Shows I Saw in June

I saw a tremendous fourteen shows this month. Sometimes I think about the fact that I'm not sure I saw 14 shows in all of my last year at university and now I can see that amount in one month. Isn't it funny how life can change like that? In any case, June was a great month for theatre for me as I saw so many shows that blew me away.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
As part of my internship at the Donmar Warehouse, I get to see the first preview of every show with the rest of the staff. I've never read the Muriel Sparks novel this is based on, but I absolutely loved this play. Lia Williams is fantastic as Jean Brodie and the whole cast are really splendid.

Les Miserables
I ended up seeing Les Mis on Barricade Day (the anniversary of the June Rebellion of 1832 that the barricade bits of Les Mis are based on) with Rhiannon and Bee and we had the best time. Unfortunately, Killian Donnelly was out but this past company was absolutely incredible. I think I may write an entire post soon about how my love for Les Mis has evolved as I've grown older.

Journey's End (RADA) - Review
Because Rhiannon goes to RADA, I tend to go along to see their shows and I was blown away by Journey's End. It's a classic WWI play (my fave!), but they set it in the modern era which made the casting of women in traditionally male roles feel more natural. It was honestly within the top 3 things I saw this month, easily.

My Name is Lucy Barton - BWW UK Review
I've wanted to see Laura Linney in something for years as she's basically a Broadway legend, so it was amazing to see her in this moving one-woman piece at the Bridge Theatre. The play, while emotionally exhausting, was a great showcase for Linney's talent.

Julie - Review
Despite the clumsiness of the modernisation, I loved Julie at the National Theatre. Vanessa Kirby is an incredibly talented actress and she commands complete attention the entire time she's on the stage while giving real depth to the spoiled rich girl she's portraying. The design of the show by Tom Scutt makes it worth seeing as well.

3 Winters (RADA) - Review
I wasn't as impressed with 3 Winters as I was with the other two RADA shows that I saw in their early summer season, but it was an interesting tale of three generations in Croatia. I certainly learned a lot about the politics of a country I previously knew nothing about.

Machinal - BWW UK Review
I wasn't a fan of Machinal at the Almeida despite how fascinating the true events its based on are. I felt that in making the period ambiguous, they lost a lot of the punchiness of the show and somehow lost its relevance as well.

It's Only Life - Review
I had never seen a song cycle show before and this charming one about love, loss, and hope completely warmed my heart. The cast were so talented and I loved the design. It was also a bit exciting for me because it was the first thing I was given a press ticket to for my own blog! 

Heathers - Review, Video
If you follow me on social media, you may already know that I've fallen completely head over heels for this darkly funny show which is full of absolute bops. The entire cast (from my ultimate fave Carrie Hope Fletcher to Jamie Muscato to the whole ensemble) are absolutely incredible. Can we get a cast album soon, please?

Kinky Boots
I returned to Kinky Boots for my seventh (!!!) time to see the latest cast as I'd interviewed all three of the leads for BroadwayWorld UK. Kinky Boots never gets less exciting for me. Every time I see it, I leave feeling so upbeat and renewed. 

The Rink
I got to see the last performance of The Rink at Southwark Playhouse with my friend Julie and we were both so impressed. Caroline O'Connor is surely one of the most impressive actresses out there and I was shocked by how much I adored this show about a mother and daughter and a skating rink. The dancing was particularly amazing. I'm really hoping they bring this show back to Broadway because I would love to see it have a longer life.

The Tempest - BWW UK Review
This production of The Tempest is a promenade production at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden going between three outdoor locations and the church itself. However, it's otherwise fairly bland particularly after having watched the filmed version of the Donmar's The Tempest, set inside a women's prison.

Fun Home - Review Coming Soon
I'm actually seeing this today, so review pending! But I've heard fantastic things about this production and I was sad to have missed the show on Broadway, so I can't wait.

For King and Country - Review Coming Soon
I actually haven't seen this yet at the time of posting either, but I'm seeing it on the last day of June. It's a World War I court room drama at the Southwark Playhouse so I'm sure I'm going to love it. Keep an eye out for my review coming soon!

