Broadway Bound

April 20, 2019 | By | Reply More

★★★☆☆    Enjoyable

Usher Hall: Fri 19 April
Review by Sarah Moyes

Inspired by Broadway and the Big Apple, there’s lots to love in Broadway Bound, a celebration of musical song and dance from the Beyond Broadway Experience.

From familiar musicals like Fame, West Side Story and Cats to more recent Broadway hits like Dear Evan Hansen and Waitress, BBE brings together 100 children from across the country and gives me them the chance to work with creative professionals before performing in their own show.

A scene from Broadway Bound. Pic Mike Wilkinson

For some of the young people this will be the first chance they get to perform on a stage as big as the Usher Hall, yet the first two singers, Riodhna Walsh and Chloe Yeung, show no signs of nerves as their beautiful duet Let me be your Star from Smash fills the room.

Next up, we’re in London as Taylor Williams and Morgan Flannigan perfect their cockney accents for an entertaining performance of Flash, Bang, Wallop from Half a Sixpence before we jet off to Canada as Morgan Thomson gives a powerful performance of Me and the Sky from the more recent musical Come from Away.

It’s down to the younger members of the cast to treat us to a medley of hits from Matilda, a fitting nod to the show which is currently in Edinburgh as part of its UK tour. Matilda team director Mark Cameron has put together the most entertaining section of the first act, as Maggi Boyd, Aryanna Bradley, Robyn Burns, Emma Ssembatya, Jess Taylor and Naomi Wallace lead the young ensemble through When I Grow Up, Naughty and Revolting Children.

While you couldn’t really hear what the whole ensemble were singing during parts of Revolting Children, they young cast still put in a highly energetic performance as they dance around the stage in their school uniforms.

supportive cheer

It wouldn’t be a live show without a few hiccups. There might have been a few forgotten lines at the start of A Whole New World from Aladdin but after a big supportive cheer from the audience, Corey Learmonth pulls it back to give a sweet performance with Keira Porter.

The Matilda medley in Broadway Bound. Pic: Mike Wilkinson

A Musical from Something Rotten opens the second act and although the song might be one of the lesser known numbers in tonight’s show it’s references to Chicago, Rent and Annie – coupled with a comical performance by Kieran Bradley and Graeme McKay – make it a great way to kick off the section.

The pupils of George Watson’s College put in a special appearance as they take on the roles of the characters you would find in Downtown LA in Skid Row from Little Shop of Horrors before the younger members of the company return to the stage with a spirited performance of songs from Bugsy Malone.

There were also a few emotionally charged songs in the second act. Scott Glidden captivated the audience with his performance of You will be Found from Dear Evan Hansen while Tamzin Burgess gave a beautiful rendition of Journey to the Past from Anastasia.

Dance

Of course, there is a lot of dance involved in Beyond Broadway too which is particularly effective when the whole ensemble is on stage in such numbers as the Bring it On medley and Sex is in the Heel from Kinky Boots. Although it was disappointing that the infamous red boots didn’t make an appearance on stage in the latter, especially given the nod to the costumes in other performances.

However, it was refreshing to see choreographers Murray Grant and Louise Ferrier add a couple of dance solos to the show with Rich Man’s Frug from Sweet Charity and Jellicle Ball from Cats giving the strong dancers in the company a chance to shine.

Director Drew Gowland has done a really great job of bringing together children of different ages and experiences to pull of a show in under two weeks. If you’re a fan of musical theatre, then you’d find it hard not to enjoy this entertaining celebration of Broadway’s much-loved shows.

Running time: Two hours (including one interval)
Usher Hall, Lothian Road, EH1 2EA.
Friday 19 April 2019.
Run ended.

A scene from Broadway Bound. Pic: Mike Wilkinson

ENDS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your comments