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Musical (1994)


Musique: Timothy Williams
Paroles: Andrew Sabiston
Livret: Andrew Sabiston

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Shaftesbury Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)

Durée : 3 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 127 représentations
Première Preview : mardi 17 octobre 2000
Première : mardi 17 octobre 2000
Dernière : samedi 03 février 2001
Mise en scène : Francesca Zambello
Chorégraphie : Denis L. Sayers
Avec : Paul Baker as 'Napoleon' (Uwe Kroger will play the part at certain performances) Anastasia Barzee as 'Josephine'. David Burt, David Arneil, Steve Bradford, Jacqueline Braun, Lynsey Britton, Anthony Cable, Jody Crosier, Iain Davey, Heather Davies, Nicholas Dunbar, Chris Fennessy, Susie Fenwick, Hugh Futcher, Lydia Griffiths, Kristin Hellberg, Kristin Holck, Sarah Ingram, Teddy Kempner, Gerard Leighton, Roy Litvin, Andy Mace, Oliver Marshall, Anthony Moulton, Anita Pashley, Vince Pirillo, Nicholas Pound, Nigel Richards, Tom Sellwood, Louisa Shaw , Mark Stobbart
Commentaires : This Canadian musical opened in Toronto in March 1994 to great success. The London production had Olivier Award winner Francesco Zambello from the opera world as director, Jonathan Tunick’s orchestrations and both Paul Baker and Uwe Kroger alternating as Napoleon. (Uwe Kroger performed three shows a week, Paul Baker doing the other five.) However, it ran just under 4 months. It was one of the early pioneers of Sunday performances and although weekends were sold out, the rest of the week was thin. With 32 in the cast and an orchestra of 28, producers cited the high running costs as the main reason for closure which came on February 3rd. Generally the original notices had been hostile, and, of course, most could not resist using the phrase “Not tonight, Josephine” as advice to the readers.
Presse : SHERIDAN MORLEY for TELETEXT wrote a positive review, saying, "Well, what a surprise. Just as West End musicals were going minimalist and dark along comes the most lavish, over-the- top extravaganza since Ivor Novello dropped dead in King's Rhapsody in 1951. True, Napoleon is not all that good. But director Francesca Zambello.... has thrown everything at it. Tosca and Traviata combined have nothing on what is happening here."

BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES was not impressed, saying the show had "music that often went tum-tum, lyrics that regularly went plonk-plonk, and rhymes that sometimes left me wishing no such thing as rhyme had been invented". He ends his review, "As it is, there's only one answer to the question of whether this new musical is stronger and more enjoyable than the year's other Gallic offerings. Not tonight, Josephine."

PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "...Napoleon is severely deluded and in urgent need of counselling. Last night's opening presented us with two and three-quarter hours of hammy historical hokum, diversified by a couple of moments that served to indicate what might have been if anyone around had had any taste." He goes on to describe the score as "Talentless" and the lyrics "Dire". He was however impressed by the set design, describing it as "slick and fluent ", but says, "...man cannot live by sets alone."

CHARLES SPENCER FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The show is a shameless attempt to cash in on the vast box-office success of Les Miserables. Unfortunately it seems like a dismally pale imitation, with almost none of the drama or thrilling theatrical spectacle." He goes on to say, "Williams's score is a non-stop parade of churning, ersatz-emotional anthems that go straight in one ear and out the other without troubling the brain, heart or memory, while the triteness of Sabiston's lyrics often beggars belief."

NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, The songs are unmemorable and unhummable."


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