KINGS OF BROADWAY – Palace Theatre, London.
Two and a half hours of actors, orchestra and audience celebrating three giants of musical Theatre, Alex Parker’s Kings of Broadway was the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. Celebrating the work of Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne, It was obvious how much Parker was enjoying the show as he danced away on his podium whilst conducting his extraordinary band.
A wonderful collection of songs had been chosen across all three composers, but with all of their extensive repertoires there were always going to be pieces you wish had not been left out. Listening to the orchestra really made you appreciate how clever the scores are, it’s no wonder we’re still producing their shows. It felt like each performer was perfectly suited to their pieces, perhaps that was because they had helped choose what they wanted to sing. And whilst enjoying their renditions it was impossible not to start casting in your head. For instance Jamie Parker simply has to star as Bobby in a production of Company, alongside Janie Dee as Joanne.
Jordan Lee Davies’ beautiful performance of La Cage Aux Folles’ ‘I Am What I Am’ was incredibly moving. And the audience could have kept clapping for Bradley Jaden’s rendition of ‘Maria’ until he was forced to sing it all over again. But it was James Bolam and Anne Reid’s ‘Almost Young’ had the audience smiling from ear to ear.
Kings of Broadway was the best stagey party you could dream of attending. Although there were a little too many costume changes for some performers, it would be difficult to find anyone that came out of the Palace Theatre that night who hadn’t had a brilliant time. For their first showcase, Alex Parker’s Theatre Company has set the bar incredibly high, so you can only look forward to whatever they do next.
By Joanna Trainor