist."

But as this comic story unfolds, punctuated by songs in various rock styles, a more serious note creeps in. The symbols of divided Berlin and Hedwig's ambisexuality, along with Plato's myth of the divided humans searching for their other halves, turn Hedwig's life into a search for identity and self-acceptance, leading to a dramatic conclusion.

That said, it must be added that much of Hedwig and the Angry Inch operates on the level of barely competent. As Hedwig, Michael Cerveris is neither quite campy enough for the first half nor a strong enough actor to carry us into the darker second half. John Cameron Mitchell's text also manoeuvres that switch awkwardly, though it deserves respect for its ambition.

Stephen Trask's songs are parodies and pastiches of a range of pop music styles, but their cleverness is lost in a performance that relies too much on sheer volume and flashing lights for excitement; I doubt that even the most experienced rock fan catches more than half the lyrics.

There's a running subplot of Hedwig's spatting with her grumpy back-up singer that is never really clarified or integrated into the rest; and what is meant to be a surprise revelation about casting at the end is obvious in the first three minutes to anyone who isn't asleep.

For its ambition if not its accomplishment, Hedwig deserves some modest success, though I suspect it is more likely to come on a tour of one-night stands "direct from the West End" than in an extended London run.

Gerald Berkowitz


La Cava Victoria Palace Theatre Autumn-Winter 2000

La Cava is a big musical in the mould of Les Mis: grand romantic story, lush music and ambitions toward opera. And it is one of the best of its kind.

Adapted by Dana Broccoli from her novel about 8th century Spain, the musical tells of Florinda, daughter of the Spanish governor of Morocco, who is loved by King Roderic of Spain, her father's best friend. She, in turn, loves the son of the Moorish rebel leader; and when her lover is killed, almost accidentally, by the king, she vows revenge.

She tells a lie that leads eventually to her father joining with the Moors, and a stage full of dead bodies. In the interval, she falls in love with the king, but cannot stop the events she set in motion.

If that sound a bit complicated, I've actually left out a lot. One of La Cava's weakest elements is that the plot gets overly complicated in the middle; and at one point Florinda, the Moor, the governor, a rival suitor, a priest, the queen and a eunuch are each scheming against the king for their own separate reasons.

Oliver Tobias makes the king a tragic figure, a strong, attractive and honourable man almost completely unaware of the scheming going on around him, and devoted enough to win Florinda's love even after she determines on vengeance.

Julie-Alanah Brighten takes Florinda, and the audience, on a complex and moving emotional journey, from the happy tomboy of the opening scenes, to the vengeful harpy, to the deeply regretful and guilt-ridden survivor of the carnage she causes.

Others in the large cast who stand out are David Bardsley as the father whose love for his daughter must turn him against his best friend, Marilyn Cutts as the icy queen, and Paul Keating as her loyal servant.

The songs (music by Laurence O'Keefe and Stephen Keeling, lyrics by O'Keefe, John Claflin and Shaun McKenna) are grand and passionate, giving each of the major players an opportunity to emote on a large scale.

Among the strongest songs are the king's Life Is Worth Living, a rediscovery of the ability to love, and A Woman's Hands, in which Florinda realizes her power. Later, her father allies himself with the Moorish general (Joshua Bancel) through the moving What Would You Do For Your Child; and the two former friends sing matching soliloquies the night before battle in the operatic I Fall With You.

That number makes particularly effective use of the stage's revolve, director Steven Dexter taking us back and forth between the two army camps. Elsewhere, Francis O'Connor's set is dominated by a two-level wall full of doors and windows that moves about to give a sense of the constant behind-the-scenes spying and plotting in Roderic's castle, but doesn't make all the action always visible.

(A pet peeve: directors and set designers who don't check the sight lines from all over the theatre. I watched La Cava from two different seats, rear and side stalls, and from each some part of the action was invisible. Audience members must start demanding their money back because they didn't see the whole show.)

Megamusicals are not necessarily my favourite genre; see, for example, my review of the modest Hard Times. But if I had to rank the grand-scale semi-operas of the past twenty years, while Phantom would still be at the top and Les Mis second, La Cava is a strong contender, miles ahead of the others.

