Monthly Archives: April 2017

Rent (3rd performance).

Wednesday 5th April 2017, and another day back in Cardiff Bay, at the Millenium Centre for my 3rd performance of the brilliant musical  ‘Rent’. The last few blogs I’ve talked mainly about the cast, revealing just how brilliant they all are, in making this show the spectacle it is. Tonight’s show has Shanay Holmes as Joanne, so far I’ve heard Jenny in the role, who has been amazing. Although I must say Shanay was incredible too. Every person can play multiple parts and never let anyone down. Also Lucie Jones was back as Maureen, with both her and Christina Amazingly fabulous in the role.

Today I thought I’d move on to the songs I love in this show. There is so much good music to talk about I’ll probably need a few blogs to complete this particular mission, so here goes.

At the start we meet Mark and Roger who lead us into the first song, which just happens to be called ‘Rent’, an in your face tune that gets all the cast involved and starts the fun off at a frenetic pace. Then onto a shorter piece as we meet Tom and Angel for ‘You ok honey’.  The scene moves back to Roger with a really fantastic piece of music in ‘One song glory’ which is sung brilliantly by Ross Hunter. As he finishes we move nicely into another superb song, meeting Mimi at the same time. The amazing music carries on with ‘Light my Candle’ a duet with Mimi and Roger, again sung to perfection by Philippa Stefani and Ross Hunter. Only four songs in and its already off the scale as far as the music goes.

As Tom Collins meets up with his mates Mark and Roger, a magical scene ensues as Angel ( the brilliant Layton Williams) enters in drag for an unforgettable song and dance routine ‘Today 4 U’. Enter Benny (Javar LaTrail Parker) to the fray as the group move onto ‘You’ll See’.  The show moves very swiftly on to another fabulous scene with Joanne, (Shanay Holmes) and Mark (Billy Cullum) with ‘Tango Maureen’. Yet another brilliant performance, with some amazing vocal talent on show.

We next meet a few of the ensemble as Mark, Angel and Tom head towards a ‘Life Support’ meeting, where we hear a snippet of ‘ No day but today’. The music changes to become heavier with Mimi (Philippa Stefani) singing ‘Out Tonight’, to Roger, another fabulous song. As that ends Roger then continues in the same scene with ‘Another Day’, a duet with Mimi. Would you believe it yet another fantastic song, brilliantly sung, as has been the case  so far on every song I’ve heard.

The singing has once again been absolutely amazing, and listening to it live on stage has been so much better than a CD or DVD. I think I will leave it there for today, I will continue with the rest of act one on my next visit, as there is still loads to talk about, before we even get to the interval.

Rent (2nd performance). 

Tuesday 4th April 2017, back at the Millenium Centre for my second performance of the fantastic musical that is ‘Rent’, and after last nights show, I really cannot wait go get back into that wonderful auditorium, for a second helping.

Carrying on from last nights blog I want to add just how brilliant the whole cast were, (I think I may have mentioned that yesterday). For me Lucie Jones was superb as Maureen, (I never really liked ‘Over the Moon, but seeing it live was just brilliant), with equal billing to Layton Williams as Angel, an amazing performance from both. Although, thinking on those lines, the quality of singing from all the other leads were also phenomenal. Billy (Mark), Ross (Roger), Ryan (Tom), Javar (Benny), Philippa (Mimi) and Jenny (Joanne) really stood up to the mark with such effortless ease, and stating the case for this brilliant musical. 

Another aspect of the music in the show is the wonderful solo voices for the start of act 2 and, of course the beautiful ‘Seasons of Love’, just listening to that song is amazing, but to watch the cast perform it live on stage is even better.

For tonight’s performance we have Christina Modestou playing the role of Maureen. Who also last night sang the solo role in ‘Seasons of Love’ and was brilliant. Tonight, I have to say she was amazing. With her and Lucie you have two fantastic Maureen’s. both of them work so well with Jenny (Joanne) who in herself is also brilliant. Such a fabulous evening’s entertainment, again I cannot wait until my next visit to see this superb show. 

