Seeing as Broadway is closed at the moment, the latest episode of The Theatre Channel brings the golden era of Broadway to audiences at home.
From Cabaret to West Side Story, some of Broadway’s best known stories are brought vividly to life in this latest episode from The Theatre Channel that brings together some stellar performances – despite having to film under difficult restrictions.
This new episode, co-directed by Bill Deamer and Thom Southerland, certainly feels like one of the most theatrical in style so far – thanks to the way in which settings, the way in which each number has been staged and the choreography all come together.
From the start, audiences are whisked into the wonderful world of Broadway with a compelling performance from Freddie Fox as Emcee, who sings both ‘ Willkommen’ and ‘Money’ with great personality, highlighting that he would be a great fit for the role if Cabaret came to the London stage again.
This performance sets the tone nicely for the rest of the show, that is very much story and character driven rather than simple renditions of songs that we know and love. Each song really makes the most of the settings – as shown through the Cafe Four’s performance of ‘Coffee Break’ taken from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It is a lively performance that makes you believe you are watching the musical.
Everything has been clearly framed with extra care and attention to detail that makes it pleasing to watch. This is particularly seen in the choreography which enhances the classic Broadway style of the golden era of entertainment. This really shines through in the charming and perky rendition of ‘Put on a Happy Face’, performed with great care and charm by Alan Hawke and Emily Langham – along with choreography that is suitably elegant.
As you would expect from a cast that is of this high quality, there are many enjoyable performances. From Bonnie Langford’s purely entertaining rendition of ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’ from Anything Goes, Mazz Murray’s powerful version of ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’ from Gypsy and Gary Wilmot’s charisma shines through on ‘Luck Be a Lady’ – it is an episode that covers all bases.
The whole episode is rounded off nicely with Marisha Wallace capturing a whole different meaning to the lyrics of ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story, filmed outside the National Theatre – a reminder that live theatre will return somehow in some way as soon as possible.
Overall, this fifth episode is a wonderfully nostalgic and entertaining tribute to Broadway and will delight theatre fans.
Episode 5: The Classics of Broadway is available to watch now as are episodes 1-4. To find out more visit: https://www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/channel/