Gerald Berkowitz

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Lautrec Shaftesbury Theatre, Spring 2000

Lautrec has received something of a mauling by the national critics. And that's a shame.

That's not to say it is a perfect production, but the detractors of this new musical have clearly missed the point (and it's debatable whether any of them went back for the second half).

The plot is as one would expect. Precocious stunted aristocrat Henri Toulouse Lautrec turns his back on posh family to live in Paris's red light district Montmartre, where he sketches and paints classic scenes from the music halls and brothels, all the while drinking too much and falling desperately in love. The usual sleazy characters and scenarios from the Bohemian in 19th century abound, and I'm sure that many of the audience will make links with the 1952 movie Moulin Rouge starring Jose Ferrer.

Suzanne Valadon meets Lautrec in the street and makes the transition from model to lover in the artist's life. Lautrec finds it hard to accept that she accepts him for who she is, while Suzanne struggles with his jealous outbursts and bouts of boozing.

The real struggle is one of class and ambition: Lautrec opts for an inner-city life, shutting away the outside world and the meddling family of his privileged birth, Suzanne simply struggles to break out and let her ambitions run riot - the world must be her oyster. Unsurprisingly, their relationship is a little on the rocky side.

As Lautrec, Sevan Stephan shows a fine voice and brings to the complex Lautrec an effective blend of comedy and pathos as required. His confident delivery helps smooth the difficult portrayal of such a complex role, one that has to interact vocally with every combination possible of the other characters.

Hannah Waddingham is entrancing as Suzanne Valadon, the streetgirl with artistic pretensions who becomes the object of Lautrec's affections. Demure yet worldy, Waddingham serves as the perfect foil for Stephan's tormented painter. With her powerful voice, timing and looks, she is a rising star to watch out for.

There are not many hits among Charles Aznavour's songs, but there are no turkeys and they're all eminently hummable. The lyrics themselves have made the transition from the original French well and get a good laugh or sigh where intended.

Let's Drink is a effective song for the company in that it manages to be both winsome and stirring at the same time. When You Love Me is a touching duet between Henri and Suzanne, built on by the four-way ballad Me And You, while Look Into My Eyes has the all makings of a standard musical classic.

Every new musical has its negative points, and Lautrec is no exception. The direction particularly is devoid of vision or concept and delivers what amounts to a straight play. The costumes pay slavish attention to Lautrec's paintings, but are ill-fitting and crudely made. The set ignores sightlines and all perspective, playing to the stalls only.

I was reminded of Jolson - another curiusly flaccid bio-musical' that was only kept alive through the combination of subject, music and star (Brian Conley). Surprise, suprise - we find they share the same director and designer.

Incredibly for a stage musical, choreography hardly features and when it does, it stinks - offering in the process what may be the shortest, limpest can-can seen yet. Sex and humour infuse the story and songs, but the show is as saucy and camp as Arnold Schwarzenegger even on a good day.

All the company works hard, but aside from the two leads, each is handicapped since they are miscast, evidently chosen for their resemblance to characters from Lautrec's images. Has no one heard of make-up? And talking of images, a show about an artist that fails to present a single representation of his or her work is missing something, to say the least.

Despite all this... I'm just angry because there's simply no reason for the bad bits in Lautrec. Just cut the unconvincing groping, cut the expletives and you have a great show for almost all ages and tastes that will go for a respectable run of full houses. Oh, and get rid of the mime (he sings).

All in all, not bad for a show about an inner city disabled artist with a bad substance abuse habit, eh?

Nick Awde


Merrily We Roll Along Donmar Theatre Winter 2000-01

This is what a revival should be - a happy rediscovery of a work underappreciated on its first appearance. Merrily We Roll Along is one of Stephen Sondheim's flops, but it is far better than, say, Anyone Can Whistle or Assassins, and Michael Grandage's sparkling new production restores it to a place of modest honour.

Sondheim and George Furth, his collaborator on Company, went in 1981 to an old Kaufman and Hart play about the corruption of success, adopting its device of telling the story backwards, so that we begin with the burned-out cynic and gradually rediscover the young idealist he once was.

We first meet Franklin Shepard as a bitter and failed movie producer estranged from all the friends he shed in his climb to fame. Then in a series of flashbacks, we see what got him to that point as (to tell the story chronologically) the young and talented songwriter went from early small compromises to more soul-destroying ones.

