The Theatreguide.London Reviews
Archive: MUSICALS 2002
For the Archive, we have filed our reviews of several musicals that opened in 2002 on one page. Scroll down for the one you want, or just browse.
Bombay Dreams - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Contact - Elaine Stritch - The Full Monty - My One And Only - 125th Street - Our House
Bombay Dreams Apollo Victoria Theatre 2002-2004
Not bad enough to be dire, Dreams is a drab, disappointing effort that misses almost every mark. Admittedly it makes for a pleasant enough evening of unchallenging entertainment -- but this presumably is not what producer Andrew Lloyd Webber expects of this much heralded new musical.
The premise is
solid enough. Led by aspiring singer Akaash, a group of misfits and
oddballs in Bombay/Mumbai are about to lose everything because the big
bad developers intend to build a cinema multiplex on the slum where they
live. As such things happen, Akaash is suddenly whisked away to become a
Bollywood movie star under the aegis of top producer Madan and his cute
but prickly daughter Priya.
Throw in buxom screen star Rani, gossip queen Kitty, cocky eunuch Sweetie, sinister Mr Big J.K. and dodgy lawyer Vikram, and things take a predictably downward turn with betrayal and death before righting themselves when love and life reign supreme.
This is a show that rests purely on the sum of its performers' talent -- and the good news is that there's a lot of it about. All your standard Bollywood motifs (and motives) are here and, individually, the scenes work well with the cast clearly enjoying their roles. Comedy is never far from the surface and the frequently throw-away gags produce more than their fair share of laughs.
Raza Jaffrey is engaging as Akaash, bringing an eclecticness to his romantic lead that compensates for an underwhelming vocal ability (dreadful in every number until, unexpectedly, he redeems himself with Act II's powerful and silky The Journey Home). Preeya Kalidas is equally gifted as actress and singer and creates a convincingly sympathetic Priya although one wishes she were better served in the song department -- the torch song Only Love partly compensates.
As Rani, Ayesha Dharker sizzles and bitches her way though what could otherwise have been a one-dimensional sex kitten role, while as long-past-her-sell-by-date celebrity columnist Kitty, Shelley King deftly shows her claws in the patter but could be more over the top. One wonders whether her character might be more usefully deployed as a narrator throughout, providing a more authoritative point of reference to the plot's wandering values. Meanwhile, Dalip Tahil shows the comic side to his Madan with Don't Release Me, a raucous pastiche delivered from his prison cell.
Through no fault of their own, Raad Rawi's J.K. and Ramon Tikaram's Vikram manage entry to division 2 only of the Evil League -- their roles are underwritten and one wishes they had musical numbers of their own. Free of such problems is Raj Ghatak who, in Sweetie, easily gets the best material -- and he doesn't miss a trick. His timing is spot-on in the comedy department and his up-tempo ballad Love's Never Easy becomes a poignant plea from the heart that is heartwarmingly funny at the same time.
Plotwise, writer Meera Syal cannot settle between classic Bollywood or Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the resulting mess is an amateur dramatics rewrite of Rent, not helped by the fact that she has lazily plundered her own back catalogue of characters and situations, plus, perversely, she kills off her best characters.
In the music
department, A. R. Rahman writes pleasant enough tunes -- some even
hummable -- but like Syal he suffers the same indecisiveness over style.
Additionally the arrangements fail to build on any sparkle he may offer
while Don Black's banal lyrics swiftly kill off any audience connection
by line 1, verse 1. (Tellingly, no hit song has emerged from the show.)
Staging is unimaginative and displays minimal input from director Steven Pimlott, while -- with the exception of the Bollywood set pieces (you may already have caught the techno Shakalaka Baby on TV) -- the choreography is lazy, lazy, lazy.
The glitz factor too is remarkably subdued and it's hard to see where the reported £4 million budget went. Aside from the opening slum assemblage and the centre-stage pool with occasional fountain effects, the set is a weary series of patchily painted panels, manky curtains and awkward steps. The costumes in particular represent a massively missed opportunity to celebrate Bollywood values -- lacking colour and coordination, they appear little more than a job lot from a saree wholesaler's in Euston.