Review: Heathers the Musical, The Other Palace

RATING: ★★★★★

How very! Heathers the Musical, currently playing at The Other Palace, is a fantastic high school story full of dark humour and lots of heart. It's based on the 1988 cult classic film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater and the musical adaptation previously gained its own cult following during its off-Broadway run. Under Andy Fickman's brilliant direction, this new and improved version is better than ever.

It tells the story of teenager Veronica Sawyer who befriends the Heathers, a clique of popular girls, in hopes of making it through senior year socially unscathed. Throw in a boyfriend with a penchant for murder, a couple of existential crises, and some big musical theatre numbers and you've got a great show. The musical features classic lines from the movie (like "Say hi to God for me") and amazing songs by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe. Chances are you might have already heard of "Dead Girl Walking", "Candy Store", and "Freeze Your Brain".

As I mentioned this production features some changes to the show by its original creative team, including new dialogue and two new songs. "You're Welcome" replaces "Blue" which used to be my least favourite song in the show. The new song deals with the delicate subject matter a lot better and also gives Veronica much more agency in the situation. There's also a new song called "Never Shut Up Again" for Heather Duke, who previously didn't have her own solo, and it's an absolute bop.

I love the design for Heathers and how they made it feel like a big show despite being in a fairly small venue. The moving set pieces are amazing; my favourite is the window which plays into several scenes. Having the actual object to use makes such a difference! I also absolutely love the costumes...I think I may need to find some friends to dress up as the Heathers with for next Halloween.

I also thought Gary Lloyd's choreography was fantastic and well suited to the tone of the show. I particularly loved the blocking of party number, "Big Fun". I also adore that they play 1980's music before the show and during the interval to get you into the mood. It was so fun to see everyone jamming out in the theatre!

The entire ensemble of this show is so strong, with each member making the student they play feel very distinct and fleshed out. Rebecca Lock is fantastic as teacher Ms Fleming; I used to not like her song "Shine a Light" but Rebecca certainly changed my mind. I love the bit where you picks a guy in the audience to address a line to and then ad libs a bit. It was so funny and every time a friend goes to see the show, I ask what she said in that part.

The Heathers are the ultimate mean girl clique and I couldn't imagine a better trio than this cast. Jodie Steele is appropriately kind of terrifying as Heather Chandler, with that cool girl air and an incredible voice. Her dancing around in "Me Inside of Me" was one of my favourite bits of the show. T'Shan Williams has some powerhouse vocals as Heather Duke and is wonderfully cool and calculating. Sophie Isaacs is adorable as Heather McNamara and her "Lifeboat" is absolutely heart-wrenching. (Seriously, she's like Galinda in a yellow blazer.)

Christopher Chung and Dominic Anderson are hilarious as football stars Kurt and Ram. They manage to play up the comedy of the roles without ever losing the fact that their behavior is pretty horrible. However, they bring a certain charm to their parts that makes it easy to believe that they're the popular guys at school.

Jamie Muscato is incredible in the role of JD, Veronica's boyfriend who turns out to be bad news. His voice is gorgeous in songs like "Freeze Your Brain" and "Our Love is God", but it's his acting that really blew me away (pun intended). I loved the way he portrayed JD's trajectory leading up to "Meant to Be Yours" when it becomes clear that JD has bigger problems than we realized before. (I also was cracked up by the way he did dance numbers like "Shine a Light" and "I Love My Dead Gay Son" with a smirk on his face that was so in character.)

I've been a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher for years and I was ecstatic when she was cast as Veronica, but I was not prepared for how amazing she is in the role. Carrie has managed to pull out the vulnerable, optimistic, naive side of the character in a way that makes so much sense looking at the book. Her Veronica is the kind of girl that I can see being easily manipulated by the Heathers and JD because as she says in the opening song, "Beautiful", she honestly believes that people are good. Her "Fight For Me" broke my heart a bit in its earnestness, but her strength in the later half of the show was inspiring.

I've nothing against Barrett Wilbert Weed who originally played Veronica off-Broadway, but seeing Carrie in the role was the first time that I could truly relate to the character. I loved that she seemed a bit geeky and that she was totally under JD's sway despite her strong morals...because he is dangerously charming and I was completely won over too.

