We have already had the pleasure of visiting London, Trafalgar Square, in previous years, along with many other hundreds of thousands of people who, like us, clapped and sang (and many even danced) hits performed live by the same performers. who then, even on the same evening, performed in the theaters of the West End, the most musically rich area in Europe (balanced in the world by its American counterpart, Broadway, in New York).
As we all know, the health emergency has inevitably affected and reprogrammed the logical-operational plans of all contact sectors, including to a large extent entertainment programs, consisting mainly of a stage with dozens of artists and an audience under the crowd, at a short distance from each other . However, let’s not complain “too much” because we, those who can do it, are on the “other side”, do not belong – fortunately! – up to 8,465,085 confirmed cases, with 454,258 deaths in 208 countries (source: World Health Organization).
Having said that, we dutifully move on to the show, in the best of recent editions, which is broadcast on the West End Live Facebook page, exactly on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June – but probably with different performances – as it should be. happened in the presence.
Starts with part of the cast of The Lion King, but sadly lacks the wonderful stage machines to see in the theater (they alone are worth the ticket price and the wait). A huge show in perfect West End style: 20 years – in October – of performances at the Lyceum Theatre, more than 16 million viewers in London, more than 100 million worldwide and 6 Tony Awards (Oscar for American musicals). It’s impossible not to perform “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, given that with the latter, the unprecedented duo of composers also won an Oscar in 1995 (Best Original Song). However useless our opinion may be, we still prefer the former.
Another musical version of the film (less known and even less successful than The Lion King) is Heathers (in Italy it is Schegge di follia by Michael Lehman), a story about school bullying of teenagers in the late 80s with Winona . Ryder and Christian Slater. But in the same field, we offer, while staying on the cinematic field, the usual Larry Clark’s “Hooligan” or Evan Placey’s Italian theatrical version of Such Girls. The musical Heathers stars the amazing Carrie Hope Fisher (18!), listen to her sing “Seventeen” with Jamie Muscato and you’ll agree with us.
The virtual line-up deviates from Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” rock. No! the creator and composer of the musical is Jim Steinman, but the disk, or rather two disks of a bat, rightfully “belong” to Meat Loaf of many years (and several kilograms) ago. Obviously a flawless cast (it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t fit the role here), but someone with two albums on the shelf appreciates different stage presence less, “I’Do Anything For Love” is still capable always convey the same. emotions, even if it’s part of a potpourri. It seems natural (and normal) for the London audience (young and adult) to dance during the performance, we would all do it.
In the sequel, we have the inevitable Les Misérables, which has only been on the scene since 1985 and has been a global success long before the movie’s release. Then we learn about the existence of Canadian musicals with the Olivier Award-winning debut “Come From Away” (the Oscar of British Musical). Another great classic, Wicked is the acclaimed reworking of The Wizard of Oz. WEL pleases us with a carefully chosen video composition (highest quality) that mixes the voices and footage of four singers who were the main characters, all of whom participated in “Defying Gravity”, the musical’s hit hit.
A tribute to the Kinks with “Sunny Afternoon” and of course a performance of “You Really Got Me” in perfect “British” style, then maybe to be musically correct we also pay tribute to Frankie Avalon with the Jersey Boys and – after” Memphis” – we return to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to see two very (perhaps too) risky reimaginings of British history and literature, with a special focus on the youngest people (they also go to the theater). First we have “The Six”, or six wives of Henry VIII in the pop concert version, and then “And Juliet”, where only Romeo is dead and Juliet Capulet is sent to a convent. We console ourselves with a pleasant three-part performance of Jon Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”, which is part of it.
The second movement opens with Tina, then Jamie, and the TV-inspired Strictly Ballroom (let’s take comfort that it’s not just our turn) that will soon be forgotten, also due to the sloppy arrangement. Entertaining, if more theatrical than musical, Only Fools and Horses is a classic comic tale from a crowded stage. We stay in comedy theater with Kinky Boots. Finally, one of the reasons (perhaps the main one) why we watch. Organ, Christina and her immensity The Phantom of the Opera. The song is the namesake with which OG served Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for 34 years. Video of the fusion of three Christines and even six ghosts. For a moment, we want to go back and loop it, but “Matilda” is announced, and we can’t be so disrespectful to her.
“The Barricade Boys” is a showcase featuring performers from the cast of Les Misérables, as well as participation in other successful musicals. Luckily for us, the liberated band School of Rock is on the scene, and we don’t wonder why. The solo will not be perfect, but there is the courage to try Jimi Hendrix. With “Mamma Mia!” children and parents (even grandparents) sing the same Abba songs together. “Dream Girls” and then the interesting “Waitress” with the exceptional Lucy Jones, who sings “She Used To Be Mine” along with “her” audience. It is possible that the Camerera will land in Italy as well, but it is really too early to write about it.”
The final encore is the one hosted by John Owen-Jones (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) in 2017, but that doesn’t matter as the real star of these appointments is the audience. Everyone sings together, in harmony or not, that collective moment of release, enthusiasm, affection, if not love, that only such an event can evoke, leaving any problem 2/3 hours behind. Virtual West End Live is over, we can only give it another round of applause and hope to really be there next year. Now we can go back and see the Ghosts again, as well as the Waitress.