Basically, if you're going to take a genre renowned for its high-camp drama and larger-than-life extravagance, why bleach out these same elements in the cross-over process? If you want to see how it should be done, catch the eminently superior Fourteen Songs Two Weddings And A Funeral or River On Fire if they happen by your local theatre.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Palladium 2002-2005
Forgive me for the polemic that follows in place of a review - but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a slap in the face for theatre-goers and theatre industry alike. For those not wishing to read further, this stage adaption of the classic 1968 film based on Ian Fleming's children's book with songs by the Sherman brothers (of Mary Poppins fame) will give adults an agreeable nostalgia hit while children will be entranced by its endless splashes of colour and movement.
But that makes a spectacle, not a show. Director Adrian Noble proves here that he is incapable of creating a stage musical but could produce a half-good pantomime. And definitely become a rich man into the bargain - for that is what this is all about.
The show is a
solid enough reworking of the MGM movie, removing much of the various
subplots and gamely attempting to link sections with new, big ensemble
numbers. The cast, while able, is decidedly B-list. Michael Ball works
hard as Caractacus Potts but lacks magic, Emma Williams' Truly
Scrumptious is harmless enough, Anton Rodgers plays an excellent but
pointless reprise of the Lionel Jeffries film role, Richard O'Brien's
Childcatcher is weak-voiced and remarkably terror-free.
On the plus side, the stream of young performers who play Caractacus' children, Jeremy and Jemima Potts, are relaxed and a joy to watch, while the show's saving grace has to be Brian Blessed (who I'd normally avoid like dog dirt) and Nichola McAuliffe as Baron and Baroness Bomburst hamming it up to the audience like a pair of pantomime dames. One feels, luckily, they were left to their own devices by the director.
On the production side, West End stalwart Jeremy Sams' adaption is monolinear, Anthony Ward's design is functional - no more - while the arrangements, although not sizzling, are harmless enough. Musically, the original Sherman brothers songs are not as bad as some make out and have weathered extremely well (admittedly songs such as The Roses Of Success and Me Ol' Bamboo hark lazily back to earlier successes like Mary Poppins) and personally I rate Hushabye Mountain as the best ballad composed for a musical (well... aside from Somewhere, obviously, and Maybe This Time [or is that a torch song?]).
And in the flood of trivia accompanying Chittymania, I'm happy to report that the film soundtrack is MGM's most requested soundtrack and that the duo coined the word "fantasmagorical" especially for the movie. Their new songs are stinkers though, if truth be said. The Child Catcher's Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies is pure pork pap, while Teamwork, sung underground by the lost children of Vulgaria with Caractacus and the Toymaker, is a swathe of winsome schmaltz that still sparks extra applause, presumably for its Les Mis undertones.
Moonlighter Noble shuffled all these people around on the Palladium stage in months of rehearsal while quietly extricating himself from the day job as head of the presently (potentially fatally) ruined RSC. His timing can only be described as breathtaking when he abruptly announced his departure from the RSC top slot just as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang premiered safely to glowing reviews and £8 million-plus advance bookings in the bank.
Meanwhile, old cohort Gillian Lynne with her diminishing dance credentials on Cats and Phantom needs a pension too. Having worked with Noble on the similarly insulting Secret Garden, she repeats their mistakes all over by once more confusing shifting blocks of performers left and right with the art of choreography. Between the two of them they murder every opportunity for dramatic tension, suspense or celebration the hapless Sams has to offer.
This production reeks of cynicism. The industry powers that be put their heads together to come up with something to revive flagging West End fortunes and the drooping Great British Musical. In their success, they have created an undignified scramble for the biggest buck for the least effort - and the public is conned into thinking this is theatre.
A £6-million budget, prestigious prime-site venue, timeless children's classic, Michael Ball, £750,000 flying car, songs everyone comes in already humming... please! It's critic proof, recession proof, public proof. Ball got a resounding clap the instant he waddled on, the car too, and the multiple standing ovations at the end were as part of the script as Toot Sweets and the sound of ringing cash registers.
Contact Queens Theatre Autumn 2002
Once there was a George Balanchine. Once there was Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins. Once there was Michael Kidd, Bob Fosse, Gower Champion, Michael Bennett. In short, once Broadway audiences could go to a musical with the absolute assurance that they would see brilliant choreography and exciting dancing.
But all those people are dead now, and until Twyla Tharp completes her Billy Joel musical, Susan Stroman is about the best we've got. And so this almost-all-dance show comes from New York bearing critical praise it won more-or-less by default and really doesn't deserve.