I will also admit that I cried at one point during the show because it means so much to see a girl of my size (and I know that Carrie and I are similar sizes because she mentioned what size clothes she bought in a recent Primark haul on her YouTube channel) playing an 'average' girl who is at times portrayed as sexy in the show. Often, what we are shown as 'average size' onstage and onscreen is actually much smaller than the actual average woman's size. It's amazing to see representation for women of all shapes and sizes. I've actually felt much better about my body than usual since seeing Heathers last weekend.

If there's one issue with this production, it's simply that their American accents are occasionally a bit dodgy across the board. However, I'm not sure someone who isn't actually American would even be able to tell and it's certainly no worse than the British accents you hear in Kinky Boots on Broadway.

Heathers is the kind of story that I think the theatre world needs right now: it has a dark humour that I think appeals to a generation who spends most of their time on the Internet, big fun numbers that will get stuck in your head, characters that you'll recognize from your own life, and a beautiful message about acceptance and forgiveness. While Heathers is currently sold out, you can try your luck in their weekly lottery or in the returns queue. I know I'm trying my best to see it a second time! My fingers are certainly crossed for a cast recording...or a Broadway production in the near future?

Be sure to check out my video review of Heathers as well:

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

Review: Julie, National Theatre

RATING: ★★★★

The best thing about Julie is, without a doubt, Vanessa Kirby's outstanding performance in the title role. While this new adaption isn't without its flaws and the modern setting doesn't always work, the performances and the design of the show are stunning.

Julie is an adaption by Polly Streham of Strindberg's classic Miss Julie, which is set in 1880s Sweden. This new production finds us in modern day Hampstead Heath where Julie, a rich young woman who has recently been broken up with, is throwing a birthday party. However, she finds herself in the kitchen with her father's chauffeur Jean and tension builds.

The play addresses race, gender, and privilege though Streham's modernisation at times feels clumsy as it attempts to update the show's statements about class. The discussions around gender sometimes feel underdeveloped and those around race come off too often as forced.

Despite these issues with the play text, under Carrie Cracknell's direction, the actors manage to make it into something electrifying. From the way that the party feels seductively cool to the play's shocking and emotional ending, it would be hard not to be enthralled. I was seated in Row C and being so close to the action made it even harder to look away. In the play's ninety minutes, not once did my mind wander.

We know and love Vanessa Kirby as party-girl Princess Margaret on The Crown, but her Julie (while seemingly similar) is a lot more complex. If she has any fault in her portrayal, it's that she is overwhelmingly likable and pitiable the entire way through, which makes it all too easy for the audience to turn on Jean. She builds a character who clearly has some serious issues lurking close beneath the rich socialite exterior, making the way the play unfolds ever more believable.

I don't want to give anything away, but for those who have seen it: I will not be able to forget the scene with the bird anytime soon.

Eric Kofi Abrefa is a worthy match for Julie as Jean, her father's chauffeur who has held a tendre for her for several years. He flickers between easy confidence, earnestness, and rage throughout the show. However, without the class conflict better defined, he can come off as unfeeling and a bit of a jerk.

Thalissa Teixeira is wonderful as Kristina, a Brazilian woman who works in Julie's home and cheerfully picks up after the party. Her warmth and obvious care for her fiancé Jean and for Julie herself endear her to the audience and her heartbreak later in the show went straight to my heart.

The ensemble aren't often utilized but deftly build a party atmosphere of rich young people with nothing better to do than drink and do drugs. Their movement, choreographed by Ann Yee, is strangely entrancing even in its odder moments.

I really enjoyed Tom Scutt's design of the piece. The two layer set serves the show well and the modern sleek kitchen sets the tone for Julie's upper class life instantaneously. (His party design also made me realize I'm definitely not going to the right parties.) I also enjoyed the costuming, particularly Julie's sparkly jacket which gave her the vibe of someone only playing at being a grown up.

While the play's modernisation certainly leaves something to be desired, the performances and the design of Julie make it well worth seeing. It forces its audiences to consider both privilege and the way that the events of our youth shape our entire personalities. The production is on in the Lyttleton Theatre at the National to 8 September.

Photo Credit: Richard H Smith 

Review: It's Only Life, Union Theatre

RATING: ★★★★

I wasn't sure what to expect from It's Only Life because I'd never seen a song cycle show before, but I was absolutely delighted. This beautiful musical revue of songs by John Bucchino has an impressive design and an even more impressive cast. I wasn't familiar with Bucchino's music before seeing the show, but his songs have been recorded by artists including Gavin Creel and Billy Porter.

