Tag Archives: Marti Webb

REVIEW: La Cage aux Folles – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

The much-loved La Cage aux Folles has had a long history: from Jean Poiret’s original 1973 play, then the 1978 French/Italian movie production, it became a stage musical in 1983 before becoming the English language film The Birdcage in 1996. It’s surprising to learn that despite numerous Broadway and West End revivals this is the first professional UK tour.

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Georges (Adrian Zmed) and Albin (John Partridge) run the most glamorous nightclub in St. Tropez, where Albin stars as the glamorous drag artist Zaza. When Georges’ son Jean-Michel (Dougie Carter) announces his plans to marry the daughter of a straight-laced homophobic politician set on closing the nightclub, mayhem ensues.

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It’s astonishing to think that this show is nearly 45 years old and even more astonishing to think how long it has taken for attitudes to change. This story of tolerance and acceptance is wrapped up in a blinding amount of sequins and feathers, and yes, it is awash with every camp cliché, but thankfully, Tony Award-winning Harvey Fierstein’s adaptation does justice to both the original subject matter and the message it conveys. It may sound glib to say it, but La Cage aux Folles is truly heart-warming, and the oohs, aaaahs, whistles and boos it elicits from its audience and the absolute warmth with which the whole production is received is enough to melt the most frozen of hearts.

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Gary McCann’s design reads well in the auditorium, the full-on glamour of the club contrasting well with the faded glamour of Georges and Albin’s apartment and the costumes are universally on-point.

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Partridge is an oustanding Albin/Zaza, it is a role tailor-made to showcase his acting, dancing and singing skills and US TV favourite Adrian Zmed is a fine Georges, there’s a deftness of touch in his portrayal of a character that could easily have been rendered a caricature, he is also in possession of a fine singing voice. Dougie Carter as son Jean-Michel is also a stand-out, a fine actor, his classic, musical-theatre tenor voice is a joy. Unusually, and wonderfully, there isn’t a single weak-link in the entire production.

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This is a production that will put a spring in the step and a song in the heart of even the most jaded theatre-goer. In a theatre scene brimful of repeated revivals and lacklustre works, this is a breath of fresh air – a genuine must-see.

Runs at Glasgow, King’s Theatre until Saturday 29 July 2017

All images: Pamela Raith

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: 42nd Street – King’s Theatre Glasgow 26th June 2012

Winner of two Tony Awards – 42nd Street focuses on the   efforts of famous director Julian Marsh to mount a successful stage   production of a musical extravaganza during the Great Depression. It’s   the timeless tale of small town girl Peggy Sawyer’s rise   from the chorus line to Broadway star.

Dave Willetts plays notorious director Julian Marsh with Marti Webb as past her prime prima donna Dorothy Brock.

Willetts musical theatre credits include Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, The title role in The Phantom of the Opera, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love and most recently playing Professor Callaghan in the UK tour of Legally Blonde the Musical.

Marti Webb is best known for her roles in Evita and Tell Me On a Sunday as well as Cats, Oklahoma and Blood Brothers.

42nd Street is full of classic hit songs including Lullaby of   Broadway, We’re in the Money, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, Keep Young   and Beautiful and I Only Have Eyes For You as well as the famous title   number.

42nd Street is directed by the show’s author and Broadway Director   Mark Bramble and features the stunning sets and costumes from the   US production.

Despite being written in the 80’s this is as close as you’ll come to seeing those classic 1930s Busby Berkeley musicals recreated on stage. This was a feast for the ears and eyes. Hearing this huge cast tapping in unison is enough on its own to soften even the hardest heart.

The effort and enthusiasm from the cast was shining from every pore. James O’Connell as Billy Lawlor was a dream to watch – his dancing recalled the skill and physicality of Gene Kelly and Jessica Punch was sublimely skillful as the lightning footed Peggy Sawyer. Special mention must also go to Marti Webb whose beautiful diction and clear as a bell singing rang out sweetly through the auditorium.

It would be a great cynic indeed who failed to feel the joy of this. The glitz, glamour and innocence are enough to make you forget your troubles for a few hours and leave the theatre with a spring in your step.

If you need a pick me up – get a ticket for this quick!

Runs at The King’s Theatre Glasgow until Saturday tickets here.