There's little that's actually wrong with this show, but it's just all B-grade material, mutton dressed as lamb. The show, conceived and choreographed by Stroman and written by John Weidman, is made up of three independent dance stories. The first, inspired by the Fragonard painting The Swing, is a brief joke - an 18th-century girl flirts with her aristocratic beau but really gets it on with the servant. There's no real dance, just some dreadfully-acted mime and minor acrobatics, but the piece is mercifully short.
The second piece, while also just an extended joke, turns out to be the most successful of the evening. A mousy housewife taken to an Italian restaurant by her boorish husband has a string of romantic fantasies to appropriately lush music by Greig and Tchaikovsky. The gimmick is that the dance vocabulary is entirely drawn from classical ballet, but inventively tweaked to make it look fresh and comic, and Sarah Wildor has an endearingly gamine quality.
main dance is a case of opportunities missed more than seized. An overly
complex and melodramatic plot has a suicidal advertising executive (Is
there any other kind?) encountering a mysterious and seductive woman at
a retro-dance club.
The story set-up takes up nearly half the hour, leaving far too little time for dance, and while the sight of a stage full of people doing variants on the Lindy, to recorded pop music ranging from Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing to Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible, is inherently delightful, the choreography far too infrequently rises above this automatic level of excitement.
Of course Tharp was setting dance based on ballroom forms to pop music twenty years ago, and Robbins forty years ago, and Balanchine sixty years ago. But if Stroman actually made it work, we'd be happy to see it done again. But only very briefly, as in the Beyond the Sea sequence, does the choreography really come alive, while the climactic duet is almost assertively unromantic, unoriginal and dreary. Leigh Zimmerman is appropriately long-limbed and sexy in a Fosse-dancer way, but Michael Praed, playing a man who can't dance, gives the impression of an actor who can't dance.
A British friend said afterwards that New Yorkers might well have been raised on a diet of far better choreography, but Londoners are starved for exciting theatre dancing, and would find this show satisfying. I told him to go see Chicago again - even imitation Fosse has more to offer than this second-rate material.
Elaine Stritch: At Liberty Old Vic Autumn 2002
Elaine Stritch made her Broadway debut roughly fifty years ago, singing "Bongo bongo bongo, I don't want to leave the congo." She took over from Uta Hagen in Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf forty years ago, and stopped the show every night thirty years ago, singing about the Ladies Who Lunch in Sondheim's Company. And this year she won her first Tony, for this show of reminiscence in anecdote, confession and song.
And you'd be a fool to miss it.
They don't make Broadway stars like they used to, and while Stritch was never quite on the level of, say, Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, she's the nearest thing we've got, and perhaps your last opportunity to see what a real star looks like. And what she looks like is pretty damn good for an old broad who admits to 77. Dressed in tights and a white shirt, she sings, dances, chats and moves furniture around with a style and - let us say it - sexiness that girls a third her age could envy.
More importantly, Stritch walks onto the Old Vic stage and takes possession of it as only a star can. Her singing voice is raspy, but then it always was, so this isn't a Sinatra-like case of hearing the shreds of what once was. I've heard the recording of Noel Coward's Sail Away, and Stritch sounds as good as she did in 1961. What's more, she's a great stylist. I defy anyone to find a better, more beautifully acted rendition of the Sondheim chestnut Broadway Baby, and if The Ladies Who Lunch has softened a little with age, it still sends chills through you.
Her chatter is a rough autobiography, with an emphasis on the rough. She openly admits that for most of her career she never set foot on a stage without a couple of drinks under her belt, and she tells a few harrowing tales of how that hurt her. On the other hand, she can be hilarious about her experiences, and there are telling and very funny anecdotes about Coward, Sondheim, Judy Garland, Marlon Brando (She was the only girl in their acting class he didn't seduce, and she still isn't sure why), and Rock Hudson (He wouldn't seduce her either, though she has figured out why).
She tells an extraordinary and possibly even true story of her adventures understudying Merman in Call Me Madam in New York while simultaneously appearing in Pal Joey in New Haven, and she gives her side of the episode in a production of The Women that almost got her censured by Equity (and makes you hope her version is true, because it's so funny).