It's Only Life weaves together stories about relationships, life, and heartbreak. Each song is a story on its own, but together they give a beautiful message of having hope and taking risks. I loved that they mixed up pairings throughout and featured both straight and same-sex couples.

The cast is made up of five brilliant performers who are all very talented in acting through song even when a specific character is only being played for a brief moment. I was particularly impressed by Jordan Shaw's ability to bring me to tears in only a few minutes. Noel Sullivan got to show off his voice's magnificent range, but songs like "Painting My Kitchen" also demonstrated his comedic talent.

Will Carey wows throughout but is at his best in "On My Bedside Table", in which he tries to convince a former lover he's over him. His incredible dancing and hilarious attitude had the audience in stitches. Recent graduate Sammy Graham is absolutely breathtaking in every one of her songs, from sad ballads to more upbeat tunes. (She's definitely one I'll be watching to see what she does next!)

Jennifer Harding was the star of the show for me as she has a gorgeous voice and acting talent in spades. Her "Sweet Dreams" is definitely my favorite number in the show, as she describes two people's paths' crossing as Sammy Graham and Will Carey dance.

I also enjoyed that there was some mild audience interaction in the show (don't worry, nothing too extreme!). During the end of the interval, the cast members come out and chat with the audience. I had a lovely conversation with Noel Sullivan about being in graduate school.

The design of the show was wonderful. Justin Williams and Jonny Rust's set is amazing, with multiple set pieces, a higher platform, and a great pastel color palette. I'd actually like to move into it! It definitely makes the small space of the Union Theatre seem even larger. Clancy Flynn's lighting enhanced the show and really helped with the transitions between numbers.

The show also has a beautiful style of movement, choreographed by William Whelton. Sometimes a show cycle can feel like little more than a concert, I think, but the dance elevated it to a true musical. I loved the show having a pianist that you could see from the audience and the sound was well balanced despite not having microphones.

This little show is well suited to the intimate space that it's currently in, though I would love to see it have a future beyond this run. Under Tania Azevedo's direction, the five performers build many storylines from Bucchino's beautiful music that will tug at your heart. From the gorgeous harmonies to the laugh-out-loud comedy moments, this show has something for everyone.

It's Only Life is running at the Union Theatre until 7 July. I highly recommend checking it out if you have time before them because it's a delightful, meaningful show that left me feeling renewed. You can buy tickets here.

I was given a press ticket to review this show, but all opinions are my own. 
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith 

Review: RADA Summer 2018 Shows (Rotterdam, Journey's End, 3 Winters)

I recently attended all three of the RADA summer 2018 shows which ran from 29 May to 9 June. My best friend Rhiannon studies tech theatre at RADA so I love going to see the shows that she works on. After seeing the shows, I decided that I had to do at least small reviews for them as they were so incredibly good.

Rotterdam (Gielgud Theatre)
RATING: ★★★★
Rotterdam is about a couple navigating one half's transition to being a trans man. His girlfriend struggles with her own identity as a lesbian woman now that her partner is presenting as a man. The show, which played at the Trafalgar Studios in 2016, is an emotional, complicated piece of writing and this production certainly did it justice.

Philippine Velge and Mia Selway brought beautiful depth to Fiona/Adrian and Alice, but my favorite roles were the couple's friends, Lelani (played with wonderful flippancy by Jasmin Hinds) and Josh (played by Josh Fish who has a talent for imbuing lines with greater meaning than they appear to have on the surface).

My favorite part of the production may have been the beautiful projections designed by Ben Bull which helped shift between locations and create the mood for each scene. The show was rather emotionally exhausting, but raised important questions about love, gender, and just how far we're actually willing to go to accept someone.

Journey's End (GBS Theatre)
RATING: ★★★★★
As someone who studied history in undergrad, it's perhaps no surprise that I enjoy a World War One play more than just about anything. RADA's production of Journey's End by R. C. Sherriff was absolutely stunning and gut-wrenching. I appreciated the present day setting with modern fatigues despite having few changes to the script because it allowed several of the traditionally male roles to be played by women without question though the show did still feel rooted in WWI in many ways, perhaps partially because it's so iconically a play from that time.

