FEATURE: ‘You, Fascinating You’ The Musical, September 2014

 

A musical adaptation of Germaine Shames’ beautiful book will bring a forgotten ballerina’s life to the stage.  

 

American author Germaine Shames began researching the narrative of her biographical novel You, Fascinating You nearly a decade ago. Ten years on, she is looking forward to You, Fascinating You: The Musical.

The powerful tale of You, Fascinating You reveals the hidden epic behind a timeless love song and provides an insight into the life of headstrong Jewish ballerina Margit Wolf. First published in 2012, the book won an Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society.

Now, a future on Broadway beckons. The true story of this unforgettable Hungarian woman and her romance with an up-and-coming Italian composer has been adapted as a musical that is currently being prepared for its stage debut.

 

You, Fascinating You the Musical. On Broadway.

 

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REVIEW: ‘The Wiz’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, August 2014

 

There may be “no place like home” but the young cast of The Wiz looked perfectly comfortable centre stage at Milton Keynes Theatre in this year’s Creative Learning production.

Over 100 local performers aged between 10 and 21 years old dazzled in a refreshing musical version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz over the weekend, establishing Stage Experience 2014 as a triumphant success.

Now into its fourth year, Stage Experience is a unique two-week project run by the Creative Learning department at Milton Keynes Theatre. Led by a group of industry professionals, the venture takes a year of careful planning but the actual rehearsal period is a frenzied fortnight of fun, hard work and exceptional achievement.

 

The Wiz

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REVIEW: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, July 2014

What a glorious feeling it is to watch Singin’ in the Rain tap and splash its way across Milton Keynes Theatre’s freshly-flooded stage.

Singin’ in the Rain showers audiences with plenty of uplifting song and dance numbers but that classic sequence from the beloved 1952 MGM movie has got to be one of my absolute favourites. The film starred the late Gene Kelly — a Hollywood legend whose energetic, athletic dancing style and suave good looks make him a hard act to follow.

Happily, director Jonathan Church and choreographer Andrew Wright ensure a superbly staged production and this routine in particular is met with rapturous applause. Royal Ballet School trained James Leece makes the role of silent movie matinee idol Don Lockwood his own — with a sprinkling of Kelly-esque mannerisms. He buoyantly bounds through the downpour, dashing from puddle to puddle and kicking sweeping sprays of water into the first three rows of the stalls.

 

Singin' in the Rain.

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REVIEW: ‘West Side Story’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, June 2014

 

It really is no wonder that West Side Story is so beloved by audiences. Despite being written almost sixty years ago, this exhilarating contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet is a timeless classic.

With inspiration from the Bard’s greatest romance and the combined talents of composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and choreographer Jerome Robbins, West Side Story merges powerful and relevant themes, infectious music and thrilling dancing.

Direct from a sell-out season at Sadler’s Wells, West Side Story has returned to Milton Keynes Theatre for two weeks and the production is a treat from start to tragic finish.

 

West Side Story. The Tour.

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FEATURE: Dirty Dancing Press Launch – Milton Keynes, February 2014

 

Heart-pounding music, passionate romance and intimate choreography make Dirty Dancing a timeless movie.

The classic story is returning to the stage later this year and Milton Keynes Theatre will welcome the cast when the touring production gives fans the “time of their” life in October.

I was treated to a sneak preview of what is to come at the Dirty Dancing press launch.

 

Dirty Dancing press launch, February 2014. Georgina Butler recreates the Dirty Dancing "sandwich" pose with James Bennett and Lisa Welham.

 

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