But mostly she's just there. A real live Broadway star. The kind they don't make any more. Go.
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The Full Monty Prince of Wales Theatre 2002
The Full Monty is a happy, bouncy and thoroughly enjoyable evening out. That's what it promises, and that's what it delivers, and any minor criticisms (which I will undoubtedly get around to before the end of this review) are irrelevant. You go to a show like this to have a good time, and you'll have it.
I write as the only person in the Western World who has not seen the film, so questions of whether the musical is better, worse, different or not are irrelevant to me. I know that, as a Broadway product, it has been Americanized, its setting moved from Sheffield to Buffalo, New York (if anything, a more depressed fading industrial city). A couple of characters have been added, and a few plot details shifted to allow for songs.
essentially it's the same story: unemployed steelworkers, running out of
money and feeling emasculated, decide to form a male stripper act and,
after some ups and downs, give a triumphal performance. In the new book
by playwright Terrence McNally, they are led by Jerry (Jarrod Emick), a
divorced guy at risk of losing visitation rights to his son, and Dave
(John Ellison Conlee), his chubby married friend.
They recruit four others: a former executive whose wife doesn't know he was fired (Marcus Neville), a suicidal mama's boy (Jason Danieley), an old guy who just happens to dance better than anyone else (Andre de Shields) and an accident-prone but impressively-hung klutz (Romain Fruge).
The six men are all from the original Broadway production, while the rest of the cast is British - assorted wives and girlfriends, Jerry's son, and the one major new character an old vaudevillian who joins the boys as pianist and mother confessor (Dora Bryan, doing her feisty-old-broad shtick and almost stealing the show).
The songs, by David Yazbek, are always serviceable and occasionally rise above that level. The men's first song, "Scrap," is a strong expression of the anger and frustration of being unemployed, and the climactic strip number, "Let It Go," rocks the house. In between, there are clever lyrics to a song in which Dave and Jerry prove their friendship to Malcolm by offering to help him kill himself, and another in which the guys' ogling of women leads to imagining what the girls think of them.
If a few other songs - "Life With Harold" performed by Rebecca Thornhill, say, or Danieley's "You Walk With Me" - aren't quite the show-stoppers they clearly want to be, they're still pleasant.
And the cavils? There are no real production numbers, and the show frequently looks lost on the big empty stage. The plot and structure are a bit by-the-numbers, with predictable complications and resolutions on the way to the happy ending, which is a achieved only by sweeping a lot of still-unresolved problems under the rug. Direction by Jack O'Brien is crisp and fluid but Jerry Mitchell's choreography shines only in the first act finale, in which the boys use basketball moves to learn to dance, and in the big final number.
From time to time, in the slower moments, you might sense that The Full Monty is good without ever quite becoming great. But the performers are uniformly attractive and charming, and there's more theatrical life to this show than to such stillborn projects as The Beautiful Game or the recent revival of Rent. If what you want is the traditional good night out, you'll get full satisfaction.
Footnote: After writing the above, I've seen the film. As you may have guessed, the musical follows it almost scene-by-scene, with a couple of key exceptions. But in every case, the added songs enhance the moment, enrich the characterisations and deepen the drama or comedy. This is the rare case of a musical that actually improves on its source, however excellent that was to begin with. G.B.
SEPTEMBER 2002: Major cast changes, with some gains and losses, leave The Full Monty still one of the most polished, entertaining good-nights-out that the West End has to offer.
The musical by Terrence McNally (book) and David Yazbek (songs) is, of course, based on the hit film about unemployed men who cobble together a Chippendales-style strip act. The original London cast combined the men from the Broadway cast with British actresses, and the Broadway contingent has now been replaced by an all-British cast.
The only significant falling-off is in the lead role of Jerry, the divorced father who puts together the strip act to raise the money so he won't lose contact with his son. Ben Richards sings well, but his acting is purely mechanical, doing little to draw us into his emotional journey and keeping his more dramatic songs from registering.
On the other hand, Tony Timberlake as the former boss recruited to choreograph the act and Cornell John as the old guy who is the only one who can actually dance are marginally better than the originals. I saw an understudy - Alex Gaumond - as the suicidal Malcolm - and he easily outshone most of the others.