Journey's End is a moving piece about a group of officers who are stationed at the front line and learn that there is a pending attack from the other side. The action of the play takes place entirely within the officers' quarters, brilliantly designed for this production by James Cotterill. The show was very well suited to the GBS Theatre as the smaller space made it feel as though the audience were there within the bunker too.

Doug Colling was wonderful as the head of the unit Stanhope, a young officer who is well-respected for his skill but has a serious drinking problem. He managed to keep the character likable, despite some of his questionable actions, by portraying an emotion always close to bubbling to the surface. Sabi Perez was lovely as Osborne, an older officer affectionately called 'Uncle', who has a nurturing manner and genuinely cares for her fellow officers. Joe Mott brought a certain charm to Trotter, the everyman, non-gentry officer, and Kwaku Mills brought me to tears several times as the eager new recruit Raleigh. Though it was a smaller role, Josh Zaré stood out as Hibbert, an officer suffering from PTSD. (There's a scene in which he breaks down that I will not soon forget.)

Typically when you see a WWI play or movie, the actors are actually older than the characters they're meant to be playing. There was something horrifyingly emotional about seeing young men and women in these roles, as Stanhope is meant to be 21 and Raleigh 18 years old. I'm not ashamed to say that by the end of the show, I was crying both from the terribly sad storyline itself and from reflecting on the horrible effects that WWI had on a generation of men.

3 Winters (Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre) 

I admittedly know very little about Croatia so I was a little bit lost for parts of 3 Winters. The play tells the story of three generations of a Croatian family, jumping between 1945, 1990, and 2011. It lost out on stars not for the production itself but for the text, which I found occasionally confusing and a tad longer than it needed to be at over three hours long.

The production did an impressive job switching between the three timelines with one set, designed by Verity Quinn. I was most impressed by Lucie Sword who played Karolina both in the 1945 and 1990 timelines and did an incredible job at seeming two different ages. I also loved Cathryn Benson as Masa and Stella Kammel as Monika.

The play touches on so many things from relationships to the effects of war on a family. After seeing it, I'm so curious about the history of Croatia so it definitely accomplished something!

Photo Credit: Helen Murray 

Review: Broken Wings Album

RATING: ★★★★★

If you're looking for a new musical theatre album to listen to, look no further than Broken Wings, a brand new musical by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan. The show is based on Kahil Gibran's poetic novel of the same name about forbidden love and fighting against society's expectations in 1912 Lebanon. The music itself is beautiful and the story is incredibly moving.

If you don't know (I certainly didn't), Gibran is the third-best selling poet of all time. His novel Broken Wings uses both poetry and prose to tell the story of a man, modeled after Gibran himself, who falls in love with a beautiful young woman named Selma only to be separated. The story is incredibly relevant today as it deals with the desire to be allowed to be with who you love, gender equality, and religion. It goes between 1923 New York with an older Gibran reminiscing and 1912 Beirut.

The show's music was written by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Farden, a female Qatari composer. You might recognize Naaman, an actor of Lebanese origins, from his roles in the West End like Raoul in Phantom of the Opera. I think it's incredibly important to support work made by creators of color because I agree with Naaman that one of the best ways to increase diversity onstage is to have more diverse stories being told.

Broken Wings is fairly solo-heavy with some ensemble numbers interspersed as well. The show has many beautiful ballads like "So Many Questions" and "Selma" in addition to more jaunty tunes like "Farris Effandi Karamy". The lyrics are fittingly poetic and the music has gorgeous orchestrations with lots of strings. The music has the same haunting longing as Titanic or Ragtime, but with a clear Middle Eastern influence.

In fact, the rousing instrumental "Overture" is one of my favorite tracks off the album. I also love "All I Longed to See", a beautiful ensemble number that's a lovely introduction to Beirut. "'Til Death Reunites Us" is another favorite. I love the "Prologue" for which Naaman does a very spoken calming monologue including the gorgeous line, "We all remember our first love and try to recapture that strange time".

The album includes many wonderful voices, including well-known West End actors like Rob Houchen and Adam Linstead. It features about 70-80% actors of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean heritage, which is amazing. The voices are remarkably well suited to the roles, especially for a concept album.

