Friday, 1 February 2013

The Cardboard Trees & Painted Seas

The New Year got off to an incredible start with the overwhelmingly postive response to the inaugural Front Row Dress Awards. Virtually all of the winners contacted me with lovely messages and photographs and I received 3,000 hits here on January 1st alone. Only two of the winners, who shall remain nameless, ignored me altogether, oh alright then, Sophie Thompson (best actress in a play) & Anthony Ward (best set design) are no longer on my Christmas card list.

The euphoria continued with four 5 star January theatre trips (Salad Days, The Judas KissRichard III and a return visit to the rumoured to be West End bound Merrily We Roll Along) and just one slight disappointment from Alan Bennett, whose People at the National let the side down a little, but still had plenty to enjoy.

We’ve got loads of exciting things already booked for 2013, including evenings with those grand dames of musical theatre, Liza Minnelli and Patti Lupone. I’ve seen both divas several times over the past thirty-something years, Liza only in concert, but Patti twice in the original cast of Les Miserables and twice again in Sunset Boulevard and she has never been anything less than magnificent. Here she is reminiscing about her time as Fantine and eventually showing Anne Hathaway how it should be done.

Coming up in February we have another Sunset Boulevard alumnus, the fabulous Betty Buckley, in the UK premiere of Jerry Herman's Dear World at Charing Cross, Ivor Novello’s Gay's The Word at Jermyn Street, a newly updated Chess at the Union and James McAvoy's shot at the Scottish play at the Trafalgar Studios. As usual I doubt that's all I’ll be dragging Mrs Front Row Dress to and I’ll keep you updated with any last minute additions. Meanwhile, here's Patti with her original Sydmonton festival take on the diva who manages to out-diva all of the other divas combined, Sunset Boulevard's Norma Desmond.

.... and remember Patti loves having her photograph taken during the performance, so make sure your iphones are fully charged.

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