To get the limitations of Merrily out of the way first, the backwards order doesn't really work. The ironies illuminated by seeing Franklin make the errors whose destructive effects we've already witnessed are rather obvious and heavy-handed. Still, the move from cynicism to youthful idealism does help counter the implicitly dark tone of story, and lets it end on a higher note than it began.

This is enhanced in Michael Grandage's production by a device I think is new - dividing the role of Franklin between two actors. Grant Russell appears in the first scene as the burned-out man, making a speech at his old high school, with Julian Ovenden taking over the role as the students rebel against his cynicism and go back in his life to see how he got there. Russell then reappears from time to time, silently watching his own story and, in the end, being reinspired by it.

The division also means that Julian Ovenden can play to his strengths, focussing on the young Franklin's moral uncertainty and gradual slide into corruption. As Charley, Franklin's cheery and uncorrupted lyricist-friend, Daniel Evans comes close to stealing the show (as did the Charley in the one other production I've seen) with his infectious grin and high energy. If anything, Evans may make Charley a bit too nice a guy, since his one bitter song, "Franklin Shepard, Inc," isn't quite as biting as it wants to be.

Samantha Spiro plays the chubby asexual girl chum who secretly loves Franklin as a bit too much of a cliche, but Anna Francolini, as a femme fatale, makes her archetype work. Peter Darling's choreography is bright and witty, if occasionally a bit cramped on the small Donmar stage.

But the songs. The best reason for reviving Merrily is that it has one of Sondheim's loveliest and most melodic scores, which has for too long been the secret of only the most dedicated Sondheim buffs. In tone and some specific similarities it most resembles the score of Company, though there is at least one direct echo from Sweeney Todd.

The title song and "Old Friends" are delightful. "Not A Day Goes By," first heard as a lament and then as a declaration of love, is haunting. (Woman behind me in the audience, checking her programme during the interval: "Oh, that song gets repeated, and I'm going to cry again.") And "Our Time," the hopeful anthem of the youngsters just beginning the life journey we have witnessed, is lovely in its own right and doubly evocative in its sad ironies.

Too often, revivals of old musicals are dismissed as evidence of lack of imagination. The Donmar's rediscovery of Merrily is the creative rediscovery of a neglected work, presented with imagination, appreciation and love.

Gerald Berkowitz


Personals Apollo Theatre Spring 2000

ATTRACTIVE, BUBBLY revue, honest & caring. Loves music & the arts.
WLTM audience for fun time and maybe LTR. Must have GSOH.

The Personals of the title, if you haven't already guessed, refer to the personal ads or lonely hearts columns that keep many a reputable newspaper or magazine in business. But the gimmick here is less in the nature of the show and more its principal writers: creators of TV show Friends David Crane and Marta Kauffman with their old mate Seth Friedman.

So. This is the one in which Sam gets it off with Claire, Typesetter meets a surprise co-respondent, Louis has a romp with Louise while Kim finally gets to sing of lost love...

(BTW: Louis is the craggy insecure one, Typesetter is the fat one, Sam is the slightly hunky romantic one, Kim is pretty and sings, Louise is pretty and sings, Claire is pretty and sings.)

On the music front, lyrics and tunes come courtesy of a talented roster that includes William Dreskin, Joel Phillip Friedman, Alan Menken (Beauty & The Beast, Little Shop Of Horrors, Pocahontas), Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pocahontas) and Michael Skloff (Addams family Values and the Friends theme song I'll Be There For You).

Basically a series of we've-seen-it-all-before revue sketches, there's no plot as such in Personals and therefore no opportunity for any real character sparkle or thunderous resolving final number. Which is surprising when you consider the comic potential of the subject and the reputation of the writers.

Running gags include a series of dates from hell as they record video-date spots for a video-dating agency, a man who develops an unlikely menage a trois with his girlfriend and a dwarf, a couple of next-door neighbours whose ads lead them unwittingly to each other in a dodgy singles bar. Very funny is the guy learning the rules and vocabulary of the dating game from a manic cassette course tape.

Directed by Dion McHugh, the youngish cast are Cameron Blakely, Martin Callaghan, Marcus Allen Cooper, Carmen Cusack, Christina Fry and Vicki Simon - all of whom work hard with the onstage band but frequently seem lost in the flurry of material that all too often seems production-line fodder.