The musical is having a semi-staged run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London the first week of August. I booked in tickets this week for my family to see it as luckily enough, it falls in the week that they're visiting. I highly recommend buying a ticket if you can because I think it's going to be something incredibly special. I'll likely write a review on here so definitely check back in August!

I recently interviewed Nadim Naaman for BroadwayWorld UK and he had some amazing things to say about the show, how it was created, and the importance of representation. Check it out here!

I honestly can't recommend this album enough. If you love historic shows like Les Mis, Titanic, or Parade, then I think you would absolutely love it. It truly has something in it for everyone and it's a beautifully soothing listen. There have been so many cast albums released recently, but this is by far my favorite one.

2018 Tony Award Predictions

I thought that I would share my predictions for this year's Tony Awards with you all. They may not be correct, but they're my best guesses. Mind you, I've not seen many of the shows this year but I'm basing my predictions off cast albums, reviews, and word of mouth from friends who have seen them. 

If you'd like to hear my reasoning behind these predictions, do check out the Next Best Theatre podcast Episode 5 where I discuss my predictions along with my two co-hosts, Michael and Dan. 

Leading Actor in a Play
Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Tom Hollander, Travesties
Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King
Denzel Washington, The Iceman Cometh

Leading Actress in a Play
Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women
Condola Rashad, Saint Joan
Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God
Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower

Leading Actor in a Musical
Henry Haddon-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Carousel 
Tony Shaloub, The Band's Visit
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob Squarepants

Leading Actress in a Musical 
Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady
Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island
LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Katrina Lenk, The Band's Visit
Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls
Jessie Mueller, Carousel

Featured Actor in a Play (I couldn't choose on this one!) 
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
Michael Cera, Lobby Hero
Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero
Nathan Lane, Angels in America
David Morse, The Iceman Cometh

Featured Actress in a Play 
Susan Brown, Angels in America
Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Deborah Findlay, The Children
Denise Gough, Angels in America
Laurie Metcalf, Three Tall Women

Featured Actor in a Musical 
Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Alexander Gemignani, Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, Spongebob Squarepants
Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit

Featured Actress in a Musical 
Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Renée Fleming, Carousel
Lindsay Mendez, Carousel
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady

Best Book of a Musical (I absolutely cannot guess between these two!) 
The Band's Visit
Mean Girls
SpongeBob Squarepants

Best Score
Angels in America
The Band's Visit
Mean Girls
SpongeBob Squarepants

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Three Tall Women
Farinelli and the King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
The Iceman Cometh
Angels in America

Best Scenic Design of a Musical 
Once On This Island
The Band's Visit
Mean Girls
My Fair Lady
SpongeBob Squarepants

Best Costume Design of a Play
Three Tall Women
Farinelli and the King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
The Iceman Cometh
Angels in America

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Once On This Island
Mean Girls
My Fair Lady
SpongeBob Squarepants

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Farinelli and the King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
The Iceman Cometh
Angels in America

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Once On This Island
The Band's Visit
My Fair Lady
SpongeBob Squarepants 

Best Sound Design of a Play
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
The Iceman Cometh
Angels in America

Best Sound Design of a Musical
The Band's Visit
Once On This Island
Mean Girls
SpongeBob Squarepants

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliot, Angels in America
Joe Mantello, Three Tall Women
Patrick Marber, Travesties
John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
George C Wolfe, The Iceman Cometh

Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Once On This Island
David Cromer, The Band's Visit
Tina Landau, SpongeBob Squarepants

Best Choreography 
My Fair Lady
SpongeBob Squarepants
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Mean Girls

Best Orchestrations
Mean Girls
SpongeBob Squarepants
Once On This Island
The Band's Visit

Best Revival of a Play
Angels in America
Three Tall Women
The Iceman Cometh
Lobby Hero

Best Revival of a Musical
My Fair Lady
Once On This Island

Best Play
The Children
Farinelli and the King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Latin History for Morons

Best Musical 
Mean Girls
SpongeBob Squarepants
The Band's Visit 

What are you predicting to win at this year's Tony Awards? What would you like to see win? Let me know in the comments below x

Shows I Saw in May

I've decided to start a new monthly series here on Flower Crowns and Revolutionaries. While I used to do monthly goal posts, I was growing tired of them and felt neither I nor you readers were enjoying them. Instead, I thought it might be nice to do a round up of all the shows I saw in a month with links to reviews and general thoughts on them. 