McNally's one key addition to the movie is the role of the show biz veteran who volunteers as the boys' pianist and den mother, and one British feisty-old-broad icon - Dora Bryan - has been replaced by another - Lynda Baron - who plays her as even more gruff-but-heart-of-gold to great effect.
who saw the original cast will notice any of these changes, and no one
need be bothered by them. As my original review indicates, the show is
not perfect, but it remains as sure a thing as you could ask for in
My One And Only Piccadilly Theatre Spring-Summer 2002
This musical has two attractive and talented stars, a score by George and Ira Gershwin (than which you cannot do much better) and three first-rate dance numbers. And yet its overall impression is of low energy and missed opportunity. How is that possible? The answer to that question must always lie with the director, and Loveday Ingram simply hasn't found the right tone and rhythm for this would-be light-hearted pastiche, which only intermittently comes alive.
My One and Only is actually a 1983 rewrite of the 1927 Gershwin musical Funny Face, with a new book by Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer hanging the original songs and others on the openly slim plot of a romance between a boyish aviator and an English Channel swimmer. Both were timely figures in 1927, but are treated here as quaint historical curiosities; and neither director nor actors seem able either to believe in them enough to play them with conviction or to find an appropriate sense of ironic distance from which to camp them up.
Tim Flavin dances skilfully and sings adequately but is unable to give the boy any charm or even the limited dramatic reality required by a musical. Janie Dee has oodles of charm and more than adequate singing and dancing, but seems oddly half-hearted and detached through most of the show, as if her mind were on her grocery shopping.
The supporting cast also seem under-directed. Hilton McRae plays the Russian villain as high camp and thus seems to be in a different play from everyone else, while Richard Lloyd King, as the hero's tutor in coolness, dances well but can make no sense out of his character. Jenny Galloway as a butch aeroplane mechanic and Richard Calkin as a hip clergyman each have good moments, the latter in one of the show's best dance numbers, "Kicking the Clouds Away."
The fact that the original Funny Face was a Fred and Adele Astaire vehicle is reflected in the fact that the revival's high points are the two dance numbers for the stars, one a quietly elegant falling-in-love-through-dance sequence worthy of mention in the same breath as Astaire and Rogers, the other an ebullient celebration of joyful passion danced splashily in a shallow pool of water.
Craig Revel Horwood's choreography, which rises fully to the occasion here and in the climactic production number "Kicking the Clouds Away," is too often elsewhere merely serviceable or less, contributing to the overall sense of missed opportunities.
Another puzzle is why the 1983 adaptors (or the current producers), with one of the musical theatre's richest songbooks to plunder, didn't choose more wisely. The score includes "Swonderful," "Strike Up the Band" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (the last oddly directed as a lugubrious torch song), but is also bogged down with such undistinguished songs as "I Can't Be Bothered Now," "High Hat" and "In the Swim," when stronger alternatives could surely have been found.
So, there are three good dance numbers, a couple more Gershwin classics, and not much else to recommend this show which too often slogs along when it should float and barely floats when it should soar.
125th Street Shaftesbury Theatre Autumn 2002
Some shows strive for excellence and either succeed or don't. This new musical, devised by the same team that created Buddy, was conceived, cast and directed to be adequate, and it achieves its aim. It is obviously designed for the same coach parties and tourist groups that kept Buddy afloat for 13 years, and if you are sufficiently undemanding, you can have the proverbial good night out. But they could have done a lot better, and so can you.
The premise is a 1969 television show whose fading star (played with appropriate smarminess by Domenick Allen) is trying to look hip by broadcasting from Harlem's famous Apollo Theatre. But riots in the street keep his stars away, and he must make do with the theatre's resident second-stringers. Eventually the Harlem performers take over the show, giving the backstage crew the chance to strut their stuff as well.
As with Buddy, much of the show's energy comes from the sure-fire 50s-era songs, here including Land of a Thousand Dances, Proud Mary, I Feel Good and Respect, and from the hard-rocking onstage band. The problem is that almost anyone performing these songs will generate a modicum of fire, but it takes someone special - or special direction - to make them really rock. And again and again we get merely adequate performances. They're OK, but is OK really all you want from these songs?
non-musical sequences are awkwardly written and directed, and the plot
of the stagehands getting their big breaks is filled with sentimental
cliches. The minute you encounter the shy, stuttering stagehand played
by Peter Dalton or Johnnie Fiori's hard-nosed backstage woman, you know
they are eventually going to prove show-stopping singers, just as Ray
Shell's gay costume designer will inevitably and crowd-pleasingly get to
do his drag act.