Rent.

Monday 3rd April 2017, a week off work to concentrate on the theatre and a few trips to the Millenium Centre, here in Cardiff Bay, for some performances of the iconic musical ‘Rent’. I have wanted to watch this show live for ages, ever since I watched a recording of the Broadway show on DVD a few years ago, so this week I finally get the opportunity To do just that.

The cast for the show consists of Billy Callum (Mark), Ross Hunter (Roger), Ryan O’Gorman (Tom), Jamar La’trail Parker (Benny), Layton Williams (Angel), Philippa Stefani (Mimi), Lucie Jones (Maureen) and Shanay Holmes (Joanne).  For tonight’s show Jenny   O’Leary played Joanne. They cover the main players, as I’m here a few times this week, I can mention the other members of the cast in a later blog, plenty of time to talk about everyone. 

Rent has some truly magnificent songs littered throughout the performance, and having played the cd a million times over, it’s just fabulous to listen and watch these guys perform. I must say it was well worth the wait, this was excellent, has to be one of the best shows I have ever seen, and for me that’s saying an awful lot, I’m really glad I booked a lot more shows for this week. 

With so much going on, the magnificence of the cast just shines through the whole performance, it went so quick, mainly because it was so good, with fabulous singing from all the cast. Really can’t wait to see it again. Hopefully i will have a lot more to talk about on my next visit to watch this wonderful show.

Cirque Berserk.

Saturday 1st April 2017, and so onto my second show of the day, and I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for a performance of Cirque Berserk, a circus show made for the theatre, as promised in the programme.

The first act was very impressive, With Tumblers, a trio of Bolas dancers from Argentina. Mid air acrobats. An amazing group from Cuba using springboards and somersaults and bikers in the globe of death, along with a clown for filling in with some comic cuts. 

The second act also had loads of action to spare. The acts repeated themselves, but each got harder with loads of fire brought in to make the effect better. We had the added bonus of a knife thrower and a male high wire act to add to the proceedings. The finale was sensational, with the globe of death and 4 bikers circling at the same time, fabulous to watch. And so impressive.

This show offers something different to the usual activities seen on this stage, and it is nice to watch these from time to time. I must admit to having an amazing day today, with so much going on and two great shows to add to my growing list. 

Dirty Dancing.

Saturday 1st April 2017, today is going to be a brilliant day for me, with two different shows. Also it’s a glorious day, the sun is shining, and for the first time in ages I can feel the sun’s heat filtering through the whispy clouds. So first of all I’m at the New Theatre in Cardiff for the matinee performance of Dirty Dancing, an iconic musical, with classic songs littered throughout the show. The film was never really in my watch list, but the stage production, I saw a few years ago, greatly impressed me, so I need to see it again, on its return to Cardiff.  

The cast for this matinee has Katie Hartland as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman with Carl James Wilson as Johnny Castle and Carlie Milner as Penny Johnson also the great voice of Trevor Michael Georges as Tito Suarez. The singing and dancing throughout this show are just superb, with special cameo performances from two fabulous singers in Michael Kent (Billy Kistecki) and Daniela Pobega (Elizabeth). Carlie and Carl are absolutely amazing as dance partners, with great help from the rest of the cast. Katie is perfect for the role of Baby, with great comic exchanges as she learns the dance in the first act. Really impressed with the whole performance. With a special mention to the onstage band,  who were so good, adding a great link between the taped and live music.

The original music for the show plays a vital role in this production, with songs I love including ‘Yes’, ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Overload’, ‘Hey Baby’ and of course ‘I’ve had the time of my life’, with loads of other amazing songs throughout the show, literally making your toes tap to the beat.

This has to be the best version of this musical I’ve seen so far, with a brilliant set and lighting rig, really using the space of the stage to its utmost. The final scene was just perfect, living up to all expectations. A perfect start to an amazing day.