It's difficult to tell whether the sketches are fillers for the songs or vice versa. Some work well: I Could Always Go To You is one of those barstool numbers where Fry and Simon give a snappy recounting of how confiding in their failed affairs led them to the ironic conclusion of a doomed relationship with each other.

In the torch song department, the dejected lover's lament Michael gives Cusack's strong voice a chance to get spines tingling, while Moving In With Linda is a witty number where Cooper vainly tries to stop his ex lovers popping out of the removals boxes as he moves in with his latest conquest.

I'm mystified as to why this has come to the West End stage. Yes, Personals had a long run Off Broadway and even got a gong for its efforts, but that's not reason enough to launch it large-scale in London. Watching it, all I could think was that at any one time there must be ten other revues elsewhere in the capital, better sung, funnier, and quite happy to stay away from the pressures of the West End.

A show like this needs at least one star and one show-stopper - both are lacking. Here there are pleasant, energetic performances, but ones that are ultimately charisma-free.

In addition, Personals is all a little too New York, a little too USA-style singles culture, while the music's too bland to generate an accompanying hit album and, despite protests to the contrary, it grimly echoes last year's I Love You You're Perfect Now Change - and see how that foundered.

Nick Awde


Spend Spend Spend Piccadilly Theatre Spring 2000

1961 was the year when you would have found mother of three Viv Nicholson struggling to make ends meet on her miner husband's weekly wages of 14 in the grim (of course!) industrial Yorkshire town of Castleford. It was also the year they won 152,000 on the pools (a kind of lottery based on guessing the results of football games).

Naturally it transformed their lives, and when asked by a national newspaper what she was going to do with the cash, Viv famously replied: "Spend, spend, spend!"

And spend she did - every penny of what in today's money would be worth 3 million - ending up penniless, debt-ridden and divorced several times over. This new musical (subtitled 'The Legend of Viv Nicholson') is the story of her life. And what a story.

A simple two-layered set lets the performances shine on different levels both physically and time-wise as the Viv of today (Barbara Dickson), talking from the hairdresser's where she now works, introduces her life, dreams and failures, acted out by her younger self (Rachel Leskovac).

The strength of the show lies in the fact that it is an ensemble piece. Dickson holds it all together in her role as the wiser Viv who looks back on her life. Golden-voiced as ever, it's a tribute to her talent that she resists any temptation to steal the show.

Leskovac is in fine voice too as the younger Viv, bubbling with aspirations, supported by Stephen Houghton as good bloke hubby Keith and Jeff Shankley as Viv's violent but amiable dad. The rest of the cast give their all and double, triple, quadruple up parts effortlessly.

Based on the biography by Viv Nicholson and Stephen Smith, the songs - lyrics by Steve Brown and Justin Greene, music by Steve Brown - are snappy, funny and poignant. Gratifyingly, the show has Full Monty-like tendencies, certainly to judge from the raucous reaction of certain female sections of the audience, but it also has a healthy level of social comment. Viv and Keith's harsh life of poverty wasn't so uncommon nor so long ago, after all.

Visitors from outside the isles may feel daunted by the earthy Yorkshire dialect and vocabulary on which much of the humour and energy rests. But they shouldn't be - after all, to these British ears, songs about strange American habits such as taking one's Chevy to the levee or, indeed, a surrey with the fringe on top impress regardless.

In fact, the more Yorkshire Spend Spend Spend gets, the more universal its appeal. It is only when it lunges into Broadway territory and attempts to ape its glitz does it threaten to teeter off course, but thankfully this happens for only a couple of scenes.

Perhaps the days of long-running musicals in the West End are over. If they aren't, this one deserves to run and run.

Nick Awde

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Review - The Car Man - Old Vic 2000 Review - Fosse - Prince of Wales 2000 Review - Hard Times - Haymarket 2000 Review - Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Playhouse 2000 Review - La Cava - Victoria Palace 2000 Review - Lautrec - Shaftsbury 2000 Review - Merrily We Roll Along - Donmar 2000 Review - Personals - Apollo 2000 Review - Spend Spend Spend - Piccadilly 2000

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