Even the resident black power radical turns out to be a James Brown wannabe. Kevyn Morrow is attractive and energetic as the warm-up singer who takes over as star, and weaves his way through a romantic subplot that has him predictably proposing to the backup singer played by Jia Frances in a climactic onstage duet.
One of the few clever touches has only one of the white singers from the Four Seasons showing up, with three black stagehands quickly recruited as backup. As they get into performing Let's Hang On, Four Seasons moves gradually give way to freer Temptations-style choreography. An amateur segment actually uses non-professionals (a different one each week) recruited through national auditions, and audience volunteers are brought onstage to sing during a supposed break in the telecast.
There is little that is actually wrong with this show. It merely pitched its ambitions low, and just about every other musical in town has more to offer.
Our House Cambridge Theatre 2002
You'll either like this new West End musical or perhaps it'll leave you, well, not cold but a little bemused since Our House is a story, crafted by Tim Firth, that takes its title and numbers from the songs of Madness, the north London pop group whose relentlessly infectious skank rhythms and whimsy cheery chappy lyrics made their mark in the late seventies and eighties. And so if you're British, aged 7 to 70, you probably won't need to read the next couple of paragraphs and should hop further down the page.
It's surprising that no one came up with a show based on Madness's hits before since each song is a timeless mini epic in itself - reflected in their crowded, manic videos where all of London seems to be trying to tell their story. They also happen to be one of the few groups to get out while still at the top although, suffice to say, they have tended to be strictly a home-grown phenomenon - breaking into the States only with their final singles, including the gospel-tinged Wings Of A Dove (for more see below).
For once, it's good to see a world-class production pick up on the culture and atmosphere of a part of London - in this case Anglo-Irish Camden Town (just above the West End and the haunt of Dylan Thomas, Alan Bennett and punk) - in the way New York's West Side or Harlem have been portrayed. London doesn't quite have the hyperdramatic highs and lows of Manhattan but think rather the world of Withnail And I or even Dickens.
Using a cast made up mainly of energetic young unknowns, Our House is a satisfying show that plunders every trick in the musical book to tell the story of Joe (Michael Jibson) and Sarah (Julia Gay), schoolkids in love, and the local politics and feuds that get in their way (evil property developers loom large). If you've seen Closer To Heaven or Taboo, you'll get the idea.
Like the movie Sliding Doors, the plot gimmick interweaves parallel stories with the same characters as two possible lives unravel for Joe after a fateful venture into petty crime to impress his beloved Sarah. Watched over by the spirit of his dead, ex-con dad - an underused Ian Reddington - and his long-suffering Irish mum - a fiery Lesley Nicol - Joe becomes a petty enforcer in one life and lonely shelf-stacker in another. Regrets abound, street life is celebrated, cocky schoolkids grow into cocky Camdenites, and there's suspense whether the guy gets the girl in the end as Joe's lives suddenly snap back together.
Director Matthew Warchus keeps the action tight, always putting the humour if not the story to the fore and lets the personalities of his cast bubble forth. However he lets the songs shoot themselves unaccountably in the foot by failing to ensure that the lyrics are discernible - unless you already know the words, you'll be hard pushed to make out 20 per cent of any number.
And what you won't find here are classic duets or torch songs - the Madness songbook simply never stretched that far - although new song Back In My Arms Again gives Gay the chance to do a more traditional West End lament, and Labbie Siffre's classic It Must Be Love (memorably covered by Madness), rejigged for Jibson and Gay, gets the hairs prickling and the eyes glistening. But go for the ensemble numbers - the insane House Of Fun, a nostalgic Our House, Driving In My Car with its rollercoaster video backdrop, and the unbeatable Wings Of A Dove complete with market criers straight out of Oliver!
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Review - Bombay Dreams - Apollo Victoria 2002, Review - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Palladium 2002, Review - Contact - Queens 2003, Review - Elaine Stritch - Old Vic 2002, Review - The Full Monty - Prince of Wales 2002, Review - My One and Only - Piccadilly 2002, Review - 125th Street - Shaftsbury 2002, Review - Our House - Cambridge 2002