Mad About the Musicals – Whitley Bay Playhouse
Being a longstanding fan of musicals, I read the information about Mad About the Musicals with great excitement, It was promised as a 2 hour show featuring many of the greatest musicals from the West End and Broadway plus some deep cuts. It was a show which promised a great deal more than it delivered.
The show was defined by it’s sound difficulties, and if I was the sound man on the production I’d imagine they’ve had better nights. If you are watching a stripped back intimate show about musicals, the last thing you want to have issues with is the sound and for me, it completely overwhelmed the entire first half of the show.
Mad About the Musicals is a curious show, the first half was a confused jumble of shows which just didn’t hit the mark. I think if you are producing a show about musicals then you have to pander to the crowd, and the average silver haired resident of Whitley Bay seemed rather confused with a deep cut from Sondheim and moment from Thoroughly Modern Millie. The signature song from Phantom of the Opera was more pleasing showcasing the vocal talents of Elizabeth Atkinson in the role of Christine.
There’s no doubting that Michael Courtney can sing, his rendition of Gethsemane produced my usual ASMR reaction of goosebumps but the low budget production and opening “banter” of insulting one of the audience asking if she was Cinderellas sister as well as making “wife” jokes did not enamour him to the audience.
The end of the first half featured a performance from a local stage school and really was the highlight of the first half of the show as enthusiastic children sang numbers from The Greatest Showman which continues to be the ultimate crowdpleaser.
The second half was a much more confident and professional performance albeit, still, with some sound issues during a couple of numbers, for the most part though it was upbeat, happy and so professionally done that it was like experiencing two different shows. We heard songs from Wicked, from Jesus Christ Superstar and the ultimate finale of Les Miserables in 9 minutes followed by “Do You Hear The People Sing”. What was missing were the promised numbers from Dear Evan Hansen and Joseph, something which I’d personally looked forward to it when I’d read the blurb on the website.
Overall, a night which was good in parts thanks to the strong vocals of the cast but also missed the mark due to the huge technical failures and out of date jokes.
Thanks for reading,
This was a guest post by MANDY CHARLTON PHOTOGRAPHY on behalf of InNewcastle.co.uk
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