The Grinning Man - Video, Blog Post 
It's no secret that I spent most of the winter and spring obsessed with a beautiful strange and haunting musical called The Grinning Man. On 5 May, my friend Rhiannon and I went to the closing night of the London production. I'm desperately hoping that it will get a Broadway or off-Broadway production soon and eagerly awaiting the cast album's release later this summer.

West End Does Magic of Animation Concert - BWW UK Review
I was very excited when Rob Houchen announced that he, along with two others, was starting a concert production company called West End Does. This animated movie themed concert featured some of my favorite Disney songs and some of my favorite West End performers, including Carrie Hope Fletcher, Eva Noblezada, Fra Fee, and Marisha Wallace.

The Writer 
I admittedly wasn't thrilled with The Writer at the Almeida. It definitely spoke to a lot of relevant topics about the life of an artist and how women function in the creative industry and just what it means to be a woman in general and I love seeing new work produced. However, I felt that it was an hour longer than it needed to be and smacked of pretentiousness.

Red - BWW UK Review
Red originated at the Donmar Warehouse in 2009 and I was thrilled to be able to see the new West End production, led by the same creative team and with Alfred Molina reprising his role as artist Mark Rothko. The piece questions what it means to be an artist and what art is, without ever falling into pretentiousness or stuffiness. Alfred Enoch is absolutely lovely as Rothko's assistant, Ken. I'll definitely be returning a second time.

(I'm also feeling incredibly fond of this show because a quote from my review is now up on the side of Wyndham's Theatre. That's definitely a first!)

The Lion King
I went with my friend Aeron to see The Lion King and was reminded of what a truly impressive production it is. It was very nostalgic as The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre here in London was the first professional show I ever saw, on a family trip when I was seven years old. It felt a bit crazy to return to that same theatre now that I'm living in London and working in the industry. Now I know where my love of animal puppets and revolving stages came from!

The Play That Goes Wrong - Video, Blog Post 
My best friend from home, Alex, was in town for about 30 hours so I decided to take him to see The Play That Goes Wrong as an early birthday present and we were both blown away. It's a technical marvel and delightfully funny as well.

With A Little Bit of Lerner - BWW UK Review
I'm not a huge fan of Alan Jay Lerner's work (aside from Gigi, which I adore) but the Lerner tribute at the Royal Festival Hall was a lovely night. With so many talented performers and a wealth of music to draw from, it was a fitting celebration of a great lyricist's life's work. My personal highlight was Rob singing "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady.

Confidence - BWW UK Review 
I wanted to like Confidence so badly. I've watched Tanya Burr's YouTube videos for years and love her makeup line, so I was predisposed to like her performance. However, the play itself is bizarre and personally completely unappealing and Tanya was absolutely miscast. I actually cried writing the review, because I hated to give something two stars. But when you end up complimenting the set's carpet while trying to say something nice about a play, you know it's gone wrong.

A Little Princess - BWW UK Review 
I returned to Royal Festival Hall to see the concert staging of Andrew Lippa's A Little Princess and was rather disappointed. I remember the book fondly from reading it multiple times as a child, but this musical fails to capture the charm and spirit of the novel. A talented cast, and especially brilliant child cast, weren't enough to save the show.

Tartuffe - BWW UK Review
While most of the critics didn't, I actually rather enjoyed Tartuffe, a modern reimagining of a classic Molière comedy. It's the West End's first dual-language production and while it was a bit distracting at times having to watch the subtitles for translations of the French half of the play, I thought it was worth it for such a cool and exciting new venture. Plus, I got to see one of my favorite TV and film actors, George Blagden, on stage.

Rotterdam (RADA) - Review Coming Soon
My last show of May was Rotterdam at RADA, where my friend Rhiannon goes to school. Rotterdam is about a trans man coming out to his family and girlfriend and going through his transition. It also focuses strongly on the impact on his girlfriend, who struggles to cope with her own identity as a gay woman now that her partner is male. The RADA production had a beautiful set and incredible performances from all four people in the cast.

What shows have you seen this month? Let me know in the